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The right diagnosis can lead you to the right treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no single test to determine whether or not a person has interstitial cystitis (IC). But, by working with your doctor, it is possible to get the right diagnosis. Your doctor must first rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. To do that, there are a few things your doctor may explore.
- Review Your Medical History
Information about your medical history may provide important insights into what may be causing your symptoms. Some typical things your doctor will ask about are any medications you're currently taking, any allergies you may have, and any medical problems or conditions you may have.
- Explain and Track Your Current Symptoms
It's very important to communicate the symptoms you are currently experiencing to your doctor, along with their severity and when they flare up. An easy and helpful way to track your symptoms is to keep a Symptom Journal and to share it with your doctor.
- Conduct Diagnostic Tests
Several diagnostic tests may be used to help your doctor identify the cause of your symptoms. Here are some that your doctor may conduct:
- – Urinalysis and urine culture:
These tests can detect and identify the most common bacteria that infect the urine and that may cause symptoms similar to those of IC. Organisms such as chlamydia, however, cannot be detected through these methods, so a negative culture does not rule out all types of infection. After a clean urine sample is collected, it is tested.
White and red blood cells and bacteria in the urine may indicate an infection of the urinary tract, which can be treated with an antibiotic. But if urine is sterile for weeks or months while symptoms persist, the doctor may consider a diagnosis of IC.
- – Other diagnostic tests may include cystoscopy and urodynamics.
NEXT: IC Symptom Questionnaire