Urinary bladder pain is a common condition experienced by many patients. It refers to pain located near the pubic bone or lower abdominal area. Bladder pain symptoms are more common in women but may also occur in men. Symptoms of pain usually occur with bladder fullness or during urination. Bladder pain may happen in the absence of a bladder infection and for many individuals the cause is uncertain. If you experience urinary bladder pain, urinary urgency or pain during urination then you may suffer from a condition called Painful Bladder Syndrome. The exact cause of Painful Bladder Syndrome is unknow, but bladder irritants may be the cause of your symptoms. No one therapy has been shown to be superior in the treatment of painful bladder syndrome but eliminating bladder irritants may help reduce the substances in your diet which cause pain.
What foods cause urinary bladder pain?
Bladder irritants are dietary substances that we consume (foods, drinks, medications) that irritates or stimulates urinary bladder pain. It is possible that you may experience sensitives to things you consume but are unaware of it. Obviously not all foods or drinks affect every person the same way so discovering what provokes your symptoms is the first step to treating your discomfort.
Common bladder irritants include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Apples and apple juice
- Carbonated beverages
- Chili and spicy foods
- Citrus fruit
- Coffee (including decaffeinated)
- Cranberries and cranberry juice
- Milk Products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream
- Sugar especially artificial sweeteners, saccharin, aspartame, corn sweeteners, honey, fructose, sucrose, lactose
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Vitamin B complex
How does a bladder diet help urinary bladder pain?
It may be very difficult to reduce bladder pain if your diet consists of a significant amount of bladder irritants. An elimination diet will help reduce the bladder irritants that you consume on a daily basis. The first step to starting a bladder diet is making a list of the foods, drinks and medications you consume on a daily basis. Try to eliminate the foods and drinks listed above. Relief from bladder pain should be evident at around 10 days. Once you begin feeling better you may slowly begin to reintroduce each food one at a time. If your bladder pain symptoms return, then you will be able to identify the specific irritant.
I am board certified in Obsetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). I currently serve as the Medical Director of Female Pelvic Medicine for the Crozer Health Medical Group in the greater Philadelphia area. I obtained my residency training in OBGYN at the Los Angeles County+ University of Southern California Medical Center and fellowship training in FPMRS at Johns Hopkins. I am passionate about the field of Women’s Health and the treatment of pelvic floor disorders like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.