Interstitial Cystitis -- Online Case Histories

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Case #1

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 21:56:15 -0500
From: Virginia Shemeliuk
Subject: Acupuncture & Interstitial Cystitis

In January of 1994, I had surgery which found endometriosis covering uterus, ovaries, kidneys, bladder, general abdominal cavity. The doctors removed as much of it as possible and I felt fine until June of 1994 when I developed what appeared to be a bladder infection. It did not respond to antibiotics so I was sent to a specialist who performed a cystoscopy. This revealed the classic signs of Interstitial Cystitis (cracked bladder walls, Hunner's Ulcers, etc.) I was put on Ditropan and proloprim to try and control the problem. Everything gradually detereorated until I was urinating up to EIGHTY times a day, was in constant pain and had VERY adverse reactions to the medication. Surgery was scheduled to reconstruct my bladder.

About this time, my GP went to a course in acupuncture. When he came back, he asked me if I'd allow him to "practice" on me. Nothing else had worked so I began once weekly acupuncture treatments. Within 3 months, the pain was lessening and I only needed to get up perhaps twice in a night (I had been up and down 8-10 times a night before this). There was enough improvement that I cancelled the surgery. About this time I also altered my diet so that I eliminated all fruits, juices, anything high acid, used only decaff tea and coffee or plain distilled water.

Within 6 months, I had stopped all the pills causing such adverse reactions, was able to sleep 5-6 hours a night before needing to void, and the pain was at a level where it was very much bearable. I gradually extended acupuncture treatments from every week, to every two weeks, to every 3 weeks and now to once a month. I had another cystoscopy done in June of 1999 and the doctor was amazed - he was seeing a completely healthy bladder - no bleeding, cracking, ulcers.

The specialist still will not concede that perhaps the acupuncture/diet change has had an effect even though he himself has seen the improvement. I don't know how else he might explain the improvement quite frankly because the PHYSICAL aspects of IC were there in 1995 - this was NOT something psychsomatic and yet I was able to throw away all but one pill and lead a fairly "regular" life (barring the fact that I have to know when I go somewhere exactly where the washrooms are. My bladder capacity is still small and the acupuncture hasn't eliminated the problem that I have to go right NOW, and cannot wait!)

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