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Bladder Pain, Interstitial Cystitis Treatment and Elmiron

bladder pain

If you need to go to the washroom more than 20 times per day, then you can be sure that trips to the washroom are going to be tedious. That can be the reality for people with interstitial cystitis and the chronic bladder pain and overactive bladder that are interstitial cystitis symptoms caused by the condition. Some people are fortunate and have it for a short amount of time, while others will deal with it for much longer. Fortunately, medications like Elmiron are available to reduce bladder pain with an interstitial cystitis treatment.

This may also be defined as BPS – bladder pain syndrome – and another unfortunate reality is interstitial cystitis is more common for women. The sharp pain in bladder and frequent urinary urges are only a part of the problem for women with this condition. It can also cause painful sex and that is not so much related to the pain as it is the pressure that’s created in the pelvic and perineal areas. The urinary urgency that comes along with the bladder pain of IC is also a major source of frustration for both men and women with it.

That urgency can be worsened by diet and some choices can cause interstitial cystitis pain to flare up. There are foods and drinks to avoid for IC, and unfortunately caffeinated drinks like coffee are a trigger for some people. Physical or mental stress can also make interstitial cystitis symptoms worse and any time the bladder pain becomes stronger it’s even more of a challenge to put up with this urinary system disorder.

We’ll look at interstitial cystitis in more detail here, along with what are some other suggestions people can consider making it so that bladder pain occurs less often, and when it does it is not as bad.

Causes of IC

Everybody has a different physiology, and sometimes people are born with more of a likelihood of developing a condition later in their life. With interstitial cystitis some people have an inherent defect in bladder tissue, and because of irritating substances in the urine, many penetrate the bladder and irritate the tissue to cause bladder pain. Some people will also have more mast cells in tissue there and this causes more histamine release from the immune system, and this can be a cause of bladder pain too. You may want to know of and avoid foods that can cause inflammation in the body.

Other causes of interstitial cystitis are:

  • Damage to the bladder from toxic urine
  • Changes to nerve system function that promote pain signals from normal bladder function as it fills
  • Immune system malfunction or complications from autoimmune diseases where the body is attacking the bladder

It is true that if one of your parents had IC then you are more likely to develop it yourself once you’ve passed the age of 30, and for some people use of certain prescription drugs can trigger bladder pain caused by interstitial cystitis. Guidelines around medications men should avoid when they have BPH and prostate health concerns will apply to interstitial cystitis too and for both men and women.

Antidepressants are the ones to really take note of because most people will be using these meds on a long-term basis and if that is triggering worse IC for you then you’ll need to speak to a doctor about changing your therapeutic approach.

Sleep Concerns Too

IC can also make it difficult to

 get a restful sleep through the night. Who would be able to get a good sleep when you’re roused from it multiple times a night because you need to urinate? Sometime the bladder pain can be enough to keep you from falling asleep, and that can be true when your IC is flaring up in a big way. For people who do have sleep problems because of IC, the antihistamine Atarax (Hydroxyzine) may be ideal. Not only does it suppress immune system response for less bladder pain, but it also has a known side effect of making people very drowsy.

The effect of becoming drowsy is not a bad thing if you’re having trouble falling asleep because of IC pain and pressure. Cimetidine is the only other antihistamine that’s recommended to complement an IC treatment medication like Elmiron, mostly if the patient is sleep deprived due to interstitial cystitis symptoms.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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