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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a stubborn, ongoing bladder issue that can cause pain in the bladder as well as intransigent lower urinary tract symptoms that may continue without infection. The severity of the symptoms differ greatly from patient to patient with some patients experiencing only mild or infrequent symptoms and others experiencing rather severe symptoms. Some may have issues that come and go with varying levels of intensity. Commonly seen pain symptoms that may indicate IC is the problem occur in the urethra, genitals, lower abdomen, lower back, and the perineal area. Urinary urgency such as feeling the need to use the bathroom even after just having visited, or continual feelings of urgency on an empty bladder are also signs that IC could be the root problem.

There are many theories about the origin of IC, and some foods and habits may be contributing factors, but there is no absolute cause. Some researchers have suggested select substances in urine may be the instigating factor, while other researchers have posited theories of cause to be autoimmune responses, inflammatory cells, or heredity.

While IC is more common in women than men, both can be subject to IC's symptoms and problems. Sexual discomfort is an issue that both sexes experience with IC. In men, there may be pain during orgasm or the following day after having sex. Women may feel pain during sexual intercourse due to the internal architecture of the body with the bladder and vagina being close in proximity.

Interstitial cystitis can be treated, that's the good news. There are stages of treatment that your doctor will decide upon based upon the development of your IC and its current severity.

Typically, the first stage your doctor will suggest is comprised of lifestyle changes. As diet is key to most every medical issue we face, your doctor may put you on a specialized diet plan that could improve or eliminate your IC symptoms.

Stage two could be medication. There are several medications for the treatment of IC from oral meds to intravesical drugs that require a catheter. Talk to your doctor about the various medication options available to you for your IC issues.

If lifestyle and medication treatments prove unsuccessful, your doctor may introduce third stage options such as neuromodulation therapy, botox injections to the bladder, or bladder ulcer cauterization. If third stage treatments are your best option, your doctor will explain in detail what to expect when you undergo these procedures.

Fourth stage treatment for some could be cyclosporine, though taking cyclosporine should be considered with caution as this drug may interfere with the body's natural ability to fight disease. 

If none of the aforementioned stages of treatment relieve the problem then a surgical procedure may be the fifth stage option. While surgery is a viable option, doctors hope that in most every patient, surgery is not needed. Many patients find relief of their IC symptoms in the first few stages of treatment, but surgery is always a final option for those who cannot find relief otherwise.

As a regular and continuous course of medication is sometimes needed for relief of IC symptoms, compounding is an excellent solution for the IC patient. Compounded medications provide a patient with a customized method of receiving their medicine. It gives the patient the base medical ingredients they need to combat their medical issue while avoiding harmful dyes, sugars, or allergy-causing ingredients that no one wants. Compounding pharmacists work directly with your doctor to tailor your meds to you as a unique patient. They consult with your doctor and consider your age, health status, medical history, and allergies before crafting your medicine, ensuring a final result of quality medicine made with the best ingredients that is specifically for you and no one else.

Talk to your doctor about your options for IC treatment and if medication is required ask your doctor to refer you to an accredited compounding pharmacy. The best solution to a problem is always the one that considers all of your interests equally. Compounding achieves this goal in a way that pharmacy chain stores cannot. If you have questions, reach out to us at Fusion Rx and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA