The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) has created reader-friendly summaries covering all the studies relating to interstitial cystitis (IC) that were presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held in Chicago in April. (IC is “pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort related to the bladder typically associated with urinary frequency and urgency, in the absence of infection or other pathology." It can affect people of any age, race, or sex but is most commonly found in women.)
Notably, according to the ICA:
• The biggest IC story at the meeting indicated that some 3% to 6% of American women – 3 to 8 million of them – have interstitial cystitis symptoms. That surprising new estimate represents much bigger numbers than most previous estimates, which the ICA believes should support more recognition and research effort, and better treatments, for IC.
• Many of the studies presented new treatment approaches, and showed that basic research is beginning to tie IC theories together and point to potential new drugs for IC.
• New treatments being researched range from acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to immunomodulating drugs and an Alzheimer’s drug related to anesthetics.
• Research also brought more confirmation that simple, self-help techniques – diet and urinary alkalinizers – really do help, the ICA notes.
To review a list of the 30 reports at the ICA website and read the plain language summaries, click here.