Signs of bladder problems

Symptoms of bladder problems can be varied, some causing a lack of control while others are marked by pain. It is important to be aware of the health of your bladder and symptoms that may indicate issues that require timely medical intervention.

The following are the common conditions that can affect your bladder:

1. Urinary incontinence (bladder control problems): Urinary incontinence can be a mild inconvenience or a major disruptor in your daily activities. Without proper management, it can lead to an unwillingness to participate in a normal routine.

Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects the ability of a person to control (hold or release) urine. Accidental loss of urine, or uncontrolled leaking, is the most common of bladder-related problems. It is not a disease, but rather a condition that is usually indicative of an underlying health condition, such as prostate issues in men and pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause in women.

Under the guidance of your doctor, the symptoms of the condition can not only be managed but, in cases, be cured as well.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence:

• Uncontrolled leakage of urine (without any feeling any urge or warning).

• Experiencing a strong urgency to urinate immediately.

• Losing or leaking urine during everyday activities, such as exercising, coughing, and bending.

• Losing urine because of being unable to control your bladder and reach a toilet in time.

• Wetting the bed while sleeping.

When should you see a doctor?

You should seek assistance from your doctor if you start observing the following:

• You pass urine too frequently, 8 or more bathroom visits, in a day.

• You are unable to pass urine or to empty your bladder.

• You observe and blood in your urine.

• You experience urination to be uncomfortable or painful.

2. Urinary tract infection (bladder infection): A urinary tract infection (UTI) is often marked by pain or discomfort during urination. Though a (UTI) can occur in any part of the urinary system, such as the kidneys, ureters, urethra, and bladder, it is most common in the bladder. Women are much more prone to UTIs than men.

A UTI is most commonly caused by bacteria, though it can, in rare cases, be caused by fungi and viruses. It can be diagnosed by your doctor with a urine sample and treated with a course of antibiotics. Plenty of fluids are also prescribed to help flush out the bacteria out of the urinary tract.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections:

Symptoms of a UTI are presented depending on the part of the urinary system that is infected. Lower tract UTIs occur in the bladder and urethra. Upper tract UTIs occur in the kidneys and can be potentially life-endangering as the infection can travel from the kidneys into the bloodstream.

Symptoms of a lower tract UTI are:

• A burning sensation or pain while urinating.

• An increase in frequency to urinate without passing much urine.

• An increase in the sensation of urgency to urinate.

• Cloudy or bloody urine.

• Urine with a strong or foul smell.

• Discoloured or dark-coloured urine.

• Rectal or pelvic pain in cases of men or women respectively.

Symptoms of an upper tract UTI are:

• Fever

• Chills

• Vomiting

• Nausea

• Tenderness and pain in the abdomen, sides, and upper back.

3. Interstitial Cystitis (painful bladder syndrome): Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as the painful bladder syndrome is a chronic condition where the bladder becomes irritated and suffers inflammation. The inflammation makes it difficult for the bladder to fully expand while filling up with urine, causing pain. IC can be caused by many reasons, such as a trauma to the bladder, a defect in the bladder lining, or an injury to the spinal cord.

Severe IC symptoms can have an adverse impact on your life and disrupt many everyday activities like exercise, work, and sexual intercourse. IC is diagnosed by doctors by ruling out other conditions that cause similar symptoms with urine sampling, cystoscopy, or an ultrasound/ CT scan of the pelvic area.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis:

• The main symptom of IC is pain. The pain increases as the bladder fills, and then dissipates with passing urine. The pain usually alleviates once the bladder is emptied. Pain may also be felt in the groin, abdomen, or lower back.

• The frequency of urination can increase without passing much urine. Most people pass urine 4-7 times a day; with IC, this frequency can go up considerably.

• An urgent need to urinate before the bladder has had time to be full.

4.Bladder cancer:

Cancer can affect the bladder as well. The most common kind of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which begins in the innermost layer of the bladder lining. Factors that increase the risk of developing bladder cancer are smoking, exposure to carcinogenic substances, and genetic predispositions such as family history and being male, older, or white.

Symptoms of bladder cancer:

• Presence of blood in the urine, also known as hematuria.

• Pain during urination.

• An increase in the frequency and urgency to urinate.

• Difficulty in passing urine.

• Pain in the lower back.

It is important that you take any symptoms or difficulties in your urinary system seriously, and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Most bladder issues share similar symptoms such as discomfort during urination, an increase in the frequency to urinate, and increased urgency. A medical professional will conduct physical examinations and run tests to identify the condition to start appropriate medication immediately. If you are suffering from any bladder-related issues or are seeking more information regarding urinary problems, book an appointment with our experts at the Department of Urology and Nephrology at Sagar Hospitals.

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