Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis


(painful bladder syndrome, recurrent bladder infections, recurrent urinary tract infections, Cystitis)

Interstitial Cystitis is a condition that involves chronic inflammation of the bladder. The symptoms can be quite severe with chronic pelvic pain, frequency of urination, pain with urination, pain with intercourse and recurrent urinary tract infections. A recent study revealed patients who suffer with this condition can be as debilitated as those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Until recently, there was no cure for interstitial cystitis. Doctors simply treated the recurrent bladder infections and provided symptomatic relief with pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and a prescription drug called Elmiron. This drug does not cure the condition but rather puts a "sealant" over the bladder lining thus reducing symptoms.

Just a few years ago, a dramatic discovery was made as to the root cause of interstitial cystitis. A Nurse Practitioner working for a urology group in Washington DC, was convinced a specific microorganism had to be responsible for this debilitating condition. She commissioned Dr. Stephen Fry, a nationally recognized medical doctor who developed an independent clinical diagnostic and research laboratory dedicated to identifying vector-borne diseases. After scrutinizing the blood and urine samples from hundreds of interstitial cystitis patients he discovered a protozoan infection which was seen in the vast majority of these patients. It turns out this was an organism that had never been identified. This was confirmed by United States government and the organism was named Protomyxzoa rheumatica. These patients frequently demonstrated significant biofilm. Obviously no long term studies have been performed on this newly discovered organism. In our experience these patients often have co-infection such as Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Babesia, Bartonella, Chlamydia, and Mycoplasma. This parasite has a predisposition to mucous membranes which explains the frequent involvement of the bladder. This organism has been frequently identified in our patients with rheumatologic and gastrointestinal disorders. Therefore, we feel it is likely a major player in rheumatologic symptoms causing inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints. This parasitic infection is also felt to be responsible for inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and perhaps is the frequent cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome. It may be a major player in the development of biofilm. Many microorganisms secrete a gelatinous substance that creates a bio slime which can harbor a multitude of organisms, DNA, protein and sugar. This substance can allow the microorganisms to live in a protected environment and to hide from our immune system, thus making them much more difficult to be destroyed with antibiotics.

There are multiple factors that lead to this condition. They include an altered immune system and an infectious process.
This suppression of the immune system, often seen with a low CD57 count, may explain why it is difficult to eliminate Lyme disease by using short term antibiotics. The protozoa damage the wall of the bladder allowing microorganisms to hide in the deeper tissue which would explain the frequency of urinary tract infections.

At Health and Wellness of Carmel, we may obtain highly sensitive urine cultures to identify any bacteria producing urinary tract symptoms. We often obtain special blood stains evaluating for protozoa, biofilm and other potential pathogens. Proper lifestyle and diet is important for those with a weakened immune system, those experiencing difficulty with healing, chronic fatigue and other health problems. We can provide patients extensive evaluation and develop a treatment plan which will be directed at the root cause of symptoms rather than prescribe prescription drugs that will only treat symptoms. We believe that no man or woman needs to suffer from the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. We enjoy working with our patients to develop a customized treatment plan directed for the individual.

Dr. Clifford Fetters M.D. practices functional medicine for adults and children along with Bruce Thomas M.D., Michael Mountain D.C. and Jerry Weber Naturopathic Physician. Their practice is located at 11900 N. Pennsylvania St., Carmel, IN 46032. Their phone number is 317-663-7123. Website: