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Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis, a urinary bladder disease of unknown cause characterised by pelvic pain, urinary frequency (as often as every 30 minutes), pain with sexual intercourse, but no pain with urination.

It is more common in women (20 : 1) than in men. The cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, though several theories have been advanced (these include autoimmune, neutitic, allergic). The theory garnering the most current support is that of the missing bladder lining. Normally, the bladder has an inner, mucous, lining. When this lining goes missing (for unknown reasons), urinary chemicals can "leach" into surrounding tissues causing pain and urinary symptoms.

Treatment is oriented toward replacing the presumed missing lining with medication, avoidance of bladder irritants such as dietary spices and alcohol, stress reduction, and pain management.

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