Currently, there is no known cause of interstitial cystitis. Due to the high incidence of defects to the epithelium, or protective lining of the bladder, there is reason to consider that defect as a contributing factor. A leak in the bladder’s protective lining allows toxins contained in urine to irritate the bladder wall. In turn, this inflames bladder tissues, causing irritation and pain. Nerve damage may develop when toxins leak.
Additional unproven potential causes show strong evidence as possible contributors to interstitial cystitis.
Autoimmune reaction or disorders
Allergies or an allergic reaction
Biomarkers – A substance called Antiproliferative factor, known as APF, is found only in the urine of individuals diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. APF seems to stop normal cell growth in the bladder lining. Furthermore, it likely inhibits healing of damaged or irritated bladder tissues
There are a handful of risk factors related to a condition that would require a bladder instillation. Women are eight times more likely to develop interstitial cystitis than men. The presence of an autoimmune disorder or chronic pain disorder (such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome) can also contribute to the risk. Interstitial cystitis is rare in patients under 30 years of age.
Symptoms and Complications
Indicators and signs of interstitial cystitis vary widely, even in the same woman, depending on some precipitating factors. As the symptoms overlap with other common bladder and pelvic problems, it is difficult to determine the exact indicators for interstitial cystitis. Symptpoms can include:
Burning and stinging pain when urinating
Frequency and urgency of urination
Pressure and fullness in the abdomen and bladder
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection without any infection present
Pain occurring during sex
Using Bladder Instillations for Bladder Conditions
A series of non-invasive treatments that address lifestyle and diet are the first course of treatments recommended. Currently, the best available treatment is the use of bladder instillation medicine. Inserted into the bladder by a small catheter, the drug combination is held in the woman’s bladder for about 15 minutes. It leaves the body upon urination after that 15-minute period. Side effects primarily consist of pain, discomfort, or irritation resulting from catheterization frequency, but these side effects are temporary.