Are you a female that experiences excessive urination throughout the day, pelvic pain or pressure or blood in your urine? You may be one of the 12 percent of women suffering from interstitial cystitis, which is known as painful bladder syndrome. Thankfully, you are not alone and there are ways to alleviate symptoms. As you navigate this issue, learn what painful bladder syndrome is, top signs and symptoms, potential causes, diagnosing, treatments, and how using a specialist for women’s health in Parker can help.
About the Bladder and Painful Bladder Syndrome?
Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, is a condition that affects the pelvic area primarily in women but can happen in men, too. Those who have this condition experience chronic pain in the bladder and entire pelvic area.
The bladder is a sac within the pelvic region, made of a muscle. It is a small organ that collects the urine the body excretes. In a normal, healthy person (without symptoms of painful bladder syndrome), the bladder can store up to two cups of urine. The fuller the bladder gets, the higher the sensation a person will have to urinate.
Urine is produced through the consumption of foods and liquids, medications or medical conditions. However, the bladder is one piece of a larger picture. It is helpful to learn about the urinary tract and how it works
to see how the process works.
The color of your urine will tell you a lot about your health. Typically, clear, or light to medium shades of yellow is the sign of normal urine. The lighter the color, the better hydrated you are. Drink at least 64 ounces of water or more throughout the day to help. On average, a normal, healthy person will urinate up to eight times in one day. If your urine is a dark yellow or brown, it is a tell-tale sign of dehydration or possibly issues with your liver. These aren’t the only two colors for urine—vitamins, medications, foods, or the consumption of certain things can cause your urine to be orange, blue or even green. The texture can also change if there are issues. If your urine seems foamy, it could be a sign that you have a problem with your kidneys and should speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a few key symptoms common to those suffering from painful bladder syndrome. These symptoms can include:
If you notice any of these symptoms and they do not go away, it is important to speak with your doctor. The key to seeking relief is to reach out to solve the problem.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Bladder pain
- Painful urination (i.e. burning sensation)
- Frequent urination (i.e. multiple times an hour throughout the day) and/or having the sensation to urinate all of the time
- Pressure or tenderness within the pelvic area
- Pain in the pelvic floor muscles as well as lower back or abdomen
- Painful intercourse
- Ulcers or sores
- Blood in urine
As of now, the exact cause of painful bladder syndrome is unknown. Some believe it is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakes itself for an invader and tries to fight itself off. It can also happen due to irritation of the bladder wall, or if the wall has scarring.
Despite not having an exact cause, there are a few reasons that doctors and researchers believe painful bladder syndrome occurs or have pinpointed connections.
First is a bladder infection. A bladder infection is an infection of the urinary tract. In a majority of cases, it occurs due to bacteria in the urethra—specifically E. coli. They are commonly treated using antibiotics.
That’s not all. Painful bladder syndrome may actually be genetic. If one of your parents or someone in your family suffers from this condition, it is possible that it may have been passed down to you—and you to a child.
Since there is not an exact cause that doctors have found, they may not diagnose as painful bladder syndrome right away. However, there are a few things they will do to see what the problem is.
One of those is giving you a urine analysis. By urinating in a cup, they will be able to check your urine for bad bacteria, blood or puss. If any of these are found positive, you may have an infection. In addition, they can also run a urine culture to see what type of bacteria is in your system.
They can also delve into the issue further in more serious cases by examining your urethra with a camera. If they need to test the area, they can take a tissue sample to biopsy. It is also common for the dye to be used in the bladder to see the pattern of the urine flow. Your doctor may also rule out kidney stones or tumors by an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan.
From here, your doctor will take what they have learned and may diagnose you with painful bladder syndrome.
If you have a bacterial infection that aids your painful bladder syndrome, your doctor will put you on an antibiotic to help rid your body of the problem. In addition, they may recommend changing your diet, reduce stress and maintain a healthy level of physical activity. If you are a smoker, they will ask you to stop.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation through Physical Therapy
Did you know that one of the treatment methods for painful bladder syndrome and other pelvic floor problems is physical therapy? Your local physical therapist can work with you to help strengthen your pelvic floor. Through a series of specialized exercises, they will help you to loosen tight pelvic muscles that will ease some of your symptoms. This is extremely beneficial to regain control and improve men and women’s health
When it comes to assisting you with your pelvic plan and painful bladder syndrome, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness will help. Our team will go over with you a variety of strengthening exercises. Schedule your appointment today and contact a Peak PT & Wellness