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Interstitial Cystitis Signs and Symptoms

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or “non-bacterial cystitis” is known as an immune system breakdown disorder because it typically appears when immunity has been compromised.  In IC, the space between the bladder lining and the bladder muscle is chronically inflamed, leading to pain, sometimes severe. Cracks in the bladder wall allow urine to irritate bladder tissue, leading to a breakdown in the lining of the bladder. We have listed the common signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, supportive natural therapies, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis include:

  • pain in the bladder that intensifies as it fills and then goes away upon voiding, only to immediately return again;
  • breakdown of the bladder tissue, even when infection is not present;
  • extreme frequency of urination, often every few minutes;
  • blood in the urine;
  • digestive problems;
  • low grade fever;
  • recurrent vaginal yeast infections;
  • joint pain and swollen glands;
  • thyroid problems;
  • severe food allergies which trigger bladder pain

Diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis

First, to diagnose interstitial cystitis, other diseases need to be ruled out.  Urine tests are used to test for bacteria and to rule out bacterial cystitis, or common bladder infections.  Then, a urologist may perform a cystoscopy with hydrodistention, under general anesthesia.  The bladder is filled with water and a small fiber-optic bladder is inserted through the urethra.  This allows the urologist to see the lining of the bladder,and to determine if there are any cracks in it.  Tiny cracks and hemorrhages called glomerulations are present 95% of the time in patients with interstitial cystitis.

Books for People With signs and Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis

The Interstitial Cystitis Survival Guide: Your Guide to the Latest Treatment Options and Coping Strategies
Robert M. Moldwin
The Better Bladder Book: A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis and Chronic Pelvic Pain
Wendy Cohan

Along the Healing Path : Recovering from Interstitial Cystitis
Catherine M. Simone
IC NATURALLY: A natural remedy approach to treatment of Interstitial Cystitis
Diana Brady MA CNC

Interstitial Cystitis Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Interstitial Cystitis Association

IC patient network, updates from IC doctors and researchers.

  • Interstitial Cystitis Network

Practical information to improve your bladder discomfort.

  • Intersitial Cystitis Network forum

ICN is the largest IC support group in the world, providing patient educational materials, 24/7 support forum, the latest IC research, physician listings and more.

  • Health Communities . com

Physician-developed and monitored site.

  • Family Doctor . org

Questions and answers on interstitial cystitis.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment and self-care of this painful bladder inflammation.

  • Web MD

Information and resources for interstitial cystitis.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the U.S. Nattional Library of Medicine