How to File a Claim for Interstitial Cystitis Disability Benefits
Chronic pelvic and bladder pain and the disruptive nature of excessive urination could qualify you to receive disability benefits. While frequent urination may not seem to be a plausible reason to receive long-term disability benefits, for a person who needs to urinate 50 or 60 times per day, it's easy to understand how debilitating interstitial cystitis can be. Learn more about interstitial cystitis disability below.
Understanding Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis affects the bladder, which is the organ that stores urine. The bladder is hollow and expands or contracts based on the amount of urine it contains. When the bladder is full, nerves in the brain signal to you that it's time to urinate. The brain then sends a similar message to the bladder to contract and expel the urine.
For people suffering from interstitial cystitis, the brain sends messages signaling the need to urinate more often, even when the bladder is not full. In addition to frequent urination, interstitial cystitis can cause severe bladder pain, pelvic pain, and, in women, pain during sex.
Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
The symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from mild and annoying to painful and debilitating. Common symptoms of interstitial cystitis include the following:
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate
- Pelvic pain, for women between the vagina and anus, and in men between the scrotum and anus
- Pain while the bladder is refilling
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Causes of Interstitial Cystitis
Doctors aren't entirely sure what causes interstitial cystitis but there are at least two theories about the disease. One is that some people have a problem with the lining of their bladders which release toxic substances into their urine that irritate the bladder wall. The second theory is that interstitial cystitis is auto-immune in nature meaning the body is attacking itself, in this case, the bladder.
There are a number of risk factors common to sufferers of interstitial cystitis:
- Age: People over 30 are more likely to experience interstitial cystitis
- Sex: Women are more likely than men to have the condition
- Hair color and complexion: Surprisingly, fair-skinned people with red hair have a greater risk of developing the condition
- Co-Existing Pain Disorders: Fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other pain-related conditions may put their sufferers at higher risk of developing interstitial cystitis
Interstitial Cystitis Treatments
The type of treatment depends on the severity of the pain and which of the symptoms a person experiences.
Pain Relief and Frequency of Urination
Anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the pain of interstitial cystitis, anti-depressants can relax the bladder, and anti-histamines may reduce the urgency and frequency of urination.
The FDA approved a drug called Elmiron specifically for the treatment of interstitial cystitis and works by protecting the bladder wall from toxic irritants in the urine.
There are a number of nerve stimulation techniques, including the implantation of a permanent device, to reduce pain and the frequency of urination.
To strengthen bladder muscles and release natural pain blockers, electrical impulses are sent to the bladder using a TENS unit on the lower back.
Sacral Nerve Stimulation may also be effective. A thin wire is placed near the sacral nerves and impulses are sent to the bladder.
For more serious cases, an injection of medicine into the bladder through a catheter can be effective.
There are rare cases when an individual's bladder will only hold a small amount of urine. Surgery to stretch the bladder may offer relief from the condition.
Interstitial Cystitis Disability
The need to urinate 50 or 60 times a day disrupts workflow and decreases productivity. Even if your job is sedentary, it may be difficult for you to sit for long periods of time, which can aggravate the condition.
It can be very difficult to prove to an insurance company that interstitial cystitis qualifies you for long-term disability benefits. Medical records, your physician's notes, and medical reports should be included in your claim. A diary can provide the insurance company with objective information about the number of times per day you urinate, whether or not you awaken during the night to urinate, and how the condition affects your quality of life.
How a Long-Term Disability Attorney Can Help
An experienced Ocala FL long-term disability lawyer can provide you with information about the way your insurance company deals with claims for interstitial cystitis. Our familiarity with the application process and the necessary documentation may be the difference between approval or denial of benefits. An expert in your corner makes a world of difference.
For Help Preparing Your Interstitial Cystitis Disability Claim
At CJ Henry Law Firm PLLC, we can help you with your interstitial cystitis disability claim and may be able to improve your chances of approval. Contact us today.