Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS) can be defined as:
“An unpleasant sensation (pain, pressure, discomfort) perceived to be related to the urinary bladder, associated with lower urinary tract symptoms of more than six weeks duration, in the absence of infection or other identifiable causes.“
IC/PBS is a debilitating disease some physicians may not recognize, but symptoms can consume your life. Some of the symptoms include:
In severe cases, patients may need to urinate up to 60 times per day. Most IC patients experience flares, times during which symptoms can worsen dramatically.A flare-up may last anywhere from 2 to 7 days or longer depending on the severity. Patients may experience as little as one flare-up in a year to multiple during the course of a month.
Although the cause of the condition is unknown, it is believed that the breakdown of the heparinoid glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer, an internal protective bladder lining, is primarily responsible for reoccurring IC symptoms. What actually leads to the breakdown of this protective lining is still a mystery, but certain factors may include bladder trauma from a previous surgery, spinal cord trauma, delayed periods of not voiding the bladder, bacterial infection, inflammation of pelvic nerves, or an autoimmune disorder.
Video by American Urological Association
References: 1. Berry SH, Stoto MA, Elliott M, et al. Prevalence of symptoms of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome among adult females in the US. Available at: http://www.ichelp.org/Page.aspx?pid=824. Accessed February 6, 2015. 2. Clemens JQ, Link CL, Eggers PW, et al. Prevalence of painful bladder symptoms and effect on quality of life in black, Hispanic and white men and women. J Urol. 2007;177(4):1390-1394. 3. Hanno PM, et al. AUA Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of IC/BPS. J Urol. 2011;185(6):2162-2170. 4. Interstitial Cystitis Association. Available at: http://www.ichelp.org. Accessed February 6, 2015. 5. Parsons CL, Dell J, Stanford EJ, et al. Increased prevalence of interstitial cystitis: previously unrecognized urologic and gynecologic cases identified using a new symptom questionnaire and intravesical potassium sensitivity. Urology. 2002; 60(4):573-578.
The Defeat IC™ educational campaign is brought to you by San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMMY), a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to delivering high quality and customizable medicines to physicians and patients at accessible prices.