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Urologist and Allergist Explore Link Between Allergies and Interstitial Cystitis
Date:6/19/2009

Findings point to new treatment options and research directions

WASHINGTON, June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Allergy testing and treatment may offer a new therapeutic option for many patients with interstitial cystitis (IC). IC is a severely painful bladder condition affecting as many as 8 million women and 1.5 million men in the United States. Patients and the providers who treat them have long noticed a correlation between allergies and IC. Recently, a urologist and allergist in Louisville, Kentucky, began to explore the link between these two chronic ailments to provide patients with more effective treatment. The story of their discoveries is featured in the ICA Update, the quarterly magazine of the Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA).

"Until now, the evidence linking IC and allergies has been circumstantial," said Barbara Gordon, executive director of the ICA, an organization providing advocacy, research funding, and education to ensure early diagnosis and optimal care with dignity for people affected by IC. "Epidemiologic studies show the prevalence of allergies in IC patients to be higher than in people in general. Anti-allergy medications seem to ease IC symptoms, especially when patients have seasonal allergies. And during allergy seasons, doctors report an upswing in IC-related calls and patient visits."

That suggests that there is a correlation between allergies and IC, but can allergies cause bladder symptoms? A clearer answer comes from actual allergy testing and treatment of patients. After holding several discussions on this subject, John Hubbard, M.D., a urologist, and C. Steven Smith, M.D., an allergist/immunologist, partnered to study this phenom
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SOURCE Interstitial Cystitis Association
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