Symptoms of Irritable Bladder Syndrome (including Bladder Infection)
Pain in the pelvic region, bladder, urethral or vaginal areas, frequent urination or the urge to go, waking up often at night to relieve yourself, piddling on yourself when you laugh, sneeze or run, often being aware of your bladder and/or not being able to completely empty the bladder.
Pain in the pelvic region, bladder, urethral or vaginal areas as if you had a bladder infection, but you don't, is known as Intersticial Cystitis or IC (chronic inflammation of the bladder wall), is often caused by food sensitivities. It is not caused by emotional stress or psychosomatic factors.
Irritable Bladder Syndrome is not the same as Nocturia. Nocturia is the need for sudden or frequent urination at night caused by the release of a certain hormone during oxygen deprivation, and may be a symptom of Sleep Apnea. The feeling is so great that it can cause panic attacks or a sensation of fearing movement. It may even take you awhile to return to sleep.
Possible Causes of Irritable Bladder Syndrome
Pinched or Inflamed Spinal Nerves (particularly the Sacral Nerve),
Hormonal Imbalance (Menopause)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (toxic bacteria may be crossing the bowel, vaginal and bladder walls)
Sensitivity to certain foods and/or chemicals
Irritation to sensitive nerves caused by Tension Myositis Syndrome or Myofascial Pain Syndrome, which are fancy words for muscle tension, but two different types.
Herpes Simplex Virus can also cause bladder pain when bladder nerves are affected by inflammation inside the body from herpes in the vaginal, rectal, buttock, or hip area.
Natural Old World Remedies for Irritable Bladder Syndrome
Sugary and caffeinated beverages can instantly irritate the bladder, causing burning, irritation, and bladder urgency. Drink down a whole glass of pure water. If what you drank (or ate) is the cause of your Irritable Bladder Syndrome, the water will dilute what is in your bladder and will immediately reduce the irritation. Try eliminating or greatly reducing those things that irritate your bladder.
Relieve your bladder when you need to. Waiting to empty your bladder causes bladder stress. On the other hand, tinkling at every tiny urge can create a weak bladder, or so I’ve read. Take your time when you urinate. Wait a few seconds after the last drop, especially if you are have MS, Fibromyalgia, are overweight, have saggy bladder, have given birth, are aged or have any other nerve affecting conditions, to see if there’s a little more to come. If you feel you have more to go, but nothing is coming, twist gently from side to side on the toilet seat to give your bladder a little wring. The other thing you can do is open your legs a bit wider when you go. It takes the pressure off the bladder and urethra so urine can escape better. Men who sit on the toilet to urinate can do this as well.
For bladder sensitivity or pain, place an ice pack over your bladder or between your legs for no more than 20 minutes, then rest for 20 minutes (or alternate with heat). Repeat up to 4 times and then break for one hour. You might also try the ice pack on your lower spine and tailbone instead where the major nerves that lead to your bladder stem from.
Do not wear tight, restrictive clothing.
Try not to sit for more than an hour in one position without stretching. Get up and walk around. Stretch a bit. If you have an office job, where you sit most of the day, invest in a good chair or cushion that is supportive to your seat bones. Constant pressure on bones and muscles can affect nerves that lead to the bladder and can cause bladder pain.
Irritable Bladder Syndrome may be related to Atrophic Vaginitis, a result of decreased estrogen or the continuation of a vaginal bacterial infection, such as Gardnerella. See Vaginal Complaints.
Try Kegal exercises once you are healed from a bladder infection to improve the strength and tone of the bladder. This goes for male bladders too. For women, this exercise also helps to firm the vaginal wall. You can do Kegal exercises anywhere and in just about any position. No one will even know that you are doing them. Empty your bladder before you do them to avoid pressure.
How to Perform Kegal Exercise (for men and women)
Tighten the muscles of your rectum by squeezing, as if you were trying very hard not to urinate or pass gas. Hold for a count of two seconds and relax to the count of 10 seconds. Do a set of 10 squeezes up to 4 times per day. As these get easier to do, begin to increase the hold to 5-10 seconds, or until fatigued. If there is any discomfort, or you begin to feel your muscles grow tired, STOP. You are not supposed to stress and build your muscles, but rather tone them with gentle exercise. Then, relax for the same count. Repeat. Can you do more or do it more often? Yes, but only gradually or you may feel some discomfort in the pelvic region much as you would sore muscles after any other exercise.
Tight muscles can cause more symptoms than you probably realize. Try finding a sore muscle in your lower back, buttock or thigh. Often we don't even realize that we have sore muscles in our rear ends, but they can pull on muscles and nerves that lead to the bladder. If you find a sore spot, massage it. Then, press on it and hold for 2 minutes. Make sure you are only pressing enough for it to feel good, not cause more pain. Massage for a few seconds again. Afterwards, lie on the floor and do some buttock stretches by bringing your knee up to your chest (one leg at a time) and holding it for a minute and then slowly releasing your leg to the floor. Releasing the tension may release the pain in your bladder.
Change your shoe style. This goes for men too. Wearing improper fitting shoes causes imbalances in the hips, which, in turn, causes stress and tension in the muscles of the buttocks, lower back and pelvic floor. If your feet hurt, your bladder can be stressed too. Women, if you are wearing spiky high heels, or even heels at all, try wearing flats until you feel better. If your symptoms return with the shoes, buy yourself a new shoe wardrobe in all flats or low pumps. Heels cause pressure build up in the legs that can cause tension higher in the body in the bowel, bladder and reproductive areas. Recently, there has been news that wearing heels actually tightens up muscles in the lower abs, uterus and sexual organs as you wear them. This is great, but constant tension can cause muscle tissue fatigue and pain. If you wear high heels one day, try wearing just flats, or pumps, the next. Rotate your shoe wardrobe.
Seeing a chiropractor, for both Irritable Bowel and Irritable Bladder, can help if the problem is pinched nerves caused by bones that are out of alignment. Of course, if you have tight muscles, they will only serve to pull the bones out of alignment once again.
Balance your pH. Too much acid in the body from eating a poor diet can irritate the bladder. I am not referring to acid indigestion here, but rather too much acid in your blood from poor diet and other toxic elements. Minerals, such as Calcium, Magnesium (Malate or Citrate) and Zinc buffer the effects of acidic wastes and other toxins that affect the bladder and cause pain. Be sure to eat foods that are high in these minerals or take supplements.
Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Avoid anything fermented, caffeine, squash, mayonnaise, fruit juices, including cranberry juice (use cranberry supplements instead), strawberries, hot spices, preservatives, food dyes, tomatoes, mushrooms, carbonated beverages, yogurt, cheese, fake sweeteners, caffeine, dark chocolate, yeast, dairy, sugar, gluten, carbonated beverages and oxalates.
Oxalates and salicylates are natural chemicals found in plant foods. They are also found in personal care products and Aspirin and can be absorbed into the skin. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to oxylates and salicylates, which can cause different types of pain in the body, including bladder pain. Download my free TCL Wellness Handout, The Oxalates & Salicylates Foods & Substances Lists, directly below, to review which foods or substances you might be indulging in a little too often for comfort. The amounts of these two plant chemicals in foods and substances are listed for you.
Supplement Remedies for Irritable Bladder Syndrome
Cranberry supplements can help the bladder by eliminating the chance of certain bacteria from sticking to the inside of the bladder wall.
Note: Do not substitute whole cranberries, cranberry juice, or dried cranberries for this remedy. Use only supplements.
Pumpkin Seed Oil can help to increase bladder urgency, which can help to flush out the bladder, relieve discomfort, and remedy kidney infections.
Irritable Bladder Syndrome Associations
Spiritual/Psychological cause of Irritable Bladder Syndrome: Anger, probably the result of insecurity, has you in its grips. You are afraid of letting go. Blame is part of this syndrome. Pardon the expression, but you may be quite pissed off on some level of your conscious or subconscious mind.
Disclaimer: TheCaptainsLady.com is a website belonging to the legally registered business, The Captains Lady, The information provided by TheCaptainsLady.com is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended to replace any medical or behavioral care from a licensed health care practitioner, or in any way to practice medicine. Information provided is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.
Affiliate Disclosure: The author of this site, Mari J. Dionne, is a trusted affiliate of some of, but not all, businesses she advertises and does receive monetary compensation for any sales of products as a result of any sales made directly through interactive product links on and throughout her website, social applications, programs, e-books, newsletters, emails and any other promotional materials. The author does not accept any responsibility regarding information, promises or guarantees her affiliate associates make with regards to information or the products or services they provide.