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Apr 19, 2010

If you've never heard of interstitial cystitis, you are not alone.
From What you don't know about your bladder could hurt you:
   It is pronounced in-ter-stish-uhl sĭ-stī’tĭs -- IC for short. Between three and eight million women, and one to three million men in the United States have it. That's a lot of people, but exact numbers are hard to come by because there is no single definitive test and it is often mistaken for other disorders. Diagnosis is made only after excluding other urinary/bladder conditions. The cause is not known.
  IC is a chronic, often painful condition involving pressure and discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, associated with urinary frequency and urgency, which can lead to disruption of normal activities. When health care providers are not properly educated about IC, diagnosis and appropriate treatment can be delayed for years, severely impacting quality of life. That's exactly why health care providers and patients need information and education -- and that's where you can help.
Please lend your support to IC patients by asking the Labor-HHS-Appropriations Subcommittee to provide $660,000 for IC Education and Awareness Program in their FY11 bill. 
For the past five years, Congress has provided funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote IC education and awareness. The CDC program supports much-needed healthcare provider and patient education, as well as information sharing between patients, healthcare providers, and researchers. Unfortunately, President Obama's FY11 budget request recommends the elimination of this program.
Please urge Congress to restore federal funding for a critical interstitial cystitis (IC) program.
The Cause: The exact cause is still unknown, but several factors that may contribute to the development of IC.
--bladder trauma, such as from pelvic surgery;
--bladder overdistention;
--pelvic floor muscle dysfunction;
--autoimmune disorder;
--bacterial infection (cystitis);
--primary neurogenic inflammation;
--spinal cord trauma;
--the possible relationship between IC and abuse (sexual, physical, and childhood sexual) is being debated after different studies yielded conflicting results.
The Symptoms: Symptoms differ from person to person, but common symptoms include:
--frequent urination -- up to 60 times a day in the most severe cases;
--sense of urgency for urination, sometimes accompanied by pain, pressure, or spasms;
--pain in the lower abdominal, urethral, or vaginal area;
--pain associated with intercourse; men may experience testicular, scrotal and/or perineal pain, and painful ejaculation.
The Treatment: Most doctors and patients find that a combination of treatments works best. It is a process of trial and error that includes:
--oral medication;           --topical medication;
--bladder retraining;        --hydrodistention;
--physical therapy;         --bladder instillations;
--dietary supplements;    --electrical nerve stimulation;
--surgery;    --complementary and alternative treatments.
. Watch the short educational video:

Take Action! Care2 Action: education and awareness for both health care providers and patients is crucial. Please Sign the Petition Asking Congress to Save Funding for Interstitial Cystitis
my C2NN article and share petition with your contacts to help raise awareness and support

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Posted: Apr 19, 2010 6:18pm
Aug 5, 2009
When Laughter Is Not the Best Medicine
(from a blog in "Parenting Australia" magazine).
Three-quarters of Australian women have literally laughed until they have wet themselves, a new survey has found. The research, commissioned by the Continence Foundation of Australia, ahead of Continence Awareness Week (2-8 August 2009), found that 75% of women have wet themselves while laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising.
But the findings are no laughing matter - this common condition, known as stress incontinence, can be be prevented, treated, managed and in many cases cured. Despite the high number of women who suffer from stress incontinence, the survey found only a quarter of Australian women have spoken to their doctor about it.
Continence and Women's Health Physiotherapist Dr Margaret Sherburn said stress incontinence was usually caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. "In many cases, stress incontinence can be treated through simple interventions such as a pelvic floor muscle training program," Dr Sherburn said.
Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause are the main causes of stress incontinence in women, however factors including constipation, obesity, heavy lifting or a chronic cough contribute to stress incontinence in women as well as men and children.
Dr Sherburn said ignoring the problem won't make it go away, and may even make it worse. "Women are often too embarrassed to talk to anyone - or for many women their baby is the key focus after birth - so they do nothing to tackle the problem. This can lead to the pelvic floor muscles becoming weaker and the problem getting worse over time".
The Continence Foundation advises anyone experiencing bladder or bowel problems to speak to their doctor or contact the National Continence Helpline on freecall 1800 33 00 66. In the meantime, some simple life changes that can help include:
==> Eating a healthy diet rich in dietary fibre
------ we need at least 30gms of fibre each day.
==> Limit consumption of bladder irritants:
------ caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks.
==> Exercise regularly
------ aim to exercise for 30 minutes most days.
==> Learn how to keep your pelvic floor toned
------ by speaking to a Continence and Women's
        Health Physiotherapist.
==> Practice good toilet habits
------ don't go to the toilet 'just in case' or
        put off going when you need to.
For more information about bladder and bowel health, visit or freecall 1800 33 00 66
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Posted: Aug 5, 2009 11:02pm
May 15, 2008

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

—Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness, and leg cramps
—Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
—Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
—Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
—Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks
—Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
—Tension or migraine headaches
—Jaw and facial tenderness
—Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odours, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
—Feeling anxious or depressed
—Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
—Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
—Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
—A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet
—Painful menstrual periods

Symptoms may intensify depending on the time of day

  • morning, late afternoon, and evening tend to be the worst times,
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tends to be the best time.

Symptoms may also get worse with -

  • fatigue,
  • tension,
  • inactivity,
  • changes in the weather,
  • cold or drafty conditions,
  • overexertion,
  • hormonal fluctuations
    (such as just before your period or during menopause),
  • stress,
  • depression,
  • or other emotional factors.

If the condition is not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can go on indefinitely, or they may disappear for months and then recur.
                          adapted from a WebMD article


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Eastlakes, SW, Australia
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