This page contains answers to common questions at our support groups, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions. Please click on the + sign to see the answers.
Will I always have IC?
As far as the limited research has discovered there is probably a predisposition to the bladder lining being compromised.
Your quality of life is effected by symptoms of IC. The symptoms of urgency, frequency and pelvic pain in varying degrees take charge. That is why working on the healing of the bladder lining and calming down the symptoms is work that must be done.
Why does it take so long for the symptoms to go away?
The short answer is that the time needed for IC symptoms to be brought under control appears to depend on the length of time that you have had your symptoms. Initially, the symptoms may appear to have attacked without warning.
As you learn more about IC, the trail of when your symptoms began can range from bed wetting as a child, or that you always understood that you had to void more often than any of your friends.
Another clue is that you had bladder and/or prostate infections that were so frequent that you kept antibiotic available. Others have shared that they accepted that sexual intercourse was the pattern that led to pain.
This short list all can signal years of movement to a point that you could no longer accommodate the IC symptoms. With that in mind you have to realize that it will take time to see positive results.
Do IC symptoms ever go away?
The short answer is that the symptoms of IC fade away as life style, dietary changes, medication and you take control over your IC. You will also learn your own personal signals to IC symptoms. Signals can be as indirect as a twinge of low back pain, or knowing that there was a dietary misstep when that chocolate sundae was a temptation not resisted. We find there comes a time when we all do a test, we feel that we are symptom free and no longer have IC; The doctors were wrong in their diagnosis. We skip the medication, return to old habits, and guess what, the symptoms come back to remind us that the need to stay on the path to taking control is a rule we had better not break.
Should I care about my diet?
The short answer is yes, absolutely, and how could you think otherwise? Remember the old saying ” We are what we eat”? This seem to be incredibly true for IC patients. There was a time ( not that long ago) that a trip to the fast food restaurant was a monthly treat and not the center of our dietary intake. There was a time when long shelf life and attractive colors were not the main focus of the food industry. The amount and number of food additives and artificial colors in our food is over-whelming. There was a time when a 8oz cup of carbonated beverage did not have to come with a “as many refill as you can consume” policy. Obesity is the media focus, but the question is … what is going through your body as you wolf down your hamburger, snack on your frozen pizza, and gulp down your sugar substitute diet drink? Your urinary tract knows and will share its’ great misery with you.
Can I exercise with IC?
The short answer is yes, with the understanding that lifting, squatting, bending, and pulling, or putting pressure on your pelvic area is not a good idea for the IC bladder. Even the newly re-discovered Kegel exercises can make the nerve endings in the IC pelvic area feel that they are being assaulted. Stretching is the best, and a recumbent bike also takes the pressure off the pelvic girdle. Upper body and pressure free from the waist down exercises seem to bring benefits without causing or adding pain.