Ketamine cystitis network
 
Symptoms

Symptoms are consistent with interstitial cystitis (IC), ulcerative cystitis and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Patients may struggle with:


  1. +urinary frequency - a need to empty your bladder every few minutes. This can relate directly to your bladder capacity. Ketamine causes bladders to shrink and become fibrotic (stiff), only able to hold a small amount of urine at a time.

  2. +urinary urgency - a sudden, compelling need to urinate

  3. +urinary pressure - a constant sensation of fullness in your bladder that is unrelieved by urination

  4. +pelvic and bladder pain - pain can develop suddenly and severely, particularly as the bladder fills with urine.

  5. +hematuria - visible blood in the urine.

  6. +incontinence - leakage of urine

DIAGNOSIS

Urologists are using the diagnostic criteria for interstitial cystitis, a similar medical condition that results in some bladder damage. Thus, patients will be assessed based upon their symptoms as listed above. Physicians may do a cystoscopy to exam the bladder wall, as well as other functional tests such as a voiding cystogram and/or urodynamics. Ultimately, a hydrodistention with cystoscopy may be used so that the clinician can closely exam the bladder wall. Patients with ketamine induced bladder damage have varying degrees of irritation, inflammation, petechial hemorrhages (bleeding blood vessels) or larger Hunner’s Ulcers in their bladder wall. Bladder capacity is also reduced dramatically. Normal bladder capacity may be 500cc’s however some ketamine addicts have developed a small, stiff bladder that can only hold 50cc’s of urine or less. 


It is essential that physicians ask younger patients if they have, or are, using ketamine.

WhO CAN DEVELOP THIS

Known as the poor mans cocaine as well as a “date rape” drug, ketamine has gained popularity at RAVES due to the “high” and “k-hole” it can give. It appears to be effecting teenagers and young adults most frequently.


Ketamine is a veterinary anesthetic that has hallucinogenic properties and also impairs memory, thus abusers often wake up from their high with no memory of what they have done. It can be taken orally, inhaled or injected into the muscle.


It appears to be very popular in the Asian community. Canada, for example, reports that its use is spreading rapidly through the Chinese Community. Similarly, ketamine production and use has grown rapidly in Mexico, where it has been increasingly exported into the USA illegally.   The US Department of Justice reports that ketamine is available through all major drug tracking areas in the US. The Rocky Mountain area, as well as the both coasts and Florida are all targets for Mexican drug cartels. It is available in pill form or as a powder.


Anyone who ABUSES ketamine runs the risk of developing severe bladder and kidney damage as well as other serious side effects.


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