What is interstitial cystitis (IC)?
Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic condition which causes pain and pressure in the bladder. It is unknown exactly what causes IC, but there are factors which are believed to damage the lining of the bladder, eventually contributing to the condition, such as:
- Trauma to the bladder
- Dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscle
- Autoimmune disorder
- Bacterial infections
- Trauma to the spinal cord
Researchers believe that damage to the inside wall of the bladder allows particles in the urine to leak into the bladder lining, causing a variety of responses that can cause problems.
Symptoms of IC can vary greatly over time and from person to person. Often sufferers notice symptoms flaring after certain triggers, such as stress, exercise, sexual activity, menstruation or sitting for long periods of time.
Common symptoms include:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Urgent need to urinate
- Pain in the pelvis or between the vagina or scrotum and the anus (perineum)
- Frequent, urination, in small amounts, throughout the day and night (up to 60 times daily)
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Discomfort while the bladder fills
It is unknown exactly what causes IC but researchers believe that damage to the lining of the bladder may contribute to the condition. When the bladder is damaged from things like trauma, an autoimmune disorder, a bacterial infection or trauma to the spinal cord, particles from the urine are able to leak into the bladder lining, causing a variety of problems.
Traditional Western medicine currently has no cure for IC. It is commonly treated using medication to ease the individual symptoms. Pain medication is prescribed for pain and immunosuppressant medication is given to suppress the immune response. This does nothing to cure the condition and can cause a host of other problems resulting from side effects and suppressing the immune system.
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness we treat IC naturally and holistically, looking at all possible triggers and contributing factors. In order to determine the proper course of treatment, we first employ a very thorough series of lab tests, including blood, urine and allergies (which are a little known trigger in the development of IC). We will look for candida overgrowth and pathogens and will take into consideration all facets of the patient’s lifestyle and nutritional status. Once the actual cause of the condition is determined, we are then able to treat much more effectively than simply blocking the symptoms. We treat at the source of the imbalance that is causing the symptoms.
Oftentimes we find that the actual problem is orthopedic and are able to treat the condition using safe and natural methods such as prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP), and stem cell therapy. If the problem is determined to be inside the bladder, we can also perform natural bladder installations. This involves instilling homeopathic and natural agents directly into the bladder, allowing the inside wall of the bladder to be healed naturally and without side effects.
If it is determined that the imbalance is caused by an autoimmune condition, we will treat the immune system. Once the proper immune response is re-established, the bladder condition will then heal on its own, as the immune system will no longer be attacking it.
At the Magaziner Center, we do more than prescribe medication that will block the symptoms of illness. Medications generally work by suppressing, blocking or disabling normal reactions in the body. A typical example would be calcium channel blockers or ACE inhibitors that are so often used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure.
Conversely, our natural therapies generally work by facilitating, enabling, and assisting normal physiologic reactions to occur. We create a unique and personalized treatment plan for every patient, based on their individual triggers, contributing factors, nutritional status, lifestyle, lab work results, and more. As a result, our patients experience excellent clinical outcomes and fewer side effects. In short, our treatments work in concert with the body rather than attempting to battle it. Just think of us as an ally to your body.
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