While pain is not always a symptom in IC, for the men and women who have it, it can be agonizing, as if razors are cutting our bladders. Yet, for years, patients have been told that it’s all in their heads and that they just need to ignore the pain. Hogwash!! Would you deny a cancer patient pain care?? Of course not. The pain of interstitial cystitis has been rated equivalent to cancer pain and deserves urgent, compassionate treatment.
Each patient faces three challenges:
(1) They must learn to differentiate the type of flare/pain they are having. (i.e. the bladder wall vs the pelvic floor vs. other organs in the pelvis). Bladder wall flares are treated very differently than pelvic floor flares.
(2) They must learn to catch and treat flare/pain as early as possible, ideally with self-help strategies, OTC products and, if needed, more aggressive pain therapies.
(3) They must try to prevent future bladder and pelvic floor flares by following key self-help strategies (i.e. diet modification, etc)
Learn how in the ICN’s Bladder & Pelvic Pain Resource Center!