The first step in managing IC symptoms is to understand the disease and how it works.
- IC 101 Audio File - Urology San Antonio nurse practitioner Peggy P. Francis speaks to medical assistants about IC. She touches on every aspect of the disease from the causes and diagnosis to treatments and self help tips. (Very useful for patients)
- IC Network's YouTube Channel - Jill Osborne, founder of the IC Network, provides dozens of brief instructional and informative videos about IC-related topics.
Paying close attention to your diet and avoiding foods that cause IC flares is one of the most effective things you can do to control your symptoms. Managing your stress is another way to help your body cope.
- IC-Smart Diet Guidelines - A printable chart showing, in general, the kinds of foods that are likely to cause flares. Provided by the makers of Elmiron.
- Potential Bladder Irritant Food List - Urology San Antonio's custom list of foods are likely to aggravate urinary difficulties.
- Prelief - Over the counter acid reduction tablets you take before a meal.
- Food/Symptom Diary - A journal to track your diet and IC symptoms. Provided by the makers of Elmiron.
Some people find that wearing modified clothing helps them avoid the pelvic muscle tension that can trigger pelvic pain.
There are plenty of websites devoted to IC. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Men's Ballroom Jeans sold by Deluth Trading Co. have a modified crotch gusset designed to be more comfortable when you crouch or bend
- A seamstress or tailor can alter pants to include an elastomeric fabric in the crotch to achieve the same effect as the Ballroom Jeans. Expect to pay about $10-20 a pair for the alteration.
- All About IC (www.allaboutIC.com) - A patient-friendly IC website, including real patient stories, explanations about symptoms and treatment, and online tools.
- American Physical Therapy Association: Women's Health (www.womenshealthAPTA.org) - Information about how physical therapy can help ease pelvic pain and improve incontinence.
- Interstitial Cystitis Network (www.IC-network.com) - A detailed website about all facets of IC; includes a marketplace of IC products, a research library and chat forums.
- Intersititial Cystitis Association (www.ichelp.org) - A nonprofit dedicated to improving the health care and lives of people with IC. Has detailed information and resources. If you become a paid ICA member, you receive the quarterly ICA Update magazine, which is full of interesting and hepful articles.
- Journey To Relief (www.journeytorelief.com) - Basic IC information and self help tips designed to compliment medication (Elmiron) therapy.
- My Ortho Elmiron 360 (www.myorthoelmiron360.com) - IC and Elmiron information geared for health care providers treating IC. Much of the information is useful to patients.
Remember, not all of the information you read online is accurate. Always seek your doctor or health care provider's guidance before you act on any information that could affect your health.
You are not alone. Let your family and close friends know how they can help you. You might also enjoy connecting with others with IC so that you can share insights, wisdom and support.
Don't let cost keep you from taking the medications your doctor recommends. All of the major drug companies provide prescription assistance programs.
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance (www.pparx.org) - A clearinghouse for public and private patient assistance programs.
- Up to $35 off four Elmiron prescriptions when you sign up for their Journey To Relief e-newsletter
Volunteering for a clinical trial can help researchers understand IC and develop better treatments and, someday, a cure.
Updated Friday, February 3, 2012