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What Is The Prognosis For Interstitial Cystitis & Lifestyle Changes For It?

Interstitial cystitis is a type of chronic health condition, which leads to recurring pain and/or discomfort in the urinary bladder and the nearby pelvic region. IC and its related symptoms or complications also cause urgent, frequent, and painful urination. Interstitial cystitis is non-contagious and it never spreads to other body parts, while never worse with time. However, its response to available treatment procedures is poor.(1)

Approximately 4millions Americans belonging to different age groups, races, genders, and ethnicities suffer from the problem of interstitial cystitis.(2)

The exact cause of IC and its related symptoms is until now unknown to everyone. However, many factors are in the role. Especially, patients suffering from interstitial cystitis have defects in their protective bladder linings, which force toxic substances present in the urine to irritate the walls of the bladder.(3)

What Is The Prognosis For Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a type of chronic health condition and it mainly follows a variable course that characterizes intermittent periods of remissions and exacerbations.

However, in rare cases, patients deal with chronic progression to urinary bladder of small capacity with resultant as a severe type of urinary tract symptoms in the lower area and risks related to upper tract deterioration.

If we talk about the overall outlook of interstitial cystitis and its symptoms, they respond poorly to the available treatment in most of cases. Until now, none of the treatments has proved to reduce the progression of the disease.

Hence, doctors mainly aim to alleviate and palliate symptoms. In rare cases, interstitial cystitis results in scarring of the wall bladder, which further leads to small capacity and contracted bladder. In this situation, patients have to undergo augmentation cystoplasty or any type of urinary diversion.

Based on the chronic nature of IC and its symptoms, it causes many adverse effects on the quality of life lead by patients, while it has enormous psychological impact related to the condition of interstitial cystitis. Therefore, ongoing emotional support becomes very much essential.(4)

Lifestyle Changes For Interstitial Cystitis

We know that interstitial cystitis is a type of urinary bladder problem. Hence, it causes irritation and sore of bladder walls leading to pain and related symptoms. For this, doctors recommend different symptoms to manage interstitial cystitis symptoms, including a few of the lifestyle changes, about which we have discussed here-

Avoid Certain Food Items In Your Diet: Your doctor will advise you to keep yourself away from certain food items, which can make your symptoms worse. These are spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, chocolates, tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, carbonated beverages. You should start this by cutting the respective food items from your diet for a few weeks. Later on, you should add the respective food items in your diet to track your symptoms.

Quit Smoking Of Cigarettes: If you are in the habit of smoking cigarettes, you should quit it immediately. Smoking irritates the bladder. Moreover, constant coughing i.e. smoker’s cough creates pressure on belly areas. It will increase the pain associated with the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Bladder Retraining Practice: Your doctor recommends you to practice bladder retraining. In this case, you have to hold urine in for a specific amount of time. The main objective of this treatment is to stretch the urinary bladder and thereby, increase the amount it can hold easily.

Stress Management: Your doctor will teach you certain methods to help you in managing your stress. Even though stress does not cause interstitial cystitis, it makes the symptoms worse. Hence, you have to try certain things to relieve your stress. These are massage, meditation, yoga and physical therapy, walking, and swimming exercises.(5)


Since the symptoms of interstitial cystitis respond poorly to treatment procedures, we should say that its prognosis is not so good. However, the positive thing, in this case, is that it does not become worse with time. On the other side, a patient of IC may get relief to some extent by following certain lifestyle changes properly.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 2, 2020

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