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What are the treatment options for interstitial cystitis?

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Quick Answer

Home treatment options for interstitial cystitis include quitting smoking, getting adequate exercise, bladder retraining and following a diet free of bladder irritants, according to MedicineNet. Other treatment options include oral medications, bladder distension, bladder washes and surgical interventions in order to decrease bladder pain and sensitivity.

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Full Answer

Interstitial cystitis is also called painful bladder syndrome, or PBS, explains Mayo Clinic. The condition causes pelvic and bladder pain that ranges in intensity from mild to debilitating. It also causes urinary frequency and urgency, painful intercourse or ejaculation, and pain as the bladder fills. The symptoms are similar to that of a chronic urinary tract infection. The symptoms may wax and wane, and they usually become worse when a urinary tract infection is present.

Interstitial cystitis develops most frequently in middle-aged women, though anyone can develop the condition, notes WebMD. It is associated with pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome, though these conditions don't actually cause the disease. Some scientists believe that it may be an autoimmune disorder, or due to changes that occur in the nerves that control the bladder. Others believe that it's caused by an overproduction of histamine that triggers an allergic response, or due to bladder wall dysfunction that allows toxic substances in urine to contact the bladder walls, causing irritation.

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