Interstitial Cystitis (IC/PBS) is a condition commonly known as the bladder syndrome. The condition is difficult to diagnose. The source of the disease has not been identified, and there is no cure for it. However, literature links the condition to stress, anxiety, panic, and hyperresponsiveness. IC/PBS causes some chronic pain right below the belly button. In severe cases, the disease may cause about 60 painful bathroom trips, which may leave one sleepless. In Europe and the United States, approximately 0.5% of the people are affected, and mostly, women form about five times of the people diagnosed with the condition (Bosch & Bosch, 2014) and (Smith, 2017). This paper will evaluate the IC condition, how it affects women, and provide some insight on living a better life with the IC/PBS.
IC/PBS infection affects both men and women across all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Recent studies indicate that about 12% of the women in the United States may have early symptoms of the disorder and generally, in every 1000 people, about 5.1 are diagnosed to have the symptoms (Bosch & Bosch, 2014) and (Kairys et al., 2015). The condition has become prevalent to the extent that the United States medical department recognizes it as a disability.
The chronic discharge condition may develop some severe complication that causes fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. The IC/PBS usually causes depression and low quality of life (Kivlin, Lim, Ross, Whitmore, & Schellato, 2016).
Some of the symptoms are not consistent as they come and go. Therefore, it has a wide range of signs that some medical practitioners may diagnose as other diseases. An exclusion accompanied by the use of clinical reviews is applied to identify the infection. In men, the condition is misdiagnosed with chronic prostatitis while in women; the misdiagnosis is attributed to uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
Guidelines recommended for diagnosis suggest that a careful history of the patient is necessary followed by physical and laboratory examination to identify IC/PBS and other related disorders. The condition causes the urinary bladder to have some pain that may last about a month and a half. The condition may be confused with other infections like kidney stones. Historically, studies have shown that women are more susceptible to this condition. However, recent studies have indicated otherwise (Hanno, Erickson, Moldwin, & Faraday, 2015).
The guideline from Association of American Urological (AUA) amended by Hanno et al. (2015), updated the clinical framework for diagnosing and treating the IC/PBS using medical data after the initial publication. The treatments are categorized from conservative measures to invasive surgeries.
Oral drugs include Tricyclic antidepressants, Elmiron, Antihistamines, and Painkillers while bladder instillations include Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and Hyaluronic acid (Cystistat). However, the latter is still under scrutiny and not widely used. Some of the essential treatments applied include stress management, self-care, physical therapy, and patient education. The extreme therapies include hydrodistention, neuromodulation, cyclosporine A, and surgical diversion (Hanno, Erickson, Moldwin, & Faraday, 2015).
Patient knowledge on how to care for themselves is vital in providing the safety precautions on dietary needs and other minor aspects that do not require medical consultations. Some of the essential nutritional requirements for patients with IC/PBS are shown in figure 1 in the appendix. The availability of webinars to educate the public like the one provided by the Interstitial Cystitis Association increase public awareness to minimize cases of IC/PBS stigmatization (Interstitial Cystitis Association, 2017).
Role of the FNP
A family nurse practitioner in a medical institution is responsible for diagnosing, treating and assisting the patients suffering from the acute condition of IC/PBS. The nurse is also responsible for conducting further research to find out more information about the patient’s condition to provide better and informed medical and therapeutic care.
The medical research studies have revealed that some cases of the IC/PBS are also being identified in men at an alarming rate. Therefore, education should also be extended to both men and women to assist in conquering the menace. Despite the lack of cure of the condition, treatment and management of the patient can help them to live a better life.
- Bosch, P. C., & Bosch, D. C. (2014). Treating Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome as a Chronic Disease. Reviews in Urology, 16(2), 83-87. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4080853/pdf/RIU016002_0083.pdf
- Hanno, P. M., Erickson, D., Moldwin, R., & Faraday, M. M. (2015, May). Diagnosis and Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome: AUA Guideline Amendment. Journal of Urology, 193(5), 1545-1553. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2015.01.086
- Interstitial Cystitis Association . (2017). Virtual Patient Education . Retrieved from Conquering IC. Changing Lives: https://www.ichelp.org/support/virtualpatienteducation/
- Kairys, A. E., Schmidt-Wilcke, T., Puiu, T., Ichesco, E., Labus, J. S., Martucci, K., . . . Harris, R. E. (2015). Increased Brain Gray Matter in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex is Associated with Increased Pain and Mood Disturbance in Patients with Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome. Journal of Urology, 193(1), 131-137. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2014.08.042
- Kivlin, D., Lim, C., Ross, C., Whitmore, K., & Schellato, T. (2016). The Diagnostic and Treatment Patterns of Urologists in the United States for Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome. Urology Practice, 3(4), 309-314. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urpr.2015.08.005
- Smith, M. W. (2017, October 23). Interstitial Cystitis. Retrieved from Incontinence & Overactive Bladder: https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/interstitial-cystitis#1-2