Difference between Urinary tract infection and Interstitial Cystitis?

Am I suffering from urinary tract infection or is it something else? How to differentiate between urinary tract infection and interstitial cystitis

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Here are the symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
• Pain the bladder when urinating, that eases once you relieve yourself
• Sudden urge to urine
• High frequency of urine
Here are the symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
• Burning sensation whie passing urine or pain in the lower back or abdomen
• Strong, sudden urge to pass urine
• Cloudy, brown or blood colored urine
• Fever or chills

Though there are strong similarities between Interstitial Cystitis and Urinary Tract Infection, there are big differences as well. UTI is caused due to bacteria but one cannot pinpoint the cause of Interstitial Cystitis; it can be due to some toxin in the urine or a general inflammation throughout the body.

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The doctor in order to find out if you are having urinary tract infection and not something else like Interstitial Cystitis, will ask you to go for a urine test. A clean catch method may be done wherein you have to clean your genitals and then collect urine midstream in a cup that is sterline. Or a catherer may be inserted in the urethra to collect the urine. The urine is then analyzed to check for bacteria to find out if there is urinary tract infection.

Also antibiotics, the medicines that fight bacteria are the standard mode of treatment for UTI while they do not work against IC, though there are other treatment and lifestyle changes that can work. The bottom line is if you respond well to an antibiotic,you are having urinary tract infection. If no, then you may be suffering from IC.

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