Chronic Irritable Bladder

I will share something I learned on this subject. I discovered that the more fruit juices I drank, the more my bladder became irritated. This was a surprise since they recommend acidic juices to reduce bacteria in the bladder. I don’t know whether it was the acid or the sugars in fruit juices, but the more I drank, the more often I had to go. The more often I went, the more irritated my bladder became. Not just a 4oz glass. That was fine. But anything more than an 8oz glass of fruit juice or Gatorade was enough to cause frequent urination and increasing irritation. The worse the irritation, the more chance of bacteria becoming an additional factor and become a bladder infection.

However, if I drank nothing but skim milk (Horizon brand or milk with no bovine hormones bGH which causes irritable bowel syndrome), I did not have any trouble with my bladder. All the irritation went away and I stopped having any bladder problems whatsoever. But as soon as I got tired of drinking skim milk and decided to drink more than 8oz of fruit juice, it started all over again. This was when I had no issues with blood sugar which can compound these bladder problems.

I noticed that the low sugar watered down apple juice sold by Market Pantry, a Target brand, seemed to cause less bladder irritation than the full strength fruit juices. Keeping in mind that I never buy fruit juice with any corn syrup or additional sugars. So if you feel you need to drink some fruit juice, I recommend this reduced sugar brand but not in large amounts. You can add a packet of Truvia  to your glass of reduced sugar apple juice to make it sweeter. Truvia sweetener works best when it is used on something with natural sweetness like apple juice or apple sauce. It does not work well on a sugarless product like tea unless a small amount of sugar is added to it. Truvia tends to double sweeteness of a product which already has some low levels of natural or added sugars so Truvia (Stevia) can help you cut down the amount of sugar you use by amplifying the sweetness. But it is terrible when used as the sole source of sweetness.

However, back to bladder irritation, you can try this for yourself. Try drinking skim milk for a few days and stay away from fruits and fruit juices and away from bladder acidifiers and see if your bladder begins to calm down. Again, I’m not sure whether it is the acid or sugars or both which are causing the irritation… but these are also tied to increased frequency of urination which seems to set off the bladder irritation. I know it got so bad I was having to use pyridium (Uristat) to relieve the irritation. (That is the medicine which turns the urine bright orange).

I tried the cranberry acidifier and that was just as bad as drinking fruit juice in causing irritation. As an Engineer, I notice patterns which is how I discovered what was causing these problems. You first have to have the problem in order to recognize the patterns. Thus, unless the doctor has chronic bladder irritation, they would not be aware of these issues.

Fistulas can also be sources of repeated bacterial bladder infections. Bladder and urethra irritation could also be a reaction to soaps, detergents, lotions or other chemicals. Or even the water you bathe in. You can also get irritations from STD’s and transmitted viruses or bacterias. You may need to get swabs or blood tests to look for various chlamydias or other infections.

You can also get yeast infections inside the bladder despite what doctors may believe. Due to the amounts of antibiotics I’ve had to take, I’ve had yeast in the stomach and in the bladder which can only be alleviated by Diflucan. If your tongue is whitish then you probably have Thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth. These are easily eliminated. But  many doctors seem to think the yeast can’t thrive in stomach or bladder acid. Believe me… they can. Just because a doctor thinks otherwise does not make him right. They are often wrong but rarely admit to it.

Males also have bladder problems from prostate enlargement. This is not necessarily indicative of something bad to be afraid of but definitely needs to be checked by a doctor to get the appropriate medicines or treatments. It could simply be an infection or abscess. Don’t delay out of fear. The sooner you get a problem treated, the better chance you have of recovering. Delaying can end up in catastrophic results.

Males have less bladder issues from external irritants because the urethra is a lot longer than those of females. But not impossible. Bacteria and viruses can also infect their bladders as well.

The doctor can take a urine sample to check for bacteria and you can request to  have those bacteria tested for sensitivity responses to a variety of antibiotics in the lab petrie dishes. You don’t want to let a bladder infection go untreated. My great great great grandfather died of uremic poisoning due to a blocked bladder. Even though the doctors finally cleared the blockage, he had suffered toxic buildup (uremic poisoning) during the days he waited to get help and died just a couple days after they cleared the blockage. His kidneys were irreparably damaged.

A bladder infection is something not to ignore or delay. Especially if the urine is cloudy or dark or has an odor of any kind. I went into septic shock from allowing a bladder infection to go untreated. I was taking oral antibiotics at the time but they were not digesting well enough to get high enough levels into my blood. My kidneys were failing and I nearly died. If you have any vomiting or diarrhea, you can become dehydrated within 12 to 24 hours which can concentrate the bacteria to deadly levels overnight. My white count was 40(000) and I was within 4 hours of total kidney failure when I went to the hospital and was rushed to ICU. So a bladder infection is not something to ignore. I was lucky I did not delay another minute.

In some cases of recurring bladder infections, a daily long term antibiotic is one of the last resort treatments to stop the recurrence of infections, especially when a fistula may be involved or other type of chronic cross contamination of bacteria.

However, if you drink a lot of fruit juices and have frequent bladder irritation… try changing to a non-acidic, non-sugar drink such as skim milk (Horizon or other brand without bGH bovine hormones) for a few days and see if that reduces the irritation and reduces the frequency of urination. I would think coffee or tea would also be too acidic. So the only alternatives I can think of to try would be skim milk which works for me, or water. I would distill or boil the water since most US water contains cryptosporidium & other organisms. Avoid sugars, acids, sodium & caffeine’s. This should reduce frequency & irritation. It can’t hurt to try for a few days as long as you do not have an infection going untreated. It will not fix an infection. That requires antibiotics.

If we can stop the bladder from becoming irritated, we might be able to reduce the numbers of bladder infections we have. I believe the irritations caused by acidic & sweet fruit juices & sodium like gatorade are causing frequent urination leading to irritation which then progresses to infection. If we can stop the trigger of the process, we may be able to prevent recurring infections.

However, as always, this problem should be under the care of a doctor so it doesn’t become a serious or dangerous health situation.

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