Interstitial Cystitis is a medical condition which internally manifests itself in the human body by the gradual erosion of the lining tissues of the bladder wall of a human body and externally by causing physical body pain, burning sensation while urinating and a need to urinate frequently and urgently.
While Interstitial Cystitis is a non-malignant condition, it can severely impact the life of the patient making it virtually impossible for him or her to lead a normal life given the bouts of pain and the frequent and intense need to use the bathroom.
The biggest challenge in Interstitial Cystitis Treatment is the fact that the exact cause of this condition is still unknown despite several theories being propagated as to the possible triggers. Therefore, doctors today focus on managing the symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis in their patients. The task is made more complex by the fact that the intensity and presence of the symptoms vary from patient to patient as does the response to the course of treatment adopted.
The most common forms Interstitial Cystitis Treatmentadopted by conventional medicines are:
1. Oral Medication: PentosanPolysulfate Sodium otherwise known as Elmiron is the most common oral medication which is used in Interstitial Cystitis Treatmentbecause it has a very similar in chemical combination to the epithelial lining of the bladder and is believed to assist in the repair of these tissues.
Pain alleviation medication or some anti-seizure drugs are also used to manage the pain experienced by patients in this condition.
Anti-Allergic drugs (antihistamines) may also be prescribed to control allergic symptoms that could be aggravating a patient’s condition.
2. Bladder Distension: is performed under general anesthesia and basically involves stretching the bladder capacity. It provides short term relief in terms of reducing the urination frequency and alleviation of pain to patients.
3. Bladder Instillation: Under this, the bladder is filled with a solution known as Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) that is held in the bladder for durations ranging from 5 seconds to 15 minutes before being drained out through a catheter.
It is believed that as the medicated solution directly touches the bladder walls, it reaches the tissues more effectively to stem the inflammation and prevent the pain causing muscle spasms which also lead to the frequency and urgency in urination.
4. Surgery: Surgery is considered as an option in Interstitial Cystitis Treatment where the presence of Huner’s Ulcers is found on the bladder walls.
5. Bladder Augmentation: Here the damaged portions of the bladder are removed and a portion of the patient’s large intestine is re-shaped and attached to the remaining healthier portion of the bladder.
6. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): Mild electrical pulses are made to enter the body for two or more times in a day. It is believed that the electrical pulses increase the blood flow to the bladder, strengthen the pelvic muscles that control the bladder and trigger the release of hormones that block pain.
7. Cystectomy:In extreme cases, a Cystectomy may have to be carried out to remove the bladder completely with the diversion or re-routing of urine flow.
In conclusion let us reiterate that for a majority of cases, oral medication together with a healthy lifestyle is the best and the most successful form of Interstitial Cystitis Treatment.