Author(s): MOLDWIN R
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the urinary bladder that can have a devastating impact on the quality of life - both for the patient and their loved ones. The disease is often debilitating and may cause the patient to experience feelings of helplessness and despair. IC has been an enigma to the medical profession for a long time, the condition is still frequently misdiagnosed as an acute urinary tract infection or cystitis, a disorder that can be treated with antibiotics. Although there is no cure for IC, the past decade has seen remarkable progress in promoting awareness of the disease and in the development of techniques to manage and relieve symptoms. In their odyssey through the medical system, IC patients routinely come in contact with a battery of unfamiliar tests, and their doctors may prescribe a variety of medications or even suggest surgical interventions. This guide is designed to uncomplicate the process and empower readers to make sure that they are getting the most appropriate treatment for their condition. The author shows readers how to make a self-diagnosis, evaluates the latest medications and their side effects, and describes the latest, most up-to-date nonmedical and alternative strategies for managing and reducing symptoms.