I was diagnosed with IC, about 3 years ago now. I kept having recurring Urinary Tract Infections. That seemed worse than just that! Finally my doctor suggested a specialist. A urologist did a cystoscopy on me, and found the bladder to be covered w/ the blood spots, that show a person has IC. Ninety percent of IC patients present with these parochial (pinpoint) hemorrhages, also known as conglomerations. Five to ten percent of IC patients have the ulcerative form of the disease and have the Hunner’s patches or ulcers. There is frequency of urination, urgency, and the spasms. (That at times are so painful I lay with a heating pad just to have some sort of comfort!) IC is a Condition That Tends to Worsen and Wane. It is not continual pain, but more a life of flare ups.
Most people with IC experience times of relative relief of symptoms mixed with what are called IC flare-ups. This is a time of increased IC symptoms (typically pain and urinary urgency and frequency). There is no time period for these, so called flare ups, they just come and go. It is most frequently diagnosed with Cystoscopy, as well as explaining your symptoms to your family doctor. You are admitted in to the hospital, as the bladder has to be hydro distended, to properly see the entire region of the bladder. It is considered same day, and is literally pain less. The results are immediate, as the cystoscopy, has a camera attached, that shows the bladder region. There is no known cure for this life time disease, but they treat it with a number of medications to more less, keep the pain symptoms at bay. Elmiron, ani depressants, anti histamines, and pain medications are the usual regiment. I am on all of them. They do just that, keep the pain at bay. Nothing has been found, to cure this, or completely remove the spasms, and the UTI type pain and symptoms. A special diet, helps to minimize the intake of acidy, foods, that tend to irritate the bladder only more. Things such as sauces, chocolates, spicy foods…(All of which, I might add, I unfortunately LOVE!):(
Sometimes it is simply trial and error, as different foods affect different people in various ways. Living with IC, has its daily challenges, and needs a constant support of those around you. My husband and boys are more than helpful with all that needs done around the house and such, when I am dealing with bouts of pain, and discomfort. The anti depressants, help because anyone dealing with chronic pain, can face, bouts of depression. The anti histamines, help to flush out any histamines from food intake, that could cause more flare ups. The elmiron is another sulfate based drug, that helps in coating the bladder. All these with the diet, help to keep the flare ups to a minimal. I’ve even gone through bladder instillation treatments, where the bladder is coated with a solution, like a bladder wash. It leaves a garlicky, odor, that comes out of your entire body, after having the treatment, for a few hours after wards. It also leaves, you a little more achy These are more typically called DMSO treatments. My doctor explained them, as like having chemo of the bladder, but one less medication is added to the mix being put in to the bladder. It has side affects, to some, like hair loss, garlic taste, or smell, and sometimes, flu like symptoms, for about 24-48 hrs. afterward.
The benefits, are in it being a anti spasmodic, anti inflammatory, treatment. This disease, is all about treating, the pain. For some, it is not as prevalent, as with others. For me, the pain is daily. No matter what I seem to eat or such, it seems to be getting worse. Unfortunately my husband, although he has a great job that provides well for our family, has no health insurance for either he or I, and so I am left to try to deal with this mainly with the medications, and keeping this pain at bay. The medications are costly, and that too, causes stress. Stress is another factor, that causes flare ups. It is an endless cycle! Without the Lord in my life, I know I would not make it! He is my constant, peace, and joy. I trust Him still, that someday, sometime, I will be completely made whole of this pain. Until then, I’ll just use it as an opportunity to tell others that you can make it through…adverse situations. That yes, we sometimes, go through…hard times, but the object, is the getting through it!! Perseverance. I can do all things through, Christ Jesus who strengthens, me daily!! You can make it, if you have this. If you suffer daily, like me, read the Word of God for your strength and peace. Share, with others, that life does, have joys, and we need to see them, in what ever, or where ever we can. Life has pain, but God brings us through, when we trust in Him. This is a real disease, with no known, causes yet, or cures, but, thankfully, it is not a death sentence, it is a dealing, sentence. Learning to deal…w/ what we are dealt. Showing peace through it, till we get through. And I believe someday I will. I hope you if you are suffering, will find peace. I went through years of returning Urinary tract infections, before being sent to a specialist, who finally had the presence to look for this disease, thus diagnosing, my symptoms. It is a little heard of disease, but, many Americans suffer with it. It attacks both men and women. I think I probably had it for many years, before it was actually diagnosed. The cystoscopy, reveals what is really going on in the bladder region/walls. Anyway, keep digging if you are hurting, there are answers. Maybe, I’ve answered a few of yours? If you need helps, or have a question, I’d be glad to try my best at it.