Is Interstitial Cystitis Still A Bladder Disease?


I was first diagnosed almost 20 years ago with ME/CFS, next I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and thirdly, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis.  It is common for people with ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia to also suffer from other chronic conditions.  A recent study found that there are 11 syndromes that preceded Interstitial Cystitis in significantly more IC patients than in healthy control participants.   What was unique about this study is that researchers examined the prevalence of particular syndromes before the onset of Interstitial Cystitis. 

If you have IC Disease, see how many of these syndromes you have been diagnosed with:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • vulvodynia
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • panic disorder
  • depression
  • sicca syndrome
  • migraines
  • asthma
  • allergies

Many of these syndromes are all considered functional somatic syndromes:

The term functional somatic syndrome has been applied to several related syndromes characterized more by symptoms, suffering, and disability than by consistently demonstrable tissue abnormality. Patients with functional somatic syndromes have explicit and highly elaborated self-diagnoses, and their symptoms are often refractory to reassurance, explanation, and standard treatment of symptoms. They share similar phenomenologies, high rates of co-occurrence, similar epidemiologic characteristics, and higher than expected prevalences of psychiatric comorbidity.

Many of these syndromes also appeared in clusters in the same patient.  What this study also revealed is that there are not only common risk factors for Interstitial Cystitis and these syndromes but that the syndromes themselves are a risk factor for IC Disease.  The researchers also said the study showed that IC Disease & these syndromes are of the same pathophysiology.  Researchers say this implies that Interstitial Cystitis is a “local manifestation of a systemic disease in some patients”.

Studies also revealed that patients who have had IC Disease for a period of time showed an overlap of symptoms of IC with symptoms of:

  • vulvodynia
  • urethral syndrome
  • overactive bladder
  • chronic pelvie pain syndrome
  • benign prostatic hyperplasia

To read more details about the study, how many participants were involved, etc. click the source link below.


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