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    Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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    Bladder Spasms

    Other Causes of Bladder Spasms

    Some medications may cause bladder spasms as a side effect. Medications that commonly cause bladder spasms include:

    What you eat or drink can sometimes bother a fragile bladder and cause it to go into a spasm. This is especially true in patients who have a condition called interstitial cystitis.

    Spicy, acidic, or citrusy foods and the chemicals in certain preservatives and food additives may irritate the lining of the bladder in some people. Such products may include:

    • Alcohol
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea
    • Chocolate
    • Citrus fruits and drinks, such as oranges and orange juice
    • Pickled foods
    • Tomatoes

    Treatment of Bladder Spasms

    How your doctor treats your bladder spasms depends on what exactly is causing your painful symptoms. But in general, therapy may involve one or more of the following treatments. A combination of treatments often works best.

    Change in diet. This may help prevent bladder pain if certain foods and beverages are the culprit behind your spasms. Keeping a food diary, which tracks your meals and your symptoms, can be helpful.

    Timed voiding. This involves timed trips to the bathroom to urinate, usually every 1.5 to 2 hours. Timed voiding is especially helpful for children. As the bladder spasms get better and fewer wetting accidents occur, you can extend the time between trips to the bathroom.

    Pelvic floor exercises ("Kegels"). Kegels and other forms of physical therapy help strengthen and relax the bladder and other muscles that help the body hold in urine. Kegels, combined with biofeedback, are often a good way to help reduce bladder spasms in children. To tighten your pelvic muscles, squeeze your muscles in the same way as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or prevent yourself from passing gas. Kegel exercises take practice, and tightening the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder. Ask your doctor for specific instructions.

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