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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis - new hope from Newcastle with COB foundation funding.

Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms

The symptoms of cystitis are shared by most sufferers' pain, urgency, passing water frequently and a burning sensation when passing urine.

Bacterial Causes of Interstitial Cystitis

interstitial cystitis - streptococcus
  • Escherichia (E.) coli is responsible for most uncomplicated cystitis cases in women. E. coli is generally a harmless microorganism originating in the intestines. If it spreads to the vaginal opening, it may invade and colonize the bladder, causing an infection. The spread of E. coli to the vaginal opening most commonly occurs through sport, travelling, after defecation, sexual activity or may be remerging embedded opportunistic Ecoli from earlier infections.
  • Staphylococcus is often associated with (oral) sex and intimate contact as is Streptococcus.
  • Klebsiella, Enterococci bacteria, and Proteus mirabilis account for most of remaining bacterial organisms that cause UTIs.
  • Rare bacterial causes of UTIs include ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis, which are generally harmless organisms.
  • Organisms in Severe or Complicated Infections. The bacteria that cause kidney infections (pyelonephritis) are generally the same bacteria that cause cystitis.
  • Complicated UTIs that are related to physical or structural conditions are apt to be caused by a wider range of organism. E. coli is still the most common organism, but others include Klebsiella, P. mirabilis, and Citrobacter.
  • Fungal organisms, such as Candida species. (Candida albicans causes the “yeast infections” that also occur in the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina.)
  • Other bacteria associated with complicated or severe infection include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter, and Serratia species, gram-positive organisms (including Enterococcus species), and S. saprophyticus.

Lab Diagnosis

It is clear then that cystitis is usually linked to infection, but interstitial cystitis is not (one serious caveat is that Labs do not always find the source of infection and this can mean an undetected low grade infection rumbles on for years sometimes) but given that trustworthy tests have been carried out, Interstitial Cystitis is now believed to be caused by inflammation of the bladder wall, which can be left after surgery or numerous bladder infections ( it is thought that dead bacteria after antibiotic therapy can remain attached and rotting), so even after all infection has apparently gone, the debilitating symptoms of cystitis continue and a chronic problem ensues.

Patients are then often misdiagnosed with a urinary infection and given antibiotics, which ' because there is no infection ' can’t work.

Some people lives are ruined as they try to control the symptoms through diet, every remedy they read about and every new treatment that appears, but they are often left depressed and in constant pain as each new thing fails.

New Hope from the COB Foundation

But hope remains for a solution within the next five to ten years. The Cystitis and Overactive Bladder Foundation is helping to fund a new study at Newcastle University on the role of AMPs.

As Robert Pickard, professor of urology at Newcastle University, explains, scientists now believe that ‘bug-busting’ chemicals the body produces in response to infection' anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) continue to be produced post infection and finding out how to “ turn them off” may hold the answer. ‘We think that the normal mechanism by which AMPs are activated may not be working properly in people with interstitial cystitis,’ he says.

Their bladder acts as if there is an infection ' causing an inflammation, sloughing off of cells and all the associated pain and misery that a normal cystitis attack would bring pertains.

The study will aim to devise safe and effective ways to turn off the AMP response post infection.

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