Monday, October 04, 2010

Interstitial cystitis: Do you have it?

I don’t “do” months—as a rule—too perverse, I guess. But October is Interstitial Cystitis Month…and I am “doing it.” (I need to drink or nap more.)

Bladder problems can cause a lot of agita—kids get in trouble for asking to go to the bathroom, women have even had their healthy insides removed—ooops, wasn’t the uterus. Even men are told to man up when something is actually wrong besides their lack of stoicism.

Three to eight million women and one to four million men have interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS).

Unfortunately, these sufferers often wander from doctor to doctor for years. Some pee every 10 minutes—60 times a day sometimes.

And pain!

The don’t want to have sex, they don’t want to ride in a car.

If your bladder is ulcerated a teaspoon of urine can hurt in there.

People alter their lives to cope—no cars, no planes, find the bathroom everyplace they go.

One woman who worked in a dept store had to wear a Depends and just go.

The key is to nail this early—and not do that wandering to docs deal. There are treatments—medications, physical therapy. Dietary modification.

Watch acidic or caffeinated products. Cranberry juice makes it worse, by the way.

Do you know someone who has to get up twice during a movie, doesn’t want to take long car rides, and complains of pain?

Refer them to

This isn’t a garden-variety UTI—you need to take steps.


Jill O. said...

Love this summary! Short, sweet and tells it like it is. IC is real and it is treatable!

Star Lawrence said...

Thanks, Jill. A friend who has had this since the 80s is still taking a daily med and is still not over it completely...