The shorter answer is: It’s like a urinary tract infection (UTI) on steroids! BUT IT IS NOT, LET ME REPEAT NOT A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) INFECTION. A better title now being used is “Painful Bladder Syndrome”. You see IC is much worse than a UTI, because with a UTI one can be treated with a short course (usually) of antibiotics and the infection goes away. But IC does not go away. Symptoms include all of the usual UTI ones but even worse is that many can suffer a feeling that there are razors and needles in their urethra and these tortuous sensations can last for days, weeks, months or decades. These episodes are called “flares”. In my case I was absolutely incapacitated and suffered extreme pain for about six weeks straight. Finally out of desperation, I took some pain medication. NOTHING, however, completely takes away the pain. You can always feel it on some level and to varying degrees. I did not stay on the pain medication for long because of the awful side effects, therefore I use it sparingly, but I’m thankful it’s a resource for me.
Once I realized that I might be one of the unfortunate ones to carry this disease for life, I began (like all IC suffers) reading, reading and re-reading EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. I came to learn that one could lessen the pain with a complete dietary change. This meant that the most common trigger foods were immediately taken out of my diet. They are too numerous to mention so I have provided this link.
However I got to thinking that if food “triggers” IC and/or makes it worse, then perhaps the proper foods could begin to heal me. What I’m doing now is educating myself on “foods, teas and supplements that heal”. I am a Christ Follower, so in additional to learning about food, I am, of course, spending lots of time with the LORD in prayer and meditation which is very comforting and healing.
You should know that mainstream medicine says that there is no cure for IC. However if you research across the web you can find many examples of women who have healed or at the very least received great relief with diet and lifestyle changes (stress) and have remained pain free for years Therefore, (please Lord) I pray that I won’t have to be one of those women who suffer for decades, and/or have to go through painful procedures in an effort to manage this chronic condition.
Most people have never heard of Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Since this is a rare disease (and widely misunderstood) most urologists have less than a handful of patients whom they treat for this condition. Therefore, they refer them out to a specialist in this field of medicine.
Interstitial Cystitis specialists are hard to find. In this post I point you to a website which will explain this rare disease and an expert New York Doctor, Dr. Robert Moldwin, who specializes in Interstitial Cystitis. Dr. Moldwin is a caring and competent doctor and you can be sure you are being seen by a doctor with extensive knowledge in this field.