What do you mean I do not have a bladder infection? – I have all the symptoms.
Written by: Tara Kraf, WHNP Frisco Womens Health
Medical City Frisco (972) 668-8300
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are common in women and the symptoms are well known: burning with urination, feeling like you have to go all the time and often, voiding only small amounts, pelvic pain and pressure. So naturally when a women has these symptoms it is frequently assumed that a UTI is the diagnoses. That is often the case, but not always which is why we need to obtain a urine specimen and send off a culture. If the tests are negative for an infection we need to look at other etiologies for the symptoms. One of these could be Bladder Pain Syndrome or Interstitial Cystitis. It is estimated that between 3-8 million women in the U.S. are suffering with this syndrome. The cause of bladder pain syndrome is not fully understood it is believed that the lining of the bladder under goes some abnormal changes making it easily irritated. Pain may start gradually or have a sudden onset, can persist for month or years. Many patients will go misdiagnosed for years. Looking into the bladder and taking a biopsy definitively makes the diagnosis. There are some less invasive treatment options for women to try to relieve some of the discomfort.
- Take OTC antihistamines. Allergies are thought to play a role in the development of Bladder pain syndrome.
- Avoid foods that are known to be bladder irritants
Acidic foods Sourdough Bread Soy products Foods high in sodium or potassium Alcohol Tofu Caffeine Tomatoes Carbonated beverages Yogurt Citrus/ Cranberry Rye bread Aged cheeses MSG Artificial sweeteners Mayonnaise Chocolate Spicy foods Fava or Lima beans Eggs Cured/ Processed meats Picked foods Onions Salt substitute Sour cream Vitamin tablets Most nuts except Cashews, Almonds or pine nuts
This looks like a rather long list but in reality not all of these foods will be bladder irritants for all women. It may just be one or two that can be avoided. Stop each food for one – two weeks and then restart, if your symptoms return you will know that that is one of your foods to avoid.
- Bladder training
- Stress management, exercise
- Meditation or acupuncture
- Medications – This is just a quick overview but if you are frequently experiencing the signs of a urinary tract infection or have questions regarding Interstitial Cystitis or Bladder Pain Syndrome please feel free to contact us.