Overactive Bladder Testing And Treatment
Overactive Bladder TestingTo diagnose OAB and rule out other conditions, your doctor will do a physical exam and discuss your medical history. In addition, a urologist may order the following tests:
- Urinalysis: a sample of your urine to check for infection, blood or other abnormalities
- Urodynamic Testing: a series of tests to measure how well your bladder and urethra function
Overactive Bladder Treatment
There are many treatment options for overactive bladder. Most people who are treated see an improvement in their symptoms.
- Lifestyle Changes: Adjusting activities that make your OAB symptoms worse such as eating or drinking caffeine or acidic foods is the first step in treating OAB.
- Bladder Retraining: Through retraining, you learn to resist the urge to go and increase control over how much urine your bladder can hold. Your doctor can set up a retraining schedule for you.
- Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Working with a physical therapist or health care provider who specializes in the pelvic floor muscles can help you learn to strengthen and control the muscles involved in urination. One type of exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor is called a Kegel.
- Medications: These relieve the frequent urges by blocking the nerve that signals your bladder to contract too soon.
Here Are Some Commonly Used Products To Address Urinary Incontinence:
- Tabbed Briefs – Looks and operates like a classic diaper, featuring tabs on either side of the underwear that attach in the front to secure the brief.
- Pull-Up Underwear – Similar to regular underwear, pull-ups can be pulled on and off. The sides tear away for easy removal.
- Pads & Guards – An absorbent strip for men and women that sits between your underwear and your skin. The adhesive along the back of the pad attaches to your underwear allowing for leakage protection during activity, without the need for a full diaper.
- Bed Liners – An absorbent sheet that is placed under you in bed or while sitting in a chair. This protects the linens from any leaks.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is purely for educational purposes and should not be used in place of the advice of your doctor or physician.
Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder And Diagnosis
The most common symptoms of overactive bladder are urinary frequency and the sudden urge to urinate. If a woman is urinating more than eight times a day, this might be a symptom of OAB. Waking up in the middle of the night to urinate often indicates OAB, as well.
A urologist or urogynecologist may perform a number of tests to diagnosis OAB. These may include:
- Physical exam, medical history review and symptom questionnaire.
- Bladder stress test, performed by filling up the bladder and having the patient cough to ascertain how much urine leaks.
- Postvoid residual volume test checks if the bladder is actually fully emptying by inserting a catheter through the urethra and into the bladder after urination. The catheter measures any remaining urine.
- Urodynamic testing is a series of tests typically reserved for unusual cases and primarily measures urine flow to test for obstruction as well as evaluating urge sensation.
- Urinalysis screens for the presence of bacteria and may rule out other similar conditions such as a UTI.
- Cystoscopy examines the inside of the bladder by placing a long thin tube with a magnifying glass up the urethra.
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Can Overactive Bladder Be Controlled
Overactive bladder therapy can be challenging to manage. However, many people are very satisfied with the treatment they receive and they often see a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Your doctor will guide you to the best steps to begin with and give you options for any additional treatments you may need over time.
Whats The Main Cause Of Overactive Bladder
When the urinary system is functioning normally, the kidneys create urine which drains into the bladder. As your bladder fills, nerves signal the brain that you need to urinate. Then, muscles in your pelvic floor and the urethra relax and muscles of the bladder contract to squeeze the urine out.
With overactive bladder, contractions of the bladder muscles occur even when theres little urine in the bladder. This causes you to feel the urgent need to urinate. People sometimes refer to this, inaccurately, as having a weak bladder and they wonder what causes a weak bladder. Its more accurate that the bladder isnt functioning properly, so overactive bladder is a better description.
What causes overactive bladder? There are several potential overactive bladder causes.
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Waking Up To Use The Bathroom
To limit the amount of time you go to the bathroom during your sleep, there are some preventative steps you can take to help prevent accidents from happening:
- Limit your fluid intake before bedtime. In the few hours before bedtime, try not to drink any liquids.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine use before bedtime. Caffeine is a diuretic, which increase urine output
- Limit cranberry juice intake. While cranberry juice is great for bladder health, for those with OAB, it is actually an irritant.
- Restrict eating spicy and acidic foods. This includes curries, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.
- Urinate twice before bed. You should try to urinate twice, or double-void before bed. Even if you do not feel like you have to go, you should still try.
- Do Kegel exercises. While Kegel exercises should be done regularly as part of bladder training, if you wake up with an urge to got to the bathroom, you should do a kegel before going the bathroom, as it will help relax the bladder and allow you to safely get to the bathroom.
Have You Been Trying To Cope With The Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder
If you have ever canceled trips, avoided exercising, or refused invitations because you werent sure youd be close to a bathroom, you may be coping with the symptoms of OAB.
Frequent urination, leakage episodes, and a sudden urge to urinate can be difficult to deal with. When living with OAB becomes the new normal, you may find yourself relying more on coping techniques.
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Does Oab Cause Depression
Getting up more than twice a night is common for people with OAB. That means that people who experience OAB often dont get enough sleep, which in turn can lead to depression.
People with OAB often feel embarrassed by their condition. Feelings of shame and isolating yourself to hide your condition can contribute to feelings of depression and loneliness.
Your doctor can prescribe medicines to help control your bladder muscles. There are also surgeries for OAB in which tissue is connected from one side of the abdomen to the other to support the bladder.
You can manage, improve, and maybe control your OAB with some lifestyle strategies. For example:
- Strengthen pelvic muscles with exercise.
- Keep a diary of how often you visit the bathroom. This can help you determine which factors help or hurt your OAB.
- Reduce daily consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
- Put yourself on bathroom schedule. Visit the bathroom hourly, or more often, without fail. This keeps your bladder from being too full.
Who Is At Risk For Overactive Bladder
Aside from health conditions that directly contribute to overactive bladder, your risk for the condition is affected by few factors.
Age As you get older, your risk of overactive bladder increases. This is due largely to an increased risk of developing diseases and conditions that contribute to overactive bladder, including stroke, diabetes, and cognitive decline.
Despite this increasing risk with age, overactive bladder isnt a normal part of aging. Its a medical condition that may respond to appropriate treatment.
Gender Women have a somewhat higher risk of overactive bladder, due to hormonal changes after menopause and the risk of weakened pelvic muscles from pregnancy and childbirth.
But men also commonly develop OAB, and men with prostate problems are at especially high risk.
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What Is Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Overactive bladder syndrome means that the bladder, which is a bag made of muscle, squeezes suddenly without you having control and when the bladder is not full. OAB syndrome is a common condition where no cause can be found for the repeated and uncontrolled bladder contractions.
Overactive bladder syndrome is more common in women than in men, so is included in our women’s health information. However, this problem can affect men as well as women.
OAB syndrome is sometimes called detrusor instability or overactivity or an irritable bladder.
What Do We Mean By Small Bladder
Firstly, lets clear up the confusion between having a small bladder and an overactive bladder. Anatomically, its highly unlikely anyone has a small bladder. Our internal organs dont tend to differ from one person to the next.
However, it is possible to have a functionally small bladder, which means your bladder, for any number of reasons, cant hold a lot of urine. Bladder muscles and/or the bladder sphincter muscles become overactive and as a result there is a constant need to void.
Thats why when some people say they have a small bladder, what theyre really suggesting is they have an overactive bladder.
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What Can I Do About My Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is a common condition that impacts the lives of many women. The sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate can be disruptive to everyday life. While it may be embarrassing for you to talk about, know that you arent alone with this common. Over 33 million people live with an overactive bladder. Discussing overactive bladder symptoms and treatment options can bring about instant relief in symptoms. If youve been wondering what you can do about an overactive bladder, we are happy to share more helpful information.
Who Is Most At Risk For Overactive Bladder
In general, OAB occurs most in older people. As we age, the bladder loses elasticity and toughens. It holds less liquid than in younger years and the reflexes weaken. This makes those over the age of 65 more likely to develop overactivity.
Age also plays a part in other contributing factors, such as enlarged prostates, diabetes, and bowel issues. Age-related cognitive decline has been linked to OAB. Research sees a correlation between those whove had a stroke or Alzheimers disease with increasing rates of incontinence and overactive bladder.
For these cases, lifestyle management is key. Timed fluid schedules, bathroom schedules, and protective/absorbent undergarments can drastically improve the quality of life for these individuals.
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Overactive Bladder In Children: Causes Diagnosis And Treatment
Overactive bladder , a specific type of urinary incontinence, is a common childhood condition defined by a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate. It can lead to accidents during the day. A parent may also ask a child if they need to go to the bathroom. Even though the child says no, theyll have an urgent need to go minutes later. OAB is not the same as bed-wetting, or nocturnal enuresis. Bed-wetting is more common, particularly in young children.
Symptoms of OAB can interfere with a childs day-to-day routines. Its important to react to daytime accidents with patience and understanding. These incidences can often impact a childs social and emotional development. Other physical complications of an OAB in children are:
- difficulty emptying the bladder completely
- an increased risk for kidney damage
- an increased risk for urinary tract infections
Talk to your doctor if you suspect your child has an OAB. In most cases, an OAB goes away with time. If not, there are treatments and at-home measures available to help your child overcome or manage this condition.
Overactive Bladder At Night
If you find that you wake up to urinate more than one time per night, you may have a condition called nocturia, or overactive bladder at night. Nocturia isnt the same as overactive bladder. In fact, some people who experience no OAB symptoms during the day can still have nocturia.
Nocturia is more common in people over age 60, but one in three adults over 30 need two or more trips to the bathroom each night. Most adults can sleep six to eight hours without waking up. Others may only need to wake up once.
If you require more bathrooms breaks during your slumber, you may be experiencing overactive bladder at night.
What You Need To Know About Overactive Bladder
Do you find yourself suddenly needing to go to the bathroom without warning? Ever worry about socializing or spending time away from home because youre experiencing urine leakage? Do you need to urinate more often than usual or even experience unexpected urination at night ?
If so, its possible you may be living with a form of urinary incontinence called overactive bladder.
We want to assure you that you are not the only one dealing with this condition. In fact, overactive bladder, which is also known as OAB, affects approximately 33 million Americans. However, according to the Official Foundation of the American Urological Association, that number may be higher than reported, since there are a lot of people living with symptoms of incontinence or overactive bladder who feel embarrassed to talk about it or see their doctor.
We want to empower you with the information you need to be able to ask for help and discuss your symptoms with your treating physician. Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about overactive bladder, which we hope will help you learn more about this condition, including its symptoms, potential causes, and treatment options.
How Do Age And Gender Affect Oab
OAB is more common in women over age 40 because the muscles controlling urination weaken over time. Factors contributing to weakened muscles include the physical pressure of pregnancy and childbirth.
Some people have a genetic predisposition to OAB. Urinary incontinence sometimes runs in families. Additionally, men who develop OAB should have a prostate exam to determine whether or not the urinary tract is constricted.
If you think you have OAB, its important to see a doctor to rule out other conditions that can be mistaken for OAB. Other conditions that can have symptoms similar to OAB include:
- urinary tract infections , including infections of the kidneys and the bladder
- pressure from an enlarged prostate
Both of these conditions require treatment.
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Overactive Bladder And Gender
Normally, the brain says time to go when your bladder is about half full. To urinate, the bladder wall squeezes inward as a valve called the urinary sphincter relaxes open so the bladder can drain into the urethra.
But with overactive bladder, the bladder muscles start to quiver whether your bladder is full or not. As a result, you experience a powerful urge to urinate. The result can anything from a small leak to soaked garments.
In women, childbirth or menopause can weaken muscles in the bladder or pelvic floor, causing overactive bladder and incontinence. In men, overgrowth of the prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia , can put pressure on the bladder and trigger various urinary problems, including overactive bladder. Neuromuscular disorders , stroke, and diabetes are also associated with overactive bladder.
Sometimes the cause of overactive bladder is unclear, but that wont prevent you from finding a treatment that helps.
Treatment Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is a chronic medical condition that requires continuous treatments. There are several treatment options to treat overactive bladder. Nonetheless, the selected treatment option is primarily determined by patients symptoms, disease severity and complications as well as underlying conditions. Treatments include:
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Treatment For Overactive Bladder
Fortunately, there are treatment options for overactive bladder. Most patients benefit from a combination of treatment strategies to achieve the best results. It takes some time before you find the most ideal solution for your exact needs. Your doctor will make recommendations based on your lifestyle and the severity of your condition. Some of the treatment suggestions include:
Who Can And Cannot Take Mirabegron
Mirabegron can be taken by adults .
It is not suitable for everyone. To make sure it’s safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting mirabegron if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to mirabegron or any other medicines in the past
- have liver or kidney problems
- have high blood pressure
- are not able to pee or empty your bladder completely
- have a blockage in your bladder
- have a heart problem called QT prolongation
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
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Help For Your Bladder
Your bladder is a muscle, and like any muscle, it can be trained.
Kegel exercises involve squeezing the muscles youd use to stop urinating. No time to do them? Kegels can be done while sitting or even driving as long as you keep your focus on the road.
Some supplements may also help. Research has shown pumpkin seed extract can have a positive effect on these annoying symptoms. One such study of 45 men and women with overactive bladder taking the extract daily for 12 weeks showed a 1.7 point reduction on the bladder scoring system, with decreased daytime and nighttime frequency along with decreased urgency.
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What You Can Do
If youre showing signs of overactive bladder, talk to your primary care physician first. He or she might refer you to a urologist for a detailed diagnosis to confirm the cause and nature of the problem.
Behavior changes and strategies can help you coexist with an overactive bladder:
- Avoid beverages that set off your bladder, especially if you are a considerable distance from a restroom. Common examples coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
- Dont wait until your bladder sends a 911 call. Urinate regularly, like every two to four hours, to keep your bladder empty.
- Try losing some weight if youre overweight. Carrying extra pounds can put pressure on the bladder.
- When traveling or working outside the home, let no restroom go unvisited. Attempt to urinate when you have the opportunity.
- Make sure you know where the closest bathroom is if youre outside, at an unfamiliar public building, or in other locations outside the home.
- Develop a guarding or clenching response to prevent accidents. You can do this by learning how to do Kegel exercises. To do a Kegel, tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold them for a while. Relax and repeat. These are the muscles you engage when you hold it in while looking for a urinal or trying not to pass gas.