Oftentimes the issues my patients face are “invisible”– they are difficult for ordinary doctors to diagnose and they don’t show up on tests. Many of my patients have gone from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, trying to find resolution for their symptoms without much help. Doctors tell them they’re “fine” or that their tests are “negative.” It is incredibly frustrating for women who need to be pointed in the direction of specialist but don’t know which specialist they need. So, when the issues we treat get mention in national publications it is reason for celebration.
In March of this year the Health section of U.S. News featured an article on Interstitial Cystitis (click here to read the article). The article opens with the story of Randie Noell who was diagnosed with IC about twenty years ago and talks about her struggle with the symptoms. The article then moves along to an interview with a urologic expert who understands the frustrations that come with IC diganosis and treatment. He sympathizes with patients because IC can mimic other conditions like Urinary Tract Infection, Overactive Bladder or might have a doctor thinking bladder stone or kidney infection. When women “test negative” for these other issues, doctors are oftentimes stumped. If there is no visible source of pain, frequency, or urgency, why is the patient in distress? And what’s worse is that women are oftentimes prescribed medication that ends up not helping because they have been misdiagnosed. And now these patients have spent time and money on doctors and treatments that aren’t helping.
Having an article like this published in a major online news source is great. We need women (and doctors) to be able to identify conditions like Interstitial Cystitis early on so women can be pointed in the direction of an appropriate specialist. Thank you, U.S. News!