Interstitial Cystitis

Conditions A-Z - Interstitial Cystitis

What is interstitial cystitis (IC)?

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is complex, chronic disorder characterized by an inflamed or irritated bladder wall. It can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder, decreased bladder capacity, and glomerulations (pinpoint bleeding). IC may also be known as:

What causes IC?

The cause of IC is still unknown and patients do not respond to antibiotic medication. Researchers are investigating many theories to understand the causes of IC and to determine appropriate treatments. Most people with IC find that certain foods make their symptoms worse, including most commonly: citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate and coffee, and potassium-rich foods. Other foods that bother many patients are alcoholic beverages, caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, and some carbonated beverages.

What are the symptoms of IC?

The following are the most common symptoms of IC. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Stress may also intensify symptoms, but stress does not cause symptoms to occur.

The symptoms of IC may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is interstitial cystitis diagnosed?

Because there is no definitive test to diagnose IC, and because symptoms of IC are similar to other urinary disorders, a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures may be necessary. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for IC may include the following:

What is the treatment for IC?

Specific treatment for IC will be determined by your physician based on:

Currently, there is no specific way to diagnose IC, and no cure for IC, making it difficult to treat. Thus, treatments are primarily focused on relieving symptoms, and may include:

Management of IC may also include:

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