Your bladder is a part of the urinary system. It is a hollow muscular organ used to store urine. As urine fills your bladder, the muscles in the bladder relax, allowing the bladder to expand. During urination, the muscles contract and push the urine through the urinary tract system and out of the body. Typically, you are unaware of your bladder until it becomes full, and you need to urinate. When this occurs, you may feel some pressure as the bladder becomes heavy and the muscle expands. If this heaviness turns into pain, it can negatively affect your life and you may ask yourself why does my bladder hurt?
Do you have sudden urges to urinate multiple times per hour? Does it feel like you constantly have a urinary tract infection? What does it mean when your bladder hurts? Bladder irritation can be due to several reasons. You may be inclined to know the cause of your bladder pain. Here are the top reasons why your bladder hurts and some symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) causes an enlargement of the prostate. The symptoms of BPH include the inability to urinate, loss of control, frequent urination, weak stream, difficulty going, and nighttime trips to the bathroom. BPH can lead to bladder stones, urinary retention, and urinary tract infections, which can cause bladder pain.
Bladder cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and other types of cancer that originate in the bladder. Bladder cancer causes several unpleasant symptoms, including bladder pain, pain during urination, problems passing urination, low back pain, and blood in your urine.
Bladder stones are mineral deposits caused by dehydration and concentrated urine. Minerals like calcium and magnesium crystalize, forming bladder stones. The symptoms include painful urination, bladder pain, lower abdominal pain, frequent urination, and back pain. When symptoms first begin to appear, you may ask yourself why is my bladder hurting. Over time, the pain and other symptoms will begin to worsen.
Dehydration has been associated with bladder pain. Many people complain their bladder hurts after peeing. When you are dehydrated, your urine can become acidic and cause burning upon urination. You can reduce the risk of dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids each day. Drinking water flushes toxins out of your body, including your urinary tract.
Spicy, Acidic or Citrus Foods
Certain food items can lead to a painful bladder. These include spicy foods, acidic foods, and citrus fruits. In addition to this, food additives and preservatives can cause bladder spasms. Some of the most common problematic foods include alcohol, artificial sweeteners, caffeine beverages, chocolate, citrus foods and juices, pickles, and tomatoes.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic, painful bladder condition caused by inflammation and irritation of the bladder. It is estimated that 3 to 8 million women and 1 to 4 million men have interstitial cystitis in the United States. (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/interstitial-cystitis-painful-bladder-syndrome/definition-facts) This chronic condition causes the bladder to stiffen, which makes it difficult for the bladder to expand when it fills with urine. As the bladder fills, you may experience pain in your abdomen, groin, or lower back.
Certain medications can cause bladder discomfort, pain, and leakage. Some of the common medications that can affect your bladder include chemotherapy drugs like valrubicin and diuretics like bethanechol, furosemide, and hydrochlorothiazide. If you are taking any of these medications, it is important that you let your doctor know of any changes in urination and tell your doctor ‘my bladder hurts when I pee’.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic medical condition where the myelin that covers the nerves becomes damaged. It can cause a number of issues, including muscle weakness, coordination issues, pain, and muscle spasms. Some signs of multiple sclerosis include bladder spasms that cause bladder pain and urinary incontinence.
Neurogenic bladder is caused by nerve damage. The nerve damage can be caused by alcoholism, vitamin B12 deficiency, brain tumors, herniated disks, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, neural tube defects, and syringomyelia. Neurogenic bladder causes spasms in the bladder that can lead to bladder pain and urine leakage.
Painful Bladder Syndrome
Painful bladder syndrome causes a plethora of unpleasant symptoms. You may experience burning during urination, frequent urination, and bladder pain. Severe cases of painful bladder syndrome can go to the bathroom to try to urinate as many as 40 times per day. Sufferers often report sharp pain extending through their urethra or rectum to the bladder.
Lower abdominal surgery can weaken the bladder or pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, nerves that control the bladder can be damaged. Surgeries like hysterectomy, bladder surgery, prostatectomy, or C-sections can cause damage and lead to painful bladder spasms.
A urinary catheter is a medical device used to drain urine from the bladder. Catheters can be used temporarily or permanently. Some individuals report severe discomfort from urinary catheters due to bladder spasms.
Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection can be quite painful. The most common cause of a urinary tract infection is the introduction of E. coli into the urinary tract. A urinary tract infection causes several symptoms, including pain during urination, bladder pain, flank pain, fever, and frequent urination. Individuals who are overweight, female, diabetic, or sexually active are at an increased risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
How We Can Help With Your Bladder Pain
Men and women around the world want to know – why does my bladder hurt and how can I find relief? There are many different reasons why you may be experiencing bladder pain. Your functional medicine doctor will take a full medical history and do a complete workup to determine why your bladder is hurting.
Bladder pain can be difficult to deal with, especially when it is accompanied by the urge to urinate, flank pain, abdominal pain, back pain, urinary incontinence, and frequent urination. The unrelenting pain and bladder pressure can affect all areas of your life. You may experience interrupted sleep, embarrassment, anxiety, and stress.
If you are ready to find out why your bladder hurts, give us a call today. Our functional doctor will work with you to determine what is causing your bladder pain and provide you with guidance on how to relieve your pain. This may include medications, acupuncture, dietary modifications, stress relief, and cognitive behavioral therapy. We will guide you through your journey of healing and explain any necessary changes that need to be made to keep your urinary system healthy and functioning properly.