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

ing and treatment. Like many urologists, Hubbard uses cystoscopy and hydrodistention under anesthesia as part of his workup to exclude other conditions that may cause IC-like symptoms. But he is reviving an older practice of taking a biopsy specimen during the procedure and sending it to a pathologist to look for mast cells because, when mast cells reach a certain density, patients seem to benefit from allergy testing and treatment. Mast cells elsewhere in the body are key players in allergic reactions, but their role in the bladder tissue of IC patients has not been clear.

Dr. Smith and Dr. Hubbard plan to conduct more research and hope to spark the interest of additional IC and allergy researchers. Meanwhile, these doctors are continuing to help IC patients get better. Not everyone responds, said Smith, "But for the high percentage who do improve with allergy management, it's well worth the effort. It's one of the most rewarding patient care experiences I have ever had."

Diet and IC

Future research will reveal more about the role of food allergy in IC patients' symptoms. Meanwhile, whether patients have "true" allergies or sensitivity to foods, the treatment is the same -- an elimination challenge diet. Elimination diets remove the potential problem foods from the patient's diet and add them back one at a time to see if the food really causes a problem.

ICA offers the following advice to patients when modifying their diets:

  • The effect of food and drinks on IC symptoms varies greatly from individual to individual. It's important to note the type of food or beverage, as well as how much, how often and the specific combination of food and beverages ingested. Give yourself plenty of time to discover your ideal diet. It may require several weeks of trial and error.
  • Eat a healthy, varied, balanced diet -- most patients can do this if they work to id
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SOURCE Interstitial Cystitis Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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