Donate to Interstitial Cystitis Research, Patient Care and Education

Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, causes inflammation or irritation to the bladder wall. Eventually, this inflammation can result in scarring and stiffness making it difficult for the bladder to hold urine. People with severe cases of interstitial cystitis may have to urinate 50-60 times during the day. The disease affects more women than men, with an estimated eight million women living with symptoms. With this staggering number of people living with interstitial cystitis, physicians at Northwestern Medicine are eager to learn more and seek out new treatments to help ease the uncomfortable symptoms of this condition. Your donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will go a long way in making this goal a reality and providing the opportunity for those living with interstitial cystitis to live life to the fullest.

Scientists are still figuring out the exact cause of interstitial cystitis, but there are several factors that may play a part in the disease including:

  • Heredity
  • Damage to the lining of the bladder
  • Autoimmune reaction
  • Allergic reaction
  • Infection
  • Nerve disorder
  • An irritating substance in the urine

Research is crucial to advancing the care received from physicians at Northwestern Medicine. Studying the complexities of interstitial cystitis through in-depth research will give physicians answers addressing the causes of this condition. A gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will give medical professionals the support they need to conduct this research and in doing so, potentially change the lives of people living with this disease.

Though there is no cure for interstitial cystitis, there are several treatments available to ease symptoms. Treatments provided are based on a number of factors including age, health history, the severity of the disease, tolerance of medications and procedures, expectations and patient preference.

  • Biofeedback: Sensors on the abdomen help teach how to control and respond to bladder muscles.
  • Alternative Medicine: Patients find relief through acupuncture and guided imagery.
  • Bladder-stretching: The bladder is stretched by filling it with gas or fluid.
  • Botox injections: Botox can relieve pain by paralyzing the bladder.
  • Bladder retraining: The bladder can be stretched by holding urine for increasingly longer periods.
  • Electrical stimulation: This treatment can increase blood flow, consequently strengthening the muscles that control the bladder.
  • Medication: Pain medication, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines and antidepressants are used in treating symptoms.
  • Lifestyle changes: Avoiding irritating foods, managing stress and quitting smoking can help control symptoms.
  • Surgery: Burning or resecting ulcers and augmenting the bladder are performed when all other treatments have failed.

Interstitial Cystitis Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Interstitial cystitis can make everyday life burdensome. Frequent trips to the bathroom and chronic pain make the simplest of tasks tiresome. People with interstitial cystitis also experience sleep disruption, sexual issues and depression which may all significantly reduce one’s quality of life. Your generous donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will provide the support needed to continue research and provide the best treatments available to relieve pain and suffering from interstitial cystitis. With your help, people living with this disease will be given the chance to break free from the chains that prevent them from living a full, pain-free life.

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