Pain and the need to urinate frequently can cause a lot of frustration, and it can make it difficult to work. Interstitial cystitis is a condition where people have these frequent urges and sensations, and it can be difficult to concentrate. For some people, depending on their job, they might also find it difficult to interact with clients, guests, and other types of customers because their need to urinate continually interrupts them from their job. Anyone who is struggling with this condition should take a look at whether or not they would qualify for disability benefits.
What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is the umbrella term for a range of bladder conditions that cause pain and other problems. It’s a chronic condition that can even last a lifetime. To better understand this disorder, people need to understand where it comes from and how the bladder is supposed to function. In a bladder that functions normally, it fills up with urine. And when the bladder is full enough, the brain is triggered that it’s full. In a person with interstitial cystitis, their brain is triggered too soon, resulting in more frequent urges to urinate.
Women are the people who are most commonly affected by interstitial cystitis. And, unfortunately, there’s no cure for this disorder. People with light skin and red hair are also more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than people with other skin tones. And people in their 30s and older are more likely to be diagnosed with interstitial cystitis than people who are younger. Finally, people with this disorder are more likely to have a chronic pain disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia.
It’s not entirely clear what causes interstitial cystitis, but one of the most common reasons that’s cited as a possibility is that there’s a problem with the lining that’s supposed to protect the rest of the bladder from the acidity of the urine.
There isn’t an absolute cure for interstitial cystitis, but there are a lot medications, procedures, and surgeries that doctors can use to alleviate symptoms.
Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
People with interstitial cystitis will feel a frequent need to urinate, but when they do, they’ll often only have to go in small amounts. The frequency with which they need to urinate can be up to 60 times per day.
Another common symptom is a pain in the pelvis. Women might also feel pain between the vagina and anus, and men will feel the pain between the scrotum and anus. Most often, the pain will come on as the bladder is filling up, but it will feel better immediately after the bladder empties. Some people will also experience pain while having sex.
The symptoms of interstitial cystitis are very similar to a urinary tract infection, causing some people to mistake the two. But a UTI and interstitial cystitis aren’t related in terms of what causes them.
Some people might also go long periods of time when they don’t feel any kind of pain, need to urinate excessively, or any other symptoms that are commonly associated with this condition.
On the other hand, some people might also experience complications because of the pain and the constant need to urinate. For instance, some people might have difficulties sleeping because they have to urinate so often, and some people might also experience anxiety and depression over their symptoms and their inability to control them.
Treatments for Interstitial Cystitis
Treating interstitial cystitis can be difficult because there isn’t a single treatment that will work for everyone, so the patient and their doctor might have to go for several rounds before they find something that will actually work well for the patient.
One type of treatment that a doctor might initially prescribe is physical therapy. This type of treatment is used to relieve pelvic pain that’s associated with this condition. When receiving physical therapy, one of the major goals will be to relieve some of the pain associated with muscle tissue tenderness, abnormalities with the pelvic floor, and restrictive connective tissue.
Another form of treatment that a doctor might prescribe is oral medication. There are several kinds available. For instance, a doctor might prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as a first option because these are inexpensive drugs that can help relieve mild to moderate pain.
Some doctors will prescribe drugs like tricyclic antidepressants, which can help the bladder relax so that there’s less pain and there’s less feelings of the need to urinate.
Pentosan polysulfate sodium is a drug that’s been specifically approved by the FDA to help treat some of the underlying causes of the symptoms. It’s not entirely clear how it works, but it might restore the inner lining of the bladder so that the muscle isn’t irritated by the urine in the bladder.
Surgery is sometimes used to get rid of ulcers that were caused by the interstitial cystitis. For instance, resectioning and fulguration are two types of treatments that are often used.
Finally, nerve stimulation is often used to relieve pain and strengthen the muscles so that there’s less need for frequent urination.
Benefits for Interstitial Cystitis
Anyone who has interstitial cystitis might have difficulties working for several reasons, namely the frequency that a person needs to urinate. People who are thinking about applying for benefits for themselves should look at the requirements.
Since there isn’t a specific listing for interstitial cystitis in the Blue Book, in order to qualify for benefits, the applicant must meet one of three other sets of criteria.
First of all, one way that a person might meet a listing is if they have lupus. The reason why this is important is because there are many people with lupus who also have interstitial cystitis, so they’re more likely to be able to get disability benefits under the lupus listing.
Another way that a person might meet a listing is if they have depression that’s completely disabling. This might be caused by the interstitial cystitis, or it might be caused by something else. Either way, a person might be able to get benefits if they meet one of these criteria.
A third way that a person might be able to get benefits for interstitial cystitis is if they can demonstrate that the condition interferes with their current work and work that they’ve done in the past. You’ll need to complete a residual functional capacity test to determine whether or not this fits your situation. With this method, the person’s doctor fills out a list of all of the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. Then, someone from the SSA will look at the list of symptoms and the types of jobs that the person has experience in the past to determine whether or not there’s any work that they can do even with their limitations.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Interstitial Cystitis, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.