Natural Remedies For Overactive Bladder Amita Health
Talk to an AMITA Health doctor about natural remedies for overactive bladder:https://www.amitahealth.org/services/urology
Natural remedies for overactive bladder can include simple tactics such as scheduling bathroom breaks or avoiding foods and drinks that trigger symptoms. AMITA Health nurse practitioner Nicole Rodriguez, NP, likes to recommend strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with kegel exercises.
KEGEL EXERCISES FOR OVERACTIVE BLADDERIf youre a beginner, a good way to introduce yourself to kegel exercises is while urinating. Try to stop your urine stream by clenching your pelvic muscles, then releasing and clenching again. Once you are familiar with this sensation, try exercising those same muscles when you are not urinating. Kegels can be done when youre sitting down, driving in the car, at your desk at work.. almost anywhere, in fact!
Nicole recommends that you start slow, as you would with any new exercise. Work your way up to three sets of 10 repetitions each, three times per day. As you improve, you will be able to incorporate more advanced exercises, such as holding for longer periods or releasing more slowly. The longer you perform these exercises, the tighter your pelvic muscles will get. This in turn will help you control an overactive bladder.
Learn more about the AMITA Health Womens Health Institute: https://www.amitahealth.org/services/womens-health
Find an AMITA Health urogynecologist near you: https://www.amitahealth.org/doctor
Seven Effective Treatments For Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder occurs when sudden or frequent urges to urinate become hard to control, and can often lead to leakage .
In order to best treat overactive bladder, a urologist must pinpoint the underlying cause. Treatment will depend on symptom severity and the degree to which they impact someone’s quality of life. In general, there are three approaches to treatment: medication, behavioral interventions, and surgery.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Kegel exercises are the most common type of pelvic floor exercises. They are helpful for most, but not all, people who suffer from OAB. Studies indicate that most women are unable to correctly locate and perform pelvic floor exercises, so your bladder training specialist will help you to locate the muscles and ensure that you do the exercises correctly.
Specific exercises will be prescribed by the bladder training specialist. You may need the aid of biofeedback initially, which can also help to measure your progress.
Read Also: Can Fibroids Cause Bladder Leakage
How Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder
There are several treatments that involve stimulating your nerves to help improve overactive bladder. Your nerves help communicate the message that your bladder needs to be emptied to your brain. By treating the nerves, your healthcare provider can improve your bladder control. Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment that is considered when conservative treatments have not worked or have not been tolerated. Conservative treatments include behavioral therapies and medications.
There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These can include:
Fitting Kegels Into Your Busy Routine
The best thing about Kegels is that you can do them anywhere without anyone knowing, and no one would judge you for it.
While at your desk, put your hands on the edge, and practice doing Kegels while youre going up and down on your tiptoes for five seconds each. This is a quick and easy one to keep in your back pocket to do anytime you have a second. You can even do this in the elevator on your way to work, remember to hold the handrail, so you dont fall over.
Every morning and every night while brushing your teeth, you can practice doing Kegels. For added difficulty, do them while standing on one leg, and switch every ten.
While standing in the line at the grocery store, do quick reps of five seconds each. When youre bending down to pick up the heavy groceries in the bottom of the cart, contract your pelvic muscles, and while standing up, relax them.
When youre checking your emails, or just doing work at your computer, lift one leg leaving your foot a few inches off the ground, and do a Kegel, hold for 5 seconds, and lower. You can do one leg at a time, or you can practice doing both at the same time.
Read Also: Extra Long Bladder Control Pads
New Guidelines Recommend Kegels Other Lifestyle Treatments For Urinary Incontinence In Women
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
The expression I laughed so hard I wet my pants is used in a lighthearted way. But theres nothing funny about it for the millions of women who leak urine when they laugh, cough, or sneeze. Women are embarrassed by the condition. And some women live with it because they believe theres nothing they can do about it, says Dr. May Wakamatsu, Director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-editor of the Harvard special report Better Bladder and Bowel Control.
Fortunately, theres plenty a woman can do to rein in urinary incontinence, and most solutions dont require medication. In fact, new guidelines on urinary incontinence from the American College of Physicians urge doctors to recommend pill-free treatments first. These include Kegel exercises, bladder training, and weight loss and exercise.
What Is An Overactive Bladder Symptoms To Look For
Overactive bladder is a syndrome, or a set of symptoms, that is believed to be due to sudden contractions of the muscles in the wall of the bladder. When you have overactive bladder syndrome, the muscles controlling bladder function start acting involuntarily. This often leads to urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control. The urine leakage experienced by someone with OAB can be as little as several drops to up to several ounces. Sometimes, incontinence can be a sign of something simple like drinking way too many caffeinated beverages on a daily basis. Other times the underlying cause can be something more serious.
An overactive bladder is said to account for 40 to 70 percent of incontinence. What is incontinence? Incontinence is a lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation. When you have overactive bladder, you can experience urinary incontinence or loss of control over urination.
There are actually two different types of overactive bladder. Dry is when you have a sudden, urgent need to urinate many times during the day. Wet means you have the sudden, urgent need to urinate and you experience bladder leakage, which is also referred to as urge incontinence. Both dry and wet can occur without any underlying health condition. An estimated 60 percent of OAB patients have dry OAB while 40 percent have wet OAB .
OAB symptoms can differ on an individual case basis. Common symptoms of an overactive bladder include:
Don’t Miss: Agent Orange And Bladder Cancer
I Feel Intimidated By The Fit People There
This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what theyre doing. You feel like youre in someone elses home.
The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you dont go enough! If you started going regularly youd get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. Its something youll laugh at a few months down the line.
Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.
Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that youll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.
Relaxation Techniques And Exercises For Oab
Various treatment options are available to treat overactive bladder. For example, in addition to medication, lifestyle changes may help reduce the symptoms. Exercises that relax and strengthen the bladder are also useful.
Exercises that help relax the bladder muscles may help reduce symptoms of overactive bladder. In addition, performing exercises that strengthen the muscles and support the bladder may also help reduce urine leakage and incontinence.
It is best to talk with your healthcare provider to determine which exercises may be most beneficial. Below are examples of typical techniques and exercises for OAB.
1. Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the bladder. If you have an overactive bladder, weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to urine leakage.
To perform a Kegel, squeeze the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the squeeze for about five seconds and relax. Repeat the exercise about five times. As the muscles get stronger, increase the duration to about 10 seconds. Perform Kegels a few times a day or as instructed by your doctor.
Is Botox for overactive bladder an effective treatment option? People report an improvement in symptoms, but there are some risks to consider.
2. Quick Contractions
3. Vaginal Strengthening
5. Deep Breathing
Also Check: New Treatments For Neurogenic Bladder
Bladder Retraining And Physiotherapy For Overactive Bladder
Bladder retraining and pelvic floor physiotherapy for overactive bladder is effective in many patients in helping to control OAB symptoms without any side effects. These techniques do, however, require a motivated and patient person who is willing to put in time and effort in order to change their bladder habits.
It is very useful to enlist the assistance of a specialist continence physiotherapist or continence nurse specialist to learn these techniques. Pelvic floor physiotherapy in particular is very difficult to learn from written instruction alone.
How Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises Reduce Overactive Bladder Symptoms
- Wolters Kluwer Health
- Overactive bladder is a common form of urinary incontinence that is widely treated with pelvic floor muscle training. A new laboratory study lends insights into how PFM training works: by reducing contractions of the detrusor muscle of the bladder.
Overactive bladder is a common form of urinary incontinence that is widely treated with pelvic floor muscle training. A new laboratory study lends insights into how PFM training works: by reducing contractions of the detrusor muscle of the bladder, reports the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.
Pelvic floor muscle contractions can reduce the severity of contractions of the detrusor muscle of the bladder in patients with OAB, including those with and without multiple sclerosis, according to the new research by Adelia Lucio, PhD, of HUMAP — UFMS, Campo Grande, Brazil. The study suggests that PFM contractions may reinforce a key “voluntary reflex” controlling urination.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Contraction Can Influence Bladder Function
Overactive bladder is a very common condition, causing urinary urgency and incontinence. Symptoms of OAB can be improved by performing PFM training, sometimes called Kegel exercises. Dr. Lucio and colleagues designed a laboratory study to explore the mechanisms by which pelvic floor muscle contractions work to improve OAB symptoms.
Don’t Miss: I Keep Getting Bladder Infections
What To Expect From Your Doctor
In terms of an assessment, your nurse or doctor will ask you about your general health and in particular, about your OAB problem. You may be examined orally and internally, and you might be asked to give a urine sample to see if you have any obvious problems.
As part of your treatment programme, you may be asked to keep a bladder diary for roughly 3 days, which typically involves making a record of the time of each time you pass urine and how much urine was passed.
You may also be asked to take a flow test, and in some cases a post-flow ultrasound test. This involves using a special machine which checks whether you completely empty your bladder and also measures how strong your flow is.
Here is a short list of possible questions your doctor may ask and the tests they may ask you to complete:
- An overview of your medical history.
- A physical examination, which could include a rectal exam and a pelvic exam in women.
Exercises For Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is one of the most common, yet least discussed, conditions we as humans have. It can be embarrassing, frustrating and heartbreaking all in one, and it all comes down to bladder control, something that is so innate and so imperative to have.
When our bladder does not allow us to have that control, we can find ways to train it and strengthen it to make washroom visits a little less stressful.
This condition affects a huge number of North Americans. About one in seven adults are affected by the symptoms of OAB on a daily basis. If everyone talked about it like it was the common cold, then there would be less of a stigma and stereotype that surrounds it.
OAB can be but is not exclusively a recurring event in a persons life, as well as can affect anyone young or old. OAB is more common the older you get, but it is not a normal part of the aging process. Wherever you are in your life struggling with OAB, there is help.
Don’t Miss: Botox Injection For Bladder Incontinence
Weight Loss & Health Improvements To Reduce Your Symptoms
Studies suggest that losing excess weight can reduce the symptoms of stress incontinence and an overactive bladder.
What does this mean exactly? If you can lose about 8 percent of your body weight thats typically around 15 to 20 pounds you will likely see remarkable results. In fact, even just a few pounds of weight loss can reduce incontinence episodes by over 25%.
Aside from all the other health benefits, by losing weight the abdomen will alleviate pressure on all the organs in the area, including the bladder.
As well as weight loss, getting regular exercise can reduce overactive bowel symptoms. Exercise can help to reduce the strain on your bladder which ultimately means less urine leaks.
Stopping smoking can also help with OAB problems since the smoke from cigarettes can irritate your bladder. Smoking can also lead to hacking cough a loud, dry cough which can cause further leaks.
Avoid Constipation And Bloating
Constipation and bloating with wind or gas can make bladder urgency worse. A full bowel takes up space in the lower abdomen increasing pressure on the bladder.
Don’t Miss: What Can Cause An Overactive Bladder
I Dont Have Anyone To Train With
What youre really saying with this fitness excuse is that you dont have anyone to talk with while you train. If youre training properly, you wont need to talk.
Dont get me wrong, having a training partner is great but heres what youve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably dont have anyone to train with is because you dont have many friends who train. Like attracts like.
What Causes Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:
- Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
- Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
- Pelvic or back surgery.
Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.
Recommended Reading: Can Hernia Mesh Cause Bladder Problems
I Dont Know How To Train Properly
If youre reading this article, youre obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.
However, its important that you dont get too engulfed in the theory of training properly. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.
People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.
I Dont Feel Very Well
After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldnt lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.
At some point in our lives weve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. Its easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.
If youre really sick, I dont recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy thats no reason to skip a workout.
Read Also: How To Strengthen Bladder Control Muscles