Is Interstitial Cystitis an Autoimmune Disease? | dtrhealth (2022)

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition that affects the bladder. It is characterized by symptoms of pain, pressure, and discomfort in your bladder, as well as urinary frequency and urgency. Interstitial cystitis can occur at any age, though it most often affects women between the ages of 20-and 50 years old.

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown. however, it is believed to be caused by inflammation of the bladder wall. The symptoms are often worse when you urinate or have an urge to urinate, but some people with IC may experience symptoms even when they aren’t urinating.

There is no cure for interstitial cystitis, however, there are treatments available that can help ease symptoms and improve the quality of life for those who suffer from this condition.

RELATED: What is emphysematous cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms

In This Article

(Video) Understanding Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

Some people may experience only mild discomfort, while others experience severe pain or debilitating symptoms that interfere with their daily lives.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Pain in your pelvic region (typically a constant dull ache)
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Frequent urination (up to 60 times per day)
  • Urge to urinate immediately after beginning to urinate

RELATED:Stages of interstitial cystitis: Symptoms, Treatment

What aggravates interstitial cystitis?

If you have interstitial cystitis, you may be able to manage your symptoms by identifying and limiting triggers.

Common aggravating factors for IC include:

  • Alcohol
  • Amines (found in foods such as red wine, fish, cheese, and chocolate)
  • Aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Caffeine, such as in coffee and tea
  • Dairy products or calcium supplements
  • Foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, and Swiss chard
  • Foods that contain histamines, such as strawberries, tomatoes, and pineapple

Does interstitial cystitis cause back pain?

Interstitial cystitis causes back pain in some people with the condition, but it doesn’t occur every time. In some cases, the back pain is mild and only occurs during urination or bowel movements.

In other cases, the pain is severe enough to interfere with daily activities such as sitting at work or driving a car.

(Video) #22982 The severity of bladder pain syndrome in patients with autoimmune disease

Interstitial cystitis can also cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, vulva (the external female genitalia), and perineum (the area between the vagina and anus).

Why is interstitial cystitis worse at night?

One theory is that when we’re lying down at night, it can cause our bladders to become compressed against the muscles of our pelvic floor. This can create more pressure on an already inflamed bladder and make your symptoms worse.

Another theory is that the pain receptors in the bladder are more sensitive at night because of the excretion of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. This hormone also acts as an antioxidant, which may cause increased inflammation in the bladder of IC patients by limiting blood supply to the bladder and increasing swelling.

is interstitial cystitis an autoimmune disease?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the bladder. It’s not clear what causes interstitial cystitis, but it may be linked to an immune response.

There are several theories about this immune response. The first is that the body’s own immune system attacks the bladder. This type of reaction is known as “autoimmune.”

Another theory suggests that bacteria or viruses may trigger an immune response in people who have a genetic predisposition to interstitial cystitis. This type of reaction is called “infectious.”

A third theory suggests that stress can lead to an autoimmune reaction in people who are genetically predisposed to interstitial cystitis.

However, Interstitial cystitis is not considered an autoimmune disease.

(Video) Another autoimmune healing report - interstitial cystitis

READ THIS:What is vulvovaginal atrophy? Symptoms, and Treatment.

Does vitamin C help or cause interstitial cystitis?

There isn’t enough evidence to prove that taking vitamin C supplements will help relieve bladder pain in people with interstitial cystitis.

However, some research shows that taking vitamin C may worsen symptoms of IC and result in increased bladder pain.

Can cystitis affect the bowel?

Yes. Cystitis may cause constipation in some cases. The bladder and bowel are both parts of the same system, so if one is affected, that could throw off the other.

In particular, cystitis can cause muscles in the pelvic floor to spasm, which can affect the bowels. It may also lead to back pain that quite literally puts a cramp in your style—this can lead to you being less active than you normally would be, which is another common cause of constipation.

Can interstitial cystitis get worse over time?

Interstitial cystitis can get worse over time. But the good news is that it doesn’t usually get worse without treatment.

For example, if you have interstitial cystitis and you don’t treat it, it’s unlikely that your symptoms will get worse on their own. But if you don’t treat interstitial cystitis, it may last longer than necessary or become more severe than necessary.

If you do get treatment, there’s a good chance that your symptoms will improve and go away completely within six months to two years.

(Video) #258 Autoimmunity to urothelial antigen causes bladder inflammation, pelvic pain and voiding dys...

What does interstitial cystitis feel like?

If you know someone who has IC, here are some things to look out for that could help you understand how they’re feeling:

People with IC have symptoms that come and go, including:

  • An urgent need to urinate
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvic area

READ THIS:Can vulvodynia feel like a UTI and more

Which antihistamine is best for interstitial cystitis?

If you’re suffering from interstitial cystitis and are looking for a possible antihistamine treatment, you’ll need an antihistamine that targets the histamine H1 receptors. These include:

  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Cetirizine

I would avoid diphenhydramine, which is found in Benadryl. While it is an antihistamine, it has anticholinergic side effects that may not be good for IC sufferers. It can also make you drowsy.

If you have an allergy to any medication you should consult your doctor before taking an antihistamine.

What Foods Should You Avoid on an IC Diet?

There are certain foods that can aggravate the symptoms of interstitial cystitis (IC). These include:

  • Sugar-free candies or sweeteners: Sugary foods can irritate the bladder wall, causing more inflammation and pain. Sugar-free candies or sweeteners may have artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, which may aggravate IC symptoms even further.
  • Spicy foods: Spicy foods are another common trigger for people with IC because they can cause irritation inside the bladder. They also increase inflammation and pain. Tomatoes and tomato-based products, such as salsa and tomato sauce, have been linked to worsening symptoms in some people.
  • Avoid acidic foods: These include lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, tomatoes, vinegar-based salad dressings, pickles, and ketchup—all known triggers for IC symptoms.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks: Alcoholic drinks and caffeinated coffee or tea can also trigger symptoms in IC patients.
  • Eat plenty of fiber: Fiber helps keep your digestive system moving smoothly and gives your body the energy it needs to function. Eating dietary fiber is also associated with a lower risk of developing bladder symptoms. Add plenty of fruits like apples and bananas, vegetables like broccoli and carrots, and beans like black.
  • Eat a light snack before bed instead of eating a large meal. This can help prevent heartburn, which is more common during the night and can make IC symptoms worse for some people.
  • Take medications during the day instead of at night so that they do not interfere with your sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark, as this will help you fall asleep more quickly and easily.

RELATED:5 Diet for Interstitial Cystitis: What to Eat and Avoid?

(Video) What is Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome?

When should you go to the doctor with interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis isn’t easy to diagnose, and there’s no cure. But there are treatments that can ease your symptoms.

If you have interstitial cystitis, you may want to seek treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, the symptoms may go away on their own within a few weeks or months of starting treatment. But in others, they can last for years and possibly get worse over time.

If your symptoms don’t improve after six months of self-care measures, see your doctor again to discuss other options.


Is Interstitial Cystitis an Autoimmune Disease? | dtrhealth? ›

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is an autoimmune related condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently. It is far more common in women than in men.

What autoimmune diseases are linked to IC? ›

Clinical associations have been found between IC and allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and generalized autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Sjögren's syndrome (SS) (Table 1).

What type of disease is interstitial cystitis? ›

Interstitial cystitis (in-tur-STISH-ul sis-TIE-tis) is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe pain. The condition is a part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.

Is interstitial cystitis an inflammatory disease? ›

Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent pain, discomfort, or tenderness in the urinary bladder and pelvic region and can be accompanied by various urinary symptoms, such as urinary frequency, persistent urge to void, and nocturia.

What autoimmune diseases cause bladder problems? ›

If you have Sjogren's syndrome, you are also more likely to have a condition called painful bladder syndrome, or interstitial cystitis. This condition causes signs and symptoms similar to those of a urinary tract infection — urinary frequency, urgency and pain — without evidence of infection.

Does interstitial cystitis make me immunocompromised? ›

There are no data to suggest that IC/BPS patients are immunosuppressed. Thus, having IC/BPS alone does not make you more susceptible to the virus.

Is interstitial cystitis a disability? ›

In 2002 the Social Security's Policy Interpretation Ruling on interstitial cystitis (IC), recognized IC as a condition that can be a basis for a disability finding, and it guides the agency's evaluation of IC claims.

What is end stage interstitial cystitis? ›

End-stage interstitial cystitis is defined as a hard bladder that triggers intense pain and possesses very low bladder capacity. Many cases of end-stage interstitial cystitis involve Hunner's ulcers. Also known as “end-stage IC”, only about 5% of IC patients develop this severe condition.

Is interstitial cystitis a serious disease? ›

IC is a chronic disease. Patients may find some comfort in the fact that it is not life-threatening and it does not lead to cancer. However, because the symptoms are always present, patients need to develop coping skills to deal with them.

What is the best medication for interstitial cystitis? ›

Antihistamines, such as loratadine (Claritin, others), which may reduce urinary urgency and frequency and relieve other symptoms. Pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron), which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for treating interstitial cystitis.

Are there stages of interstitial cystitis? ›

Excessive frequency of urination, urinary urgency, and urethra, bladder or pelvic pain are common symptoms. Treatment is divided into five phases, ranging from lifestyle changes to injections to surgery.

What foods trigger interstitial cystitis? ›

Coffee, soda, alcohol, tomatoes, hot and spicy foods, chocolate, caffeinated beverages, citrus juices and drinks, MSG, and high-acid foods can trigger IC symptoms or make them worse.

What makes interstitial cystitis worse? ›

Coffee, soda, caffeinated beverages, tomatoes, spicy foods, high-acid foods, citrus, and MSG can all trigger IC symptoms. If you have a flare, journal what you ate prior to it.

What mimics interstitial cystitis? ›

Similar to IC, overactive bladder is a condition that results in the sudden need to urinate (urgency). OAB is caused by a sudden involuntary contraction of the detrusor, a muscle in your bladder wall which is controlled by the nervous system.

How do they test for interstitial cystitis? ›

Doctors may use cystoscopy to look inside the urethra and bladder. Doctors use a cystoscope, a tubelike instrument, to look for bladder ulcers, cancer, swelling, redness, and signs of infection. A doctor may perform a cystoscopy to diagnose interstitial cystitis (IC).

Is interstitial cystitis related to lupus? ›

In lupus development, interstitial cystitis may also occur [1–4]. Lupus cystitis is a rare complication of SLE but may lead to permanent bladder dysfunction, and its complications may include irreversible impairment of renal function [7].

Does interstitial cystitis cause extreme fatigue? ›

A small subset of interstitial cystitis (IC) patients also have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Though most at-risk group for CFS appears to be women, CFS strikes people in every age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic group. As the name “chronic fatigue syndrome” suggests, this illness is accompanied by fatigue.

Does interstitial cystitis cause exhaustion? ›

Many PBS/IC patients have a major problem with tiredness. This tiredness can take two quite different forms. It may be the result of constantly waking throughout the night to make those frequent excursions to the bathroom. This broken pattern of sleep makes you exhausted, irritable and depressed.

Can lupus cause interstitial cystitis? ›

In lupus development, interstitial cystitis may also occur [1–4]. Lupus cystitis is a rare complication of SLE but may lead to permanent bladder dysfunction, and its complications may include irreversible impairment of renal function [7].

Can interstitial cystitis cause positive ANA? ›

Of 96 interstitial cystitis patients 35 (36%) were positive for antinuclear antibodies at titers of 1/40 or greater.

Can rheumatoid arthritis cause interstitial cystitis? ›

IC tends to develop in people with a number of other conditions including endometriosis, hay fever and asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Can interstitial cystitis cause fibromyalgia? ›

A subset of interstitial cystitis (IC) patients also have fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic pain disorder with a multitude of symptoms. Although 80 to 90 percent of those affected are women, men and children can have fibromylagia, too.

Arlene B. Donar, ND Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic, debilitating, multifactorial syndrome characterized by excessive urgency and frequency of urination, suprapubic pain, dyspareunia and pelvic pain along with negative urine cultures. The course of the disease is usually marked by flare-ups and remissions. IC generally persists throughout the patient’s life. On clinical evaluation, patients […]

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic, debilitating, multifactorial syndrome characterized by excessive urgency and frequency of urination, suprapubic pain, dyspareunia and pelvic pain along with negative urine cultures.. On clinical evaluation, patients presenting with IC should have no other definable pathology such as urinary infections, carcinoma or radiation-induced cystitis (Metts, 2001).. This symptom complex has also been referred to as painful bladder syndrome, leaky bladder syndrome and irritative bladder syndrome (Marshall, 2003).. Mastocytosis has been reported in the bladders of 30%-65% of patients with IC.. Further evidence of mast cell involvement comes from increased levels of histamine in bladder wall epithelium in IC patients (Marshall, 2003).. IC has the classic picture of autoimmune disease: symptom chronicity with exacerbations and remissions, organ-specific and non-organ-specific mononuclear cell infiltrates, the lack of a clearly defined pathogen and response to steroids or other immunosuppressants (Metts, 2001).. IC was first reported in 1915 when GL Hunner described two patients with “a rare type of bladder ulcer in women.” Researcher G.M.. Fister, MD was among the first to demonstrate a link between autoimmune disease and IC in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).. He suggested that patients with IC shared a clinical picture with autoimmune connective tissue disease (Fister, 1938).. In a separate 1972 study by Jokinen et al., 31 of 33 (94%) patients with IC were found to have tissue autoantibodies against both non-organ-specific and organ-specific antigens.. On the basis of their findings, they stated that it seems probable that IC “belongs to the group of autoimmune diseases that lies between organ-specific and non-organ-specific systemic diseases.. There was evidence of HLA class I inappropriate hyperexpression in the urothelial cells; however, the most striking difference between the bladder tissue of IC patients and the normal control group was that the expression of HLA-DR molecules in the urothelium cells was positive for all three antibodies used in the study.. This class II expression along with class I hyperexpression in the urothelial cells allows them to activate CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, which appear to be the main effector in the mechanism in destruction of the urothelial cells in IC (Christmas and Bottazzo, 1992).. Between 53%-63% of IC patients can identify foods that exacerbate symptoms or cause a flare-up.

Find out if you can get Social Security Disability benefits based on interstitial cystitis.

The pain and changes in. urination caused by IC can sometimes be disabling.. Specific symptoms that affect those with IC include pain in the. pelvis, pain during sex, discomfort during urination, an increased urge. to urinate, and more frequent urination.. The long-term effects of interstitial cystitis can include a. reduction in your bladder's ability to hold urine, sleep disturbances. due to the frequent need to urinate, depression, anxiety, chronic. pain , and negative effects on personal relationships.. To prove the above symptoms, various tests can be used, including. urinalysis, urine culture, urine cytology, cystoscopy, and biopsy of the. bladder wall.. Interstitial cystitis does not have a specific disability listing in. Social Security's listing of impairments (the "blue book").. Depression , which is covered under Listing 12.04,. can be caused by IC or can make symptoms of IC worse.. Your. medical condition can equal a listing if it is as severe as and lasts. the same amount of time as any listed impairment.. Social Security will. look at the listings that are most closely related to your impairments. when determining "medical equivalence" to another listing.. If your IC causes severe limitations, but Social Security finds it. doesn't meet or equal a listing and your medical condition isn't. equivalent in severity to a listing, you can still receive disability. benefits if you can show that interstitial cystitis prevents you from. doing any type of work.. Social Security will assess your physical limitations, such as being. unable to sit for long periods of time without an increase in symptoms,. which can make a job behind a desk very difficult.. Pain from IC can also. make completing physical tasks such as lifting or carrying difficult.. Side effects from medications, including fatigue and dizziness, may. also impact your ability to perform physically at work.. Mental limitations that Social Security will assess include your. ability to complete tasks, to get along with co-workers, and to respond. properly to supervision and work stresses.. For those with IC, frequent. urination can lead to decreased ability to sleep and increased. interruptions through out the day, both of which can make the ability to. concentrate on and complete tasks more difficult.

The stages range from mild to very severe, with each stage affecting your daily routine differently.

Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS), is a type of chronic pain that affects the bladder.. Interstitial cystitis is a condition that usually lasts over six weeks and causes pain or pressure in the bladder or pelvic area.. Painful symptoms can include sharp pain in the lower abdomen, frequent spasms of the bladder wall, feelings of pressure on the bladder, and pain in the lower back or during intercourse.. Nerves in the bladder become hypersensitive, leading to severe pain. Bladder distention : During this test, your doctor fills the bladder with water to stretch it, which can relieve pressure in the bladder and reduce bladder contractions.. Cystometry : This test measures how much pressure is within the bladder by measuring pressure changes as fluid enters and fills the bladder.. Bladder instillation treatments are a popular option in which medication is placed directly into the bladder through a catheter to reduce inflammation.. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, pain during urination, or increased urgency and frequency, it’s time to see a doctor.. Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a condition that makes your bladder hurt.

Bladder pain and urinary frequency flare with certain triggers if you have this condition. Learn about treatments and self-care.

Diagnosis of interstitial cystitis might include:. Urine test.. During sacral nerve stimulation, a surgically implanted device delivers electrical impulses to the nerves that regulate bladder activity (sacral nerves).. Stimulating these nerves may reduce urinary urgency associated with interstitial cystitis.. This procedure doesn't manage pain from interstitial cystitis, but may help to relieve some symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency.. The procedure doesn't eliminate pain and some people need to empty their bladders with a catheter many times a day.. Painful bladder syndrome.

Find out about bladder pain syndrome (BPS), also called interstitial cystitis, where you have pelvic pain and problems peeing.

Bladder pain syndrome is a poorly understood condition where you have pelvic pain and problems peeing.. It's sometimes called interstitial cystitis (IC) or painful bladder syndrome (PBS).. intense pelvic pain (felt over your lower tummy) sudden strong urges to pee needing to pee more often than usual pain in your lower tummy when your bladder is filling up, which is relieved when you pee waking up several times during the night to pee. damage to the bladder lining, which may mean pee can irritate the bladder and surrounding nerves a problem with the pelvic floor muscles used to control peeing your immune system causing an inflammatory reaction. Some people who have been diagnosed with BPS (interstitial cystitis), may have a long-term (chronic) urinary infection (UTI) in the bladder, which has not been picked up by current urine tests.. BPS (interstitial cystitis) can have similar symptoms to long-term or frequent UTIs, so the GP may give you a urine test to check for a UTI.. cystoscopy – a procedure to look inside your bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope urine tests ultrasound , MRI scan or CT scan of the urinary tract and sometimes of the kidneys too urodynamics – a range of tests to check the function of your bladder and urethra vaginal swabs. over-the-counter painkillers – such as paracetamol and ibuprofen medicines for nerve pain – such as amitriptyline , gabapentin and pregabalin tolterodine , solifenacin or mirabegron – these can reduce the urgency to pee a prescription medicine that may help by blocking the effect of a substance called histamine in the bladder pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron) – this may reduce pain (this can only be prescribed by a specialist as it's only suitable for some people). lignocaine - a local anaesthetic that numbs the bladder, a mixture of compounds including steroids, sodium bicarbonate and heparin are used hyaluronic acid or chondroitin sulphate – this may help restore the bladder lining antibiotics alone or combined with a local anaesthetic and steroid – this can calm inflammation and reduce infection. acupuncture – may help with pain relief talking therapies and counselling – to help you cope with your symptoms and their impact on your life transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – where a small battery-operated device is used to relieve pain by sending electrical impulses into your body pain management – ask the GP to refer you to a pain specialist. cauterisation – ulcers inside the bladder are sealed using an electrical current or laser bladder distension – the bladder is stretched with fluid, which can aid diagnosis and may temporarily relieve symptoms botulinum toxin injections (such as Botox) – injected directly into your bladder wall to temporarily relieve symptoms of frequent peeing and pain.. Information: Bladder Health UK has information and forums on BPS (interstitial cystitis) as well as other bladder conditions

Clitoris pain can be caused by many things. Learn more about how it's diagnosed, the treatment options available, and more.

Clitoris pain, medically known as clitorodynia, is a painful sensation you feel on your clitoris.. Clitoris pain is not the same thing as clitoris sensitivity.. Clitoris pain is a medical condition or injury.. When clitoris pain is caused by an infection in another body system or an underlying condition, it’s common to also experience symptoms such as:. Pain in your vulvar area, including clitoris pain, can sometimes be a symptom of vaginal cancer.


1. What is Interstitial Cystitis (IC)?
(Katherine Klos, MD)
2. What is Interstitial Cystitis? With Elisabeth Yaotani of IC Wellness | Pelvic Rehabilitation
(Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine)
3. What Is - Interstitial Cystitis?
4. What is Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome)? – Symptoms & Remedy Covered by Dr.Berg
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
5. Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS) / Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
6. Autoimmune Awareness Hop - Brooklyn’s video on Interstitial Cystitis #autoimmuneawareness2022
(chelebelle 1120)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated: 09/19/2022

Views: 5811

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.