This is going to be a list that will continue to grow. I will try and add as many definitions as I can. If there is anything you would like to see on this list let me know and I will add it. The first definition is from the Interstitial Cystitis Association Web page. The definition from Wikipedia is on the Home page. All definitions on this list will come from either of the above sites. If I find a better definition somewhere else I will quote it at the end of the definition.

Interstitial cystitis (IC): also known as painful bladder syndrome or bladder pain syndrome, is a condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. The symptoms can vary greatly between individuals and even for the same person throughout the month, including an urgent need to urinate (urgency), a frequent need to urinate (frequency) and, for some, pressure and/or pelvic pain. People who have severe IC may urinate as many as 60 times a day, including frequent nocturia. Pain levels for people with IC can range from mild tenderness to intense, agonizing pain. Typically pain will worsen when the bladder fill and patients will feel relief when the bladder is emptied (this is not the case with all IC patients). Pain may also radiate to the lower back, upper legs, vulva and penis. Women may experience fluctuating pains with their menstrual cycle (flares during ovulation and/or just before periods). Men and women may also experience discomfort during or after sex. Patients may also experience the “IC Belly” during flares. The “IC Belly” is a sudden and random swelling of the lower abdomen. When the IC bladder is examined during a procedure called hydro distention with cystoscopy, doctors will often find small, bleeding wounds, which are known as petechial hemorrhages, or glomerulations. These are normally caused by recurring irritation (like coffee of soda). About 10% of patients have larger more painful wounds called Hunner’s Ulcers. Patients who have mild IC may have “normal” looking bladders during a cystoscopy. Here is a picture of what an IC bladder looks like through a cystoscope. ¬†Bladder with IC

Urinary System: The urinary system is made up of 2 kidneys, 2 ureters, a bladder and a urethra. This system (also called the excretory system), is responsible for the production, storage and elimination of urine. This is the system that patients with IC should be most familiar with. IC affects the bladder, however since the bladder is a part of the system, all of it’s components will come in to play while treating IC. **Click on picture to enlarge**¬† urinary system

Nocturia: is the need to get up during the night to urinate, and interrupt sleep. Occurrence is more frequent in the elderly. Nocturia could result from too much liquid before bed, or could be a symptom of sleep apnea, hyperparathyroidism, chronic renal failure, urinary incontinence, IC, diabetes (especially if accompanied by thirst), benign prostiatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate), Ureteral Pelvic Junction Obstruction, or prostate cancer.

Glomerulations: are bladder hemorrhages which are thought to be associated with some types of IC. The presence of glomerulations, which are also known as petechial hemorrhages, in the bladder suggest the bladder wall has been damaged, irritated or inflamed.

Bladder Instillation: This is a process where a therapeutic solution flows into your bladder through a narrow tube (catheter) inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. The instillation is held in your bladder for varying periods of time. The time can be a few seconds to 15 minutes or more; it is then drained or voided. Patients can use “adult” size catheters, or if there is difficulty or discomfort a smaller “pediatric” catheter can be used. Purposes for the instillation can vary. Some solutions are thought to coat and protect the bladder, while others are thought to suppress inflammation. Some doctors will combine ingredients (make a cocktail), because they think it will work better then one agent.

Hunner’s Ulcer: Hunner’s Ulcers are like any ulcer, but they are located on the inside walls of the bladder. They occur in 5-10% of people who have IC. They can bleed, ooze and vary in size. They are diagnosed through a cystoscopy with hydrodistention. Treatment includes a change in diet (reducing acidic foods and beverages in diet). Ulcer’s can be removed through fulguration (burned off using electricity or a laser), or a resection (cutting around the ulcer, and removing both the ulcer and the surrounding inflamed tissue). Elmiron can help prevent the formation of Hunner’s Ulcers by coating the bladder wall and making it harder for the acid in urine to irritate the bladder wall lining.

Neurotransmitter: are a chemical that is used to relay, amplify and modulate signals between neurons (responsive cells in the nervous system) and other cells.