Hello Ginny, I have had interstitial cystitis since the age of about 19, I am now 39. It took 10 years and about 4 doctors to diagnose. This included a Urologist that told me my bladder was too small for my body. I was finally diagnosed in 1991, after losing my husband in an accident, and having a major flareup, with trips to the bathroom as frequent, as every 15 minutes.I ended up having a combination of IC, endometriosis, and fibroid tumors. Had laser sugery for the endometriosis, and tried several different drugs for the IC. After 2 different biopsies, I received dmso with a mixture of other things instilled over an 8 week period. That worked quite well,with a diet containing NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!!!! I believe that my interstitial cystitis started after dieting at age 19 to lose 30 lbs, and using lots of sacharin and aspartame. I ended up getting a bladder infection, with major symptoms that did not go away after the infection was gone, I was in the hospital for a week, had every test imaginable done. Unfortunately; doctors did not seem to know what interstitial cystitis was in the early 1980's. Fortunately, I have been able to control IC with bladder instillations. About a month ago I underwent surgery for fibroid tumors in the uterus, a myomectomy. After recovering from that I have been unfortunate enough to have another flareup of IC. Its been 3 years since the last treatment. I guess the shock of having baseball sized fibroids removed from my uterus, and then finally being able to engage in a sex life again was too much. Hopefully, the dmso treatment works, just had it today, and the Doctor is trying another bladder drug similar to ditropan. I guess the relief did come 10 years ago, after I had suffered needlessly, and doctors couldn't find anything wrong. Then my ObGYN in California, and a coworker told me about IC, and a Californian urologist finally diagnosed me. So much for Doctors in the early 1980's in Oregon. I am wondering if anyone else out there has associated dieting, artificial sweeteners, and other bodily symptoms, like tiredness, or swollen glands before a flareup of IC. Also, how about fibroids or other gynocological problems. I wonder if there could be any links? please email me.