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Debilitating bladder condition rarely diagnosed


While few Oregon residents may have heard of interstitial cystitis, millions of Americans suffer from the painful and sometimes debilitating bladder condition. Physicians too are often in the dark about the inflammatory condition that is also known as painful bladder syndrome, but experts say that 1.3 percent of the world’s men and 2.7 percent of the world’s women suffer from it. The condition causes severe pelvic pain and the frequent urge to urinate, and modern medicine provides no cure and offers only a few treatment options.

In addition to near constant pain and discomfort, interstitial cystitis sufferers must sometimes contend with indifferent or dismissive doctors. Another challenge facing sufferers is that the condition’s symptoms often lead to a misdiagnosis of an overactive bladder or a urinary tract infection, and traditional medical protocols like blood or urine tests are rarely of much help. Even the cause or causes of the condition remain shrouded in mystery, and sufferers have been known to fall into depression or even contemplate suicide when medical science provides no solutions.

The few treatment options available may ease the pain and discomfort of sufferers, but they can also have serious side effects. Prolonged antibiotic use can lead to resistance, and surgical options include taking a piece of the small intestine and using it to enlarge the bladder. While even drastic surgery cannot cure the condition, the treatment options available combined with lifestyle modifications can help sufferers to live with it.

Interstitial cystitis sufferers who were dismissed or misdiagnosed by their doctors may wish to pursue civil remedies, but establishing liability in medical malpractice cases based on a misdiagnosis can be challenging. This may be particularly true when the condition concerned is not fully understood, and experienced personal injury attorneys may reveiw medical records and call upon experts to demonstrate that mistakes were made and the treatment provided to their clients was inadequate.