This is a review study, so worth a read.
Some key points
- Application of either hot or cold packs to the suprapubic or perineal area or taking a warm sitz bath may relieve discomfort.
- Restricting consumption of coffee, citrus products, chocolate, alcohol, and spicy foods may relieve discomfort.
- Elimination diets help determine which foods or fluids affect each individual patient.
- Behavior modification therapy includes pelvic floor muscle relaxation.
- Watching a guided imagery compact disc that focused on bladder healing, pelvic floor muscle relaxation, and quieting nerves involved in IC/BPS improves symptoms.
- The bioflavonoid quercetin, in an open-label study, showed that most IC/BPS patients had some improvement in outcome measures.
- Calcium glycerophosphate reduces titratable acids in foods and prevented food-related flares in IC/BPS.
- Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is a urinary analgesic that can be helpful for the short-term management of an IC/BPS flare.
- Stress is the most significant flare factor for IC/BPS symptoms. Stress reduction management aids in diminution of severe symptoms and is a preventive measure for patients in remission. Higher stress levels were related to greater urgency and pain in IC/BPS patients. Behavior modification techniques such as exercise, bathing, meditation, shortening work hours, creating a nonstressful environment at home, or joining educational programs and patient support groups help to maintain a reduced stress level.
- Catastrophic thinking is a negative coping strategy in which one believes the worst may happen and the result will not be tolerable. Greater catastrophizing by IC/BPS patients was associated with depression, greater pain, and poorer social functioning. Patients with chronic pain who avoid catastrophizing appear to be more functional.
- Venting is another negative coping strategy that focuses attention on personal distress and expresses negative emotions. Venting about IC/BPS symptoms prolonged depressive symptoms and was related to higher levels of distress.
- Seeking emotional social support is a positive coping strategy that is associated with better health in chronically ill patients. This includes support from spouses, family, friends, IC/BPS support groups, and professionals in the health care field. Patients with IC/BPS who sought emotional support, talked about their feelings, and solicited empathy from others saw some benefits, especially during an IC/BPS flare. Patients with IC/BPS who sought advice or information from others had decreased feelings of isolation, increased sense of control, and fewer depressive symptoms.