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How can interstitial cystitis (IC) be treated?

Q: I am a 38 years old man having chronic pelvic pain for the last seven years. It was misdiagnosed as non-specific prostatitis earlier on cystoscopy but following the second cystoscopy, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC) which showed glomerulations in the bladder when distended. My urination frequency has increased to almost once every hour even though the pelvic pain has subsided. The doctor prescribed Elmiron. Now I am having cramping and dryness of foot, which eases after urination. Is there any connection between IC and the foot?

A:Pelvic pain is a symptom, and not a diagnosis. Nonspecific prostatitis has in fact been rechristened as CPPS (Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome) and remains the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain in males. I am not surprised that a label of Interstitial Cystitis (IC) was not put on you, as the disease is prevalent in female Caucasian population. Glomerulation on bladder distension may occur in other form of cystitis as well, tubercular cystitis being one of the common cause in our country. Cystoscopic findings, thus, do not confirm or exclude a diagnosis of IC on the basis of "glomerulations" alone. Histopathology of the biopsy from the bladder helps exclude other causes, and helps make diagnosis of IC if bladder wall shows inflammation with presence of Mast Cells. Symptoms of IC may be treated with oral medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-allergics, anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants. Relief with bladder distension therapy may also last for months and can be repeated as necessary. Intravesical instillation of DMSO, heparin, soda-bi-carb and steroids too may be useful. Thus, there is a host of available methods to treat symptoms of IC.


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