There is no cure for IC, and there are no standard treatments. Treatment is based on trial and error until you find relief. Results vary from person to person.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Some patients find that making changes in their diet can help control symptoms. Try to avoid foods and beverages that can cause bladder irritation. Stop eating certain foods, one at a time, to see if your symptoms get better. Reduce or stop consuming caffeine, chocolate, carbonated beverages, citrus drinks, and foods with high levels of vitamin C.
Other foods that the Interstitial Cystitis Association lists as possibly causing bladder irritation are:
- Aged cheeses
- Artificial sweeteners
- Fava and lima beans
- Meats that are cured, processed, smoked, canned, aged, or that contain nitrites
- Most fruits except blueberries, honeydew melon, and pears
- Nuts except almonds, cashews, and pine nuts
- Rye bread
- Seasonings that contain MSG
- Sour cream
- Sourdough bread
You and your doctor should discuss methods you can use for bladder training, such as training yourself to urinate at specific times or using biofeedback to relieve pelvic floor muscle spasms.
MEDICINE AND PROCEDURES
Combination therapy may include medicines such as:
- Pentosan polysulfate sodium, the only medication taken by mouth that is approved for treating IC
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline to relieve pain and urinary frequency
- Vistaril (hydroxyzine pamoate), an antihistamine that causes sedation and helps reduce urinary frequency
Other therapies include:
- Over-filling the bladder with fluid while under general anesthesia, called bladder hydrodistention
- Medicines placed directly into the bladder, including dimethyl sulfoxide (DMS), heparin, or lidocaine
- Bladder removal (cystectomy) for extremely difficult cases