While several folks experience pain in the abdomen, it can be difficult to define the difference between a bladder infection and interstitial cystitis. Even doctors sometimes tag the pain as a bladder infection and the real ailment remains untreated. I hope to provide you an accessible and clear way to understand the difference between these two unfortunate phenomenons.
With a urinary tract infection (UTI) or as many call it, a bladder infection, you have essentially a bacterial infection. This infection can originate at any point along the urinary tract. People are often startled to learn that bacteria should not be in this area of their body. Urine, while it can be smelly, does not contain bacteria. The waste from our bodies in urine contains mostly water and salt, but it is bacteria-free. Unfortunately, when bacteria does get into the urinary tract, it can grow and spread fast, which causes a bladder infection.
Bladder infection symptoms include the following: urgency (needing to urinate as soon as possible) is probably the most common and prevalent symptom. Another symptom is stinging with urination. The urine can also be cloudy and develop a foul odor. In more severe cases, the individual may develop a fever.
Interstitial Cystitis (IC), on the other hand, reveals itself through bladder or urinary tract inflammation. Interstitial Cystitis is usually caused by autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, lupup or scleroderma but it has also been know to manifest in people with no known health problems.
The symptoms of IC include pain-inducing bladder spasms, lower bladder capacity, frequency (needing urinate often) and in some unfortunately cases, incontinence (inability to hold it). One of the most frustrating aspects of IC is that it often isn’t diagnosed properly or diagnosed at all.
A bladder infection can be treated with antibiotics, cranberry juide and by drinking plenty of fluids. Interstitial Cystitis, however, does not yet have a clear and guaranteed treatment.
I urge you to seek the care of a physician if you experience any of the symptoms described in this article. Bladder infections can be treated fairly quickly, but interstitial cystitis will require careful adjustment and observation of your diet over time to properly treat it. It is best that you assert yourself in this matter and take action as soon as you can.