Wednesday, January 9, 2019

IC Pain is Real

"Your pain is not real, you are imagining the pain"

Most IC/BPS patients have heard this at least once during or after the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis. Not only patients from India but patients from all over the world have similar experiences. They have either heard it from a friend, a colleague, a family member and in the most unfortunate situation from his/her doctor. Why is this?

There are numerous reasons for this, but before discussing the reasons lets say this in bold letters IC patients do not fake their pain, the pain is real. Now let us get back to discussing the reasons:

  1. Most female patients go to a Gynecologist and most gynecologists have no idea about the disease so they are unable to understand the pain
  2. Due to lack of awareness, most doctors are not able to understand the level of the pain
  3. Most doctors confuse IC with UTI and ask the patients to undergo urine routine and culture and in most cases the results come out negative therefore the doctors get confused and think if the reports are fine what pain is the patient talking about
  4. Pain in IC is often felt all across and a patient is not able to pinpoint any single pain point therefore often doctors do not understand the intensity
  5.  Overlapping comorbidities like Fibromyalgia etc also create pain that is often misunderstood
The pain in IC can be challenging and confusing for the doctor in most cases however that doesn't mean that there is no pain. Many patients have compared IC pain equivalent to cancer pain. Pain is the major component of this disease and the doctors should empathize with the patient and do not call them insane. If a general physician is unable to understand the pain then the patient should be referred to a pain specialist for better understanding. 

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