Eosinophilic Cystitis (EC) is a rare bladder disorder that has symptoms similiar to Interstitial Cystitis with the symptoms of frequency, urgency, pain, bleeding and spasms. The pain from EC tends to be more constant and unrelenting and the bleeding can be extreme at times. The pain from EC is also more difficult to control than in IC.
In most cases the cause of EC is known and chemotherapy and radiation are known causes. Certain medications are also believed to be a contributing factor, as well as food allergies.
What happens with EC is the blood cells (eosinophils) that normally attack allergens and foreign objects in the body begin attacking normal healthy tissue – in our case, the bladder. For this reason, when there’s no known cause for EC, some doctors and pathologists think it may be an autoimmune disorder. Most times when the cause is known, the cure can be as simple as eliminating or controlling that cause, followed by a course of high, tapering doses of corticosteroids. Sometimes EC patients must have the effected area of the bladder removed (partial cystectomy). Others have been helped by DMSO treatments.
Below is a quote from a EC patient:
“The one thing that IS known about EC, is that it’s easily identified and diagnosed with biopsy. If EC is present, the deeper muscle tissue will be loaded with eosinophils. With EC, these blood cells attack the bladder. Ulcers in the bladder develop very slowly. There may be periods when the ulcers stop enlarging, but they never heal. Because of these ulcers, bleeding is a major symptom of EC, and the threat of perforation is always a concern. Resections are done to slow the progression, and cauterizing controls the bleeding.
The doctors I’ve been to all think that, because of the unhealing ulcers, EC might become cancerous, or it might spontaneously spread to other organs, but so little is actually known because so few people have this disorder.”