The exact cause of interstitial cystitis isn't known, but it's likely that many factors are at play. For instance, people with interstitial cystitis may also have a defect in the protective lining (epithelium) of the bladder. A leak in the epithelium may allow toxic substances in urine to irritate your bladder wall.
Other suggested but unproven factors that may contribute to interstitial cystitis include an autoimmune reaction, heredity, infection or allergy.
Jan. 02, 2014
- Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/interstitialcystitis/. Accessed July 17, 2013.
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- Interstitial cystitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/voiding_disorders/interstitial_cystitis.html. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 1, 2013.
- Clemens JQ. Management of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Diagnosis and treatment of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. Linthicum, Md.: American Urological Association. http://www.auanet.org/education/guidelines/ic-bladder-pain-syndrome.cfm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2013.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Aug. 1, 2013.
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