Treating Pain Due to Interstitial Cystitis

By Patricia | November 19, 2009

What can we do at home to reduce intestinal cystitis pain?

The condition that you have described is not completely correct in its nomenclature. The correct term is interstitial cystitis. Do not be fooled by the name into thinking that the disease has something to do with a cyst; rather, the condition is rather one of painful urination, urinary incontinence, frequent urination, and even urination at night. This is a very problematic disease for most sufferers and because there is much debate as to the cause of this problem, there are no definitive cures for the problem. The causes for the disease have been isolated to being one of the possible reasons: autoimmunity, allergy, genetics, and neurologic. Neurological reasons are perhaps the strangest reasons at play and it has been noticed that people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD and other anxiety related disorders are prone to getting this disease. There are a number of drugs and treatments that are used for treating interstitial cystitis and this along with the other therapies have to be used in consonance.


The mechanism of the disease starts with the degradation of the urothelium. This is the topmost layer of tissue in the urinary bladder. Some kind of trigger, related to the causes listed above, causes this lining to degrade and the urine to seep into the surrounding tissue. When this happens, inflammation and pain take place, which is the reason for the painful urination as well as vaginal pain in women. Men can even get a radiating pain in the tips of their penises. The predominant theory of genetics being a causative factor has been bolstered by the discovery of certain genes that are responsible for not creating the cells of the bladder – basically, a genetic defect. Another important point to note is that there is a body process called neurogenic inflammation. This is when the nervous system signals the body to start an inflammation, which further causes the urothelium to degrade.

Treating this condition requires the suppression of the immune system response as well as replacing the lost or missing urothelium. Some of the drugs that are used are antihistamines to quell the inflammatory response and the use of antidepressants to quell the neurogenic inflammatory signal. Drugs that help create urothelial lining are sodium hyaluronate (popularly used in cosmetics) and chondroitin (made from animal cartilage). Diets have a role to play in the problem but there is no standard consensus on which set of foods are directly the root of the problem; therefore, any dietary modifications should be made after eliminating foods that do cause an increase in symptoms.

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