Get The Facts About Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
  Patients with Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome, suffer from severe pain, urinary urgency and frequency, and painful intercourse. Because these symptoms are similar to other conditions, patients are often misdiagnosed and told they have chronic urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney stones, bladder cancer, overactive bladder (OAB), or gynecologic diseases like endometriosis.
While the exact cause of IC is unknown, it is thought to arise from an abnormal bladder lining that allows acid in urine to irritate the bladder. IC was thought to be a relatively rare condition, but a recent study by the Rand Corporation showed that as many as 7.9 million women over the age of 18 may have this problem.  
Making A Diagnosis
While men can have IC, almost 90% of all patients with this painful, chronic condition are female. If you have patients who experience IC symptoms and have not responded to treatments for chronic UTI, OAB, or endometriosis, they should be referred to a urologist for further evaluation. Urinalysis, urine culture and potassium sensitivity tests (PST) can help rule out other conditions. There is not a single test that can confirm IC, but a brief questionnaire and other simple tests can help determine if a patient has this painful condition and allow them to receive the proper treatment.  
Effective Treatment
While there is not one specific cure for IC, there are many helpful treatments available locally at Alliance Urology Specialists, including bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, stress reduction, physical therapy, and bladder instillation treatments. Dietary changes can also make a difference. Patients find that certain
foods can trigger problems such as:
Carbonated beverages, caffeinated liquids, and alcohol
Citrus products and food with high concentrations of vitamin C
Products that contain artificial sweeteners
Tomatoes, spicy foods, and chocolate

There is currently one FDA-approved oral medication, Elmiron, for IC. If all conservative approaches fail to provide relief, surgery is also an option.
Alliance Urology Specialists offers focused care from a dedicated team that includes respected pelvic pain specialists, urinary physical therapists, continence nurse specialists, and an innovative research department which is involved in ongoing clinical trials.
For additional information about IC, visit and To schedule an appointment at Alliance Urology Specialists call 336-274-1114.

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