In the last blog we talked about the basic anatomy of the bladder and how it communicates with the brain to properly function. Today, using the same diagram, we’re going to look at some treatments that are used to target the different parts of that system. All of the treatments or names of medicine are in parenthesis.
1) The simplest way to treat some bladder issues is with water– hydration. Staying hydrated helps with the inside of the bladder, where you hold urine. Although women with Interstitial Cystitis or Overactive Bladder might feel like avoiding fluids, drinking water is actually helpful and calms down the acidity of the urine.
2) Prelief is an over-the-counter pill that targets the inside of the bladder by making urine less acidic. The medicine works by taking acid out of food and beverages so that the acidity never reaches your bladder. Lots of women who have bladder spasms or experience multiple trips to the bathroom after consuming “trigger foods” (like citrus fruit, coffee, sodas, etc) may benefit from Prelief.
3) The wall of the bladder responds well to antihistamines, so I usually recommend that women take one daily to help with inflammation in the lining. If the mast cells inside the bladder wall do not release histamines, the bladder remains more calm. And if you suffer from annoying or painful bladder symptoms, calm is a good thing.
4) APF (antiproliferative factor) is a peptide found in urine of ladies with Interstitial Cystitis. The formation of APF can help be controlled by Elmiron (either capsules or direct instillation into the bladder). If we can suppress the presence of APF in the urine, we have a better chance of increasing your quality of life again!
These are only four of the treatments we use. Please read our next blog post for third segment of this series; The Bladder, A Diagram of Anatomy and Treatment.