Interstitial cystitis: beyond inflammation in the bladder

What is IC?

Interstitial cystitis, also known as the bladder pain syndrome, is commonly thought as infection and inflammation reactions in the bladder wall. It is considered as inconvenient to diagnose because of the negative urinalysis findings and necessary cystoscopic biopsy. It is also regarded as difficult to treat due to the lingering symptoms even with antibiotics that is based on culture and sensitivity.

Why IC is difficult?

Interstitial cystitis is difficult to diagnose and treat when the biopsy result is negative, urologist still has to make the diagnosis of suspected interstitial cystitis. It is largely due to the urinary irritating symptoms of potential urinary tract infection. And even more complicated, when the diagnosis is unclear, treatment becomes experimental.

What can integrative medicine has to offer

As a urologist and scientist, I name my practice as naturopathic urology. When allopathic medicine doesn’t work well in urology, alternative medicine can offer a lot of help for the patients. This statement is based on my insight of the urogenital pathophysiology and clinical consciousness.

When interstitial cystitis is called another name “bladder pain syndrome”, it shows the physician’s inability. “syndrome” means the doctors don’t know where exactly the problem is. And “bladder pain” is a even more vague expression of the condition.

The bladder is held up by a bowl of pelvic muscles. Being in the middle of the most sensitive area, the “bladder pain” can be easily felt when anything around it becomes irritated. The pain manifest as bothering symptoms with dyspareunia, dull/burning/sharp pain, vulvar pain and pain with tampon insertion etc. As the surgeon that opened and closed the area, I suggest that any muscle tension in the area also lead to this type of pain. Physical therapy is able to relax the pelvic muscles. When necessary, diet and homeopathy is involved in the therapeutic plan. And most importantly, there is hormonal imbalance especially the lowered testosterone in those older and younger females who are menopausal or taking OCPs, respectively. (Copyright ©