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Painful bladder condition is difficult to diagnose

Many Oklahoma residents could be suffering from a little-known and poorly understood bladder condition. The condition, known as interstitial cystitis, is difficult to diagnose and hard to treat, leaving many patients to suffer pain and discomfort for years without relief.

Interstitial cystitis, also called "painful bladder syndrome," causes individuals to have frequent urges to urinate and recurring pelvic pain. The condition afflicts an estimated 2.7 percent of women and 1.3 percent of men worldwide. The pain varies in intensity, and, for women, could get worse during sexual intercourse or menstruation. The cause of the disorder is inconclusive. Some medical professionals believe it stems from a defect in the bladder tissue, while others think inflammatory mast cells cause the problem by releasing histamine and other chemicals into the body. Another theory is that problem is caused by the body's immune system attacking the bladder.

The vague symptoms lead many doctors to diagnose interstitial cystitis by the process of exclusion. This can be difficult because the condition is often linked with other health problems that can cause bladder problems, such as lupus, endometriosis, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. However, there are treatments available that can alleviate symptoms, including medications and surgical options. Those suffering from interstitial cystitis symptoms should talk to a urologist about developing an individualized treatment plan that allows them to return to a normal lifestyle.

Oklahoma residents who have suffered painful symptoms due to a failure to diagnose a condition may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney could review the details of the case and explain all legal options available.

Source: Star 2, "This is a bladder problem you really should know about," Dr. Warren Lo Hwa Loon, July 24, 2016

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