Interstitial cystitis is as rare as it is disabling
Classical bacterial cystitis should not be confused with interstitial cystitis, which is a chronic disease of the bladder. Interstitial cystitis is inflammatory but not infectious. This rare disease is much more disabling than bacterial cystitis and mainly affects women. The symptoms of the disease are the same either urethral and / or bladder pain and frequent urge to urinate. This disease is also called clear urine cystalgia. There is no diagnostic test for interstitial cystitis. To diagnose it, it is necessary to proceed by exclusion because other pathologies can cause the same symptoms (bladder stone, diverticulum of the urethra, carcinoma or prostatitis in men. When all these pathologies are ruled out, we can then evoke interstitial cystitis. At the moment, the causes of interstitial cystitis are not yet known. One of the most accepted theories is the alteration of the bladder wall that would become permeable to toxic substances contained in the urine. Other hypotheses concern allergic, autoimmune, genetic mechanisms or a neurological problem.
Variable from one patient to another, the symptoms of interstitial cystitis are more or less disabling. In the most severe cases, the affected person may have to urinate every 15 minutes, day or night. The need to always have accessible toilets can isolate the patient and significantly degrade his quality of life. This almost constant need to urinate is caused by pains that become unbearable and are relieved by urination. Sexual intercourse is often difficult, if not impossible. The disease progresses by alternating seizures and remissions. Pain is only relieved by taking morphine-type painkillers. Treatments for interstitial cystitis are necessarily empirical and their goal is to reduce the intensity of symptoms and their impact on the quality of life of people with this serious disease.