Transcript of Video
Let’s talk for a minute about some of the questions that have been proposed about interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis, which I abbreviate and call IC, is a condition of the very innermost layer of the bladder. It’s a mucousy layer, kind of a snotty layer that protects the inner membranes of the bladder. In the United States, there are four to 12 million people with interstitial cystitis. Of those statistics, three to 8 million of those are females, and one to 4 million of those are males. So it is not just a female disease.
If you think you have interstitial cystitis, please come in and speak with us. It’s very important that we diagnose this disease process and start treatment as early as possible, because the other statistic that’s rather disturbing is that there is a higher incidence of potential suicide because it causes depression and anxiety when you’re dealing with a chronic pain condition that’s left untreated. There is not a standard one-size-fits-all diet for interstitial cystitis. There are certainly plenty of acidic foods, and we have the list for you if you’d like to access it, that can aggravate the bladder. But individually, I always like to say you have to be your own private investigator and determine for yourself what you can and can’t eat or drink. There are some things that you may find you can have a small amount of and not have any ill effects. And there are some things that you may find you have to avoid forever, but you will have to determine for yourself what you can and can’t drink.
The statistics lately have shown that in Texas there are between 320,000 and 975,000 people who have interstitial cystitis, and that’s just Texas statistics. Of the patients that have interstitial cystitis, five to 10% of those patients have what we call Hunner’s ulcers. Those are seen by the physician when they do a cystoscopy and they look up in the bladder, and they’re basically sores in your bladder, but only five to 10% of patients have those. That does not mean if you do not have Hunner’s ulcers you don’t have IC, you can certainly have interstitial cystitis and not have Hunner’s ulcers. Interstitial cystitis presents itself with patients as if they had a urinary tract infection 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So patients that have this tend to feel like they have an infection all the time. Urinary frequency, urgency, pressure, burning, some pain with intercourse, some have pain after intercourse, some have chronic pelvic pain. Men have been diagnosed with chronic prostatitis.
So there are many ways that it presents itself. I think it’s very important if you think that you have interstitial cystitis, or you’ve actually been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, that you understand that these symptoms are not all in your head. IC is not a psychiatric diagnosis. The problem with IC is that it is not an easy thing to diagnose, and it’s not an easy thing to treat. You can’t use what I call a cookie-cutter approach to diagnosing or prescribing for patients. Since it is not easy to diagnose and really not easy to treat, there are providers that feel like there’s a major psychological component to this disease process.
My feeling about it, and this is a personal opinion, is I’ve never met an interstitial cystitis patient that wasn’t either wound a little too tight or lived with someone who was wound a little too tight. What I mean by that is very respectfully, IC patients tend to be more intense personalities, or they live with an intense personality. That is not to say that this is a psychiatric problem. It is not, but I will assure you that how you think about it, how you feel about it, how you deal with it will make a difference in whether it runs your life or you control your symptoms.