Interstitial cystitis vs bacterial cystitis

The common cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder caused most often by the E-coli bacteria and can be treated in severe cases with antibiotics.  Cystitis is a chronic disease.  It lasts over time.  Although the two diseases have many symptoms in common, there should be no mixing up because the severity of interstitial cystitis is much higher than that of bacterial cystitis with known causes and treatments.  We do not yet know the causes of interstitial cystitis which has long been regarded as psychogenic or even hysterical.

Interstitial cystitis is inflammatory but non-infectious.  Although the disease symptoms are similar, the latter is far more disabling. In the most severe cases, the person may be taken to urinate every 15 minutes day and night.  This almost constant need is caused by the pain becoming unbearable and the person is relieved by urinating.  Sex in turn becomes difficult if not impossible.  The disease is not constant and evolves through alternating attack and remission.

There is no diagnostic test for interstitial cystitis.  To diagnose it, doctor or health professional goes by elimination to ensure that the pain is not caused by other pathologies such a bladder stone.  When all pathologies providing the same symptoms are discarded, doctors evoke interstitial cystitis.  The most accepted theory is the alteration of the bladder wall that would become permeable to toxic substances in the urine.  Other theories lean more on neurological, allergic or genetic, but nothing is clearly demonstrated.   Many researchers believe that interstitial cystitis would combine several diseases whose causes are multiple.

Treatments against interstitial cystitis are experimental.  Their goal is to reduce the intensity of symptoms and impact on quality of life of people with this serious disease.  If anyone can be affected, 90% of patients with interstitial cystitis are women.  The disease occurs on average between 30 and 40 years, and 25% of patients are under 30 years.  The disease seems more important in Western countries and the Nordic countries. In the US, one in 1500 would be reached.  It is important to remember that every patient is different.  Only the doctor or healthcare professional can give individualized and tailored information.

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