Amitriptyline and Interstitial Cystitis


Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder problem that affects over 750,000 Americans. People who suffer from interstitial cystitis have a bladder wall that is inflamed and irritated. Eventually, scarring will result and the bladder will become stiff. The results of a stiff bladder is that it cannot expand as it fills with urine.

The individual with interstitial cystitis will have an urgent need to urinate many times during the day and at night. This is because the bladder will no longer hold the same amount of urine that it did before.

Someone who has interstitial cystitis will suffer from pain and pressure in the pelvis and in the area between the anus and vagina or anus and scrotum. The pain will increase as the bladder fills and it will decrease when the bladder is emptied.

There is no known definite cause of interstitial cystitis. Infections and viruses have been ruled out as contributing factors. Some researchers think that interstitial cystitis may be caused by a defect in the lining of the bladder. Urine can be very acidic and cause damage to the lining of the bladder if there is a defect.

There is no cure for interstitial cystitis, but the symptoms can be managed. A change in diet may help manage the symptoms. It is important to avoid alcohol, tomatoes, spices and acidic foods that can irritate the bladder. You could try adding one food at a time to see exactly which food makes your symptoms worse.

Believe it or not, smoking has been proven to increase the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. If you suffer from this bladder problem and you smoke, try quitting smoking and see if your symptoms improve.

Bladder training techniques have been successful in relieving interstitial cystitis symptoms in a lot of people. Talk to your doctor about bladder training. He can give you the information that you need to train your bladder and decrease your symptoms.

A common complaint among people with interstitial cystitis is the painful spasms of the pelvic floor muscles. A physical therapist can show you exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help you to relax these muscle if they should start to spasm.

Medicine may be prescribed to help with your interstitial cystitis symptoms. One of the most commonly prescribed medications is an anti depressant.

Amitriptyline is a commonly prescribed anti depressant that helps with interstitial cystitis. The brand name for amytriptiline is Elavil. This drug helps manage the symptoms of interstitial cystitis by raising the patient’s pain threshold.

It also helps to relax the bladder spasms. Since Amitriptyline causes drowsiness, it should only be taken at bedtime. This drug is also very effective at helping the person who suffers from interstitial cystitis sleep through the night.

RESOURCES

Drugs.com: User Reviews for Amitriptyline
http://www.drugs.com/comments/amitriptyline/for-interstitial-cystitis.html

American Family Physicians: Interstitial Cystitis: Urgency and Frequency Sydnrome
http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/1001/p1199.html

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: Screening, Treatment and management of IC/PBS
http://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Clinical-Proceedings/Screening-Treatment-and-Management-of-ICPBS/Management

Medscape Today: Effect of Amitriptyline on Symptoms in Treatment Naive Patients with Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/722964

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