Interstitial Cystitis Expert Forum
interstitial cystitis and irritable bladder
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Questions in the Interstitial Cystitis. forum are answered by Dr. David A. Burks, MD from Henry Ford Health Systems.

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interstitial cystitis and irritable bladder

Seven years ago I had a normal bout of cystitis due to cold weather and a draught - this always brings it on for me if I'm not well wrapped up. Then a week later I got a bladder full of different sensations: pressure, irritation- like it was all shrivelled up, the need to urinate thimblefuls, like I had a cannonball in there, a sensation of grittiness. This lasted for a year. I had an internal exam of the bladder at the time which looked fine. Over the course of the year I avoided acidic food and drink and took various herbs known to soothe the bladder which slowly seemed to get rid of it. Since then I just seem to get an overactive/irritated bladder after a glass of red wine or my bladder feels irritated if I drink a ginger-based smoothie or something else like that. Just recently those cannonball feelings have resurfaced out of nowhere - I don't know if I've got interstitial cystitis, an irritated bladder or an overactive bladder - is there any difference between those conditions? And why should it creep back? And what can I do to prevent any more flare-ups?  
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Hi,  Overactive bladder and Interstitial Cystitis (IC) are two common disorders in the family of hypersensitivity disorders of the bladder.  Both can cause urinary urgency and frequency.  Overactive bladder is not asssociated with bladder pain, however IC is usually associated with pain, pressure or discomfort in the bladder, usually worse with a full bladder.  Your symptoms of "pressure and irritation"  make IC more likely.  IC also shows a distinct hypersensitivity to foods and fluids that irritate the bladder like caffeine, alcohol, and acidic fruits and beverages.  Symptoms of IC can flare up, and resolve spontaneously.  If you have a flare up of symptoms, and a urine culture is negative for infection, you may have IC.  You need to see a Urologist or Gynecologist who specializes in pelvic pain for a correct diagnosis and treatment.  Go to the website of the Interstitial Cystitis Association:  "ichelp.org"   for more info.  Good Luck
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