Interstitial Cystitis (IC)/Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Interstitial cystitis (IC)/painful bladder syndrome (PBS) facts
- Overview of urinary function
- What is interstitial cystitis (IC)/painful bladder syndrome (PBS)?
- What is the cause of interstitial cystitis?
- What are risk factors for interstitial cystitis?
- What are interstitial cystitis symptoms and signs?
- What types of doctors treat interstitial cystitis?
- How is interstitial cystitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for interstitial cystitis?
- Are there home remedies for interstitial cystitis?
- Are lifestyle modifications of value in the management of interstitial cystitis?
- What is the prognosis (outcome) of interstitial cystitis?
- Is it possible to prevent interstitial cystitis?
- Where can people find more information about IC/PBS?
- Find a local Urologist in your town
Interstitial cystitis (IC)/painful bladder syndrome (PBS) facts
- IC/PBS is an inflammatory disease of the bladder that can cause ulceration and bleeding of the bladder's lining and can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder.
- The symptoms of IC/PBS are
- pelvic pain,
- frequent urination, and
- urinary urgency.
- IC/PBS has a variable clinical course, meaning that symptoms can appear and disappear over time. Moreover, the intensity of symptoms varies among individuals and even within the same individual over time.
- The cause of IC/PBS is unknown, but abnormalities in the leakiness or structure of the lining of the bladder are believed to play a role in the development of IC/PBS.
- The diagnosis of IC/PBS is based on the typical symptoms and the elimination of other conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms.
- Treatment for IC/PBS most commonly utilizes heparinoid drugs to help restore integrity of the bladder lining along with other oral medications. Bladder distension and intravesical drug therapy are other treatments that may provide relief in IC/PBS.
Overview of urinary function
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys, a pair of purplish-brown organs, are located below the ribs toward the middle of the back. The kidneys remove water and waste from the blood in the form of urine, keeping a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood. The kidneys also produce erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the formation of red blood cells. Narrow tubes called ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, a triangle-shaped, muscular chamber in the lower abdomen. Like a balloon, the bladder's muscular, elastic walls relax and expand to store urine and contract and flatten when urine is emptied through the urethra. The typical adult bladder can store about 1 ½ cups of urine.
Adults urinate about 1½ quarts of urine each day. The amount of urine varies depending on the fluids and foods a person consumes. The volume formed at night is about half that formed during the day.
Normal urine contains fluids, salts (for example, sodium and potassium) and waste products, but it is free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The wall of the bladder is isolated from urine and toxic substances by a coating on the inside lining of the bladder that discourages bacteria from attaching and growing on the bladder wall.
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