Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Can Stress Cause Overactive Bladder

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The Effects Of The Stress Response

What causes overactive bladder and what can be done about it?

Apprehensive behavior activates the stress response, which causes the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes.

These changes enhance the bodys ability to deal with a threatto either fight with or flee from itwhich is the reason this response is often referred to as the fight or flight response, the emergency response, or the fight, flight, or freeze response .

The stress response affects the body in many ways. Specific to frequent urination, the response:

  • Immediately voids the bowels and bladder of waste and the body of water through perspiration and urination. The body does this so that we dont have to stop in the middle of fighting or fleeing to go to the washroom. So as part of the emergency readiness process, the body causes a strong urge to void the bowels and bladder immediately after an emergency alarm has been triggered.
  • Relaxes the bladder and tightens sphincter muscles so that we dont have to stop to urinate when fighting or fleeing.
  • Increases heart rate, which can cause the kidneys to filter urea more quickly. As the bodys stress increases, so can the amount of urine produced, which can increase the urge, urgency, and frequency to urinate.
  • Increases metabolism, which also increases water filtration and urine production.

All of these emergency actions can interfere with normal urinary function and cause frequent urination symptoms.

The Unseen Troubles Of Oab

If you suffer from overactive bladder, you may worry about having an accident while in public. You may feel like you can no longer travel, exercise, or enjoy the activities you once did. You also may feel less attractive and worry about how your condition will affect your sex life.

All of these worries can contribute to overall feelings of stress and anxiety. Fortunately, you can take steps to manage your symptoms and your emotions so you can get back to being yourself.

Even if youre embarrassed about your symptoms, its important to see your doctor. A number of treatments are available to help you regain control. Certain lifestyle modifications can limit the strong urge to go, such as:

  • dietary changes
  • bladder training
  • pelvic exercises

Medications may also be helpful. They work by blocking certain nerve impulses to help relax the bladder muscle, making it easier to resist urges. Your doctor can help you determine the best treatment for you.

Smoking May Increase The Urge To Urinate

Smoking irritates the lining of the bladder, and also makes you cough, both of which are unhelpful if you have an overactive bladder.

It is a good decision for both general health reasons and overactive bladder reasons to stop smoking. Work with your health care provider to start a formal “Quit Smoking” program, which may involve smoking cessation medications and group support for the most successful outcome.

Learn more: Our Quit Smoking center also has some helpful advice.

Read Also: How Do Bladder Infections Happen

Make A Social Appointment

Youll need some time after youre diagnosed with OAB to figure out the best treatments. Meanwhile, you may continue to struggle with symptoms. Dont let that stop you from enjoying social interactions.

You can always plan ahead to accommodate any potential urge to go. Meet a friend at a museum or theater where the bathrooms are easily available. Limit your time together to reduce anxiety. Gradually, as you start treatment and experience success, youll be able to expand your outings.

Natural Treatment For Overactive Bladder

What is Incontinence?

Bladder training and pelvic floor exercises are just two natural treatments for overactive bladder. Research suggests that these nondrug remedies can be very effective for many women, and they have almost no side effects.

But before starting any OAB treatment, itâs important to understand bladder function and what things may cause overactive bladder.

Another way to strengthen pelvic floor muscles is electrical stimulation, which sends a small electrical pulse to the area via electrodes placed in the vagina or rectum.

Until you get your overactive bladder under control, wearing absorbent pads can help hide any leakage.

Other lifestyle tips for preventing incontinence include:

Also Check: Treatment Of Overactive Bladder In Males

Medications That Can Cause Urinary Incontinence

Urinary , or the loss of bladder control, can be caused by various health conditions and physical changes, such as childbirth, changes in diet, infection, prostate issues, menopause, and neurological disorders. But there are also a number of medications can cause urinary incontinence in both men and women in a variety of different ways.

Medication

Diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide , furosemide , bumetanide , triamterene with hydrochlorothiazide

Increase urine production by the kidney

Frequent urination, overactive bladder, stress incontinence

Muscle relaxants and sedatives such as diazepam , chlordiazepoxide , lorazepam

Cause sedation or drowsiness relax the urethra

Frequent urination, stress incontinence, lack of concern or desire to use the toilet

Narcotics such as oxycodone , meperidine , morphine

Cause sedation or drowsiness relax the bladder, causing it to retain urine

Lack of concern or desire to use the toilet, difficulty in starting urinary stream, straining to void, voiding with a weak stream, leaking between urinations, frequency incontinence

Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine

Relax the bladder, causing it to retain urine

Overflow incontinence

Alpha-adrenergic antagonists such as terazosin , doxazosin

Relax the muscle at the outlet of the bladder

Leaking when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, etc.

From , Harvard Health Publishing

Image: Thinkstock

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:

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Overactive Bladder Stress And Anxiety

The condition can cause both stress and anxiety for a for a variety of reasons. You may worry about not having a bathroom accessible when the urge hits and the consequent pain of trying to hold it in. You may also worry that you will experiencing leakage or wetting accidents in public. In addition, you may have ongoing anxiety when away from home because of the inconvenience and preoccupation of constantly looking for a bathroom.

Causes And Risk Factors

Traveling and Overactive Bladder

Aging

OAB occurs in both men and women. Its possible to have overactive bladder at any point in your life. But, its especially common in older adults. The prevalence of OAB in people younger than 50 years of age is less than 10 percent. After the age of 60, the prevalence increases to 20 to 30 percent.

The following are some of the other most common underlying causes and risk factors associated with OAB symptoms:

Nerve Damage

A healthy, normal functioning bladder holds urine until it gets full and is prompted to empty by nerve signals. However, when nerve damage occurs in the body, the muscles surrounding the urethra can be too loose. This undesirable looseness can cause someone to become incontinent. What can cause nerve damage that can then lead to bladder leakage? Some possibilities include:

  • Back or pelvis surgery
  • Stroke

Weak pelvic muscles

When a man or womans pelvic floor muscles are weak, bladder control issues can happen. The pelvic floor muscles are like a sling that holds up the uterus and bladder. For women, a pregnancy and childbirth can often lead to a stretching and weakening of the vital pelvic floor muscles. When pelvic floor muscles are compromised for this reason or another, the bladder can then sag out of place. The opening of the urethra also stretches and urine easily leaks out.

Menopause

Extra weight or obesity

Diuretic medications

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Incontinence And Mental Health

So, back to the chicken and egg question. Both anxiety and depression have been found in many patients with incontinence. But was the incontinence caused by the mental health problems or did the mental health problems cause the incontinence?

It turns out its a two way street when it comes to anxiety and urinary incontinence. Anxiety and incontinence interact and exacerbate each other. And, anxiety is a risk factor for developing incontinence.

The same appears to be true with other mental health issues, like depression, which is also a risk factor for developing incontinence. Several studies have linked depression to urinary incontinence in women especially. And, people with pelvic floor disorders are three times more likely to experience depression than the general population.

Anxiety even rears its head when you start talking about overactive bladder. According to one study, 48% of patients with overactive bladder exhibit anxiety symptoms. Plus, according to the same study, about 24% of OAB patients have moderate to severe anxiety.

While anxiety and incontinence dont have to go together, its easy to see how incontinence can cause anxiety — maybe even more anxiety than you started with.

Other Possible Urination Problems

Those are the three most common urination problems, but they may not be the only issue. Some people may worry about the color or consistency of their urine. Others may worry about when they need to urinate .

All of these may be caused by anxiety. In many cases, none of these are a concern at all, but anxiety causes you to worry about them more than you otherwise need to. It’s not uncommon for people with anxiety to see urine of a questionable color and Google the symptoms in a way that those without anxiety would never even think of.

Also Check: Men’s Overactive Bladder Treatment

Don’t: Go To The Bathroom Right Away

This seems like a good way to manage OAB. After all, you don’t want to risk a leak, right? But heading to the bathroom every time you feel the urge isn’t doing you any favors.

Doctors who focus on OAB say it’s better to practice holding your urine. This helps strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which will give you better control of your bladder‘s spasms.

Your doctor might even put you on a schedule to help retrain your bladder. Instead of urinating when you feel like it, you’ll go regularly every hour, for example. As you build your muscles, you’ll wait a bit longer between trips to the bathroom. Your bladder will learn to relax, and you’ll find it’s easier to hold it.

Causes Of Total Incontinence

Overactive Bladder treatment

Total incontinence is when your bladder cannot store any urine at all. It can mean you either pass large amounts of urine constantly, or you pass urine occasionally with frequent leaking in between.

Total incontinence can be caused by:

  • a problem with your bladder from birth
  • injury to your spinal cord this can disrupt the nerve signals between your brain and your bladder
  • a bladder fistula a small, tunnel like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area, such as the vagina

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How To Recover From A Loss Of Bladder Control

This type of response tends to only occur in those that are faced with extreme fear. It’s unfortunately not something you can control if you still experience that level of fear. You cannot tell your limbic system to control your bladder because it’s reacting to what it perceives as a dangerous threat, and if you ever were in danger you would want your limbic system to act the same way.

There are two important factors for overcoming the loss of bladder control:

  • Preventing yourself from experiencing any shame or embarrassment.
  • Controlling anxiety from becoming that severe.

Your anxiety is going to make it very hard for you to not care about something like a loss of bladder control. You are going to need to do whatever it takes to remind yourself that no one is judging you – no one cares that you lost control of your bladder from fear, and no one would care if it happened again in the future. Fear of losing control of your bladder contributes to further fears and anxiety. You have to make sure that you do whatever it takes to prevent it from affecting you further.

You’ll also need to learn to control your anxiety so that it is not severe enough to cause that level of fear. Those with phobias should strongly consider desensitization therapy. It’s an effective and widely used to way to reduce overall phobias.

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Age And Overactive Bladder

While the risk of OAB certainly increases with age, OAB should not be considered a normal consequence of aging. Most older adults do not get OAB. In the end, it is an abnormal condition that affects a person’s quality of life and ability to function irrespective of age.

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Who Is At Risk For Urinary Incontinence

In adults, you are at higher risk of developing UI if you:

  • Are female, especially after going through pregnancy, childbirth, and/or menopause
  • Are older. As you age, your urinary tract muscles weaken, making it harder to hold in urine.
  • Are a man with prostate problems
  • Have certain health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, or long-lasting constipation
  • Are a smoker
  • Have a birth defect that affects the structure of your urinary tract

In children, bedwetting is more common in younger children, boys, and those whose parents wet the bed when they were children.

Is There A Solution To Urination Problems From Anxiety

Dr. Yaser Bassel Discusses Hyperactive Bladder and Stress Incontinence – BayCare Health System

You can’t control your urination issue. The most important thing you can do is see a doctor. But once you have, trust their diagnosis. If they think it’s most likely anxiety-related, then you’re probably one of the millions of people that have urination problems as a result of their anxiety. It’s normal, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

SUMMARY:

Both anxiety and the fight or flight system cause changes to the body that can lead to urinary difficulties. There is no treatment specifically for those difficulties, but it is possible to treat anxiety. Once anxiety is decreased, the difficulties should reduce or go away.

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Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Bladder Leakage

How Do I Know If I Have Incontinence

The biggest tip-off that you have incontinence is if you cant always control when you pee.

But you may also have incontinence if you have the following symptoms:

  • You need to pee a lot
  • You wake up at night because you have to pee
  • You feel like you need to pee badly and that feeling comes on quickly and strongly
  • You accidentally pee when you laugh, cough, or exercise

Lots of women have some kind of urinary incontinence. In fact, one in eight women cant always control when they pee .

Many women cant control when they urinate after they give birth. But most new moms shrug these accidents off as normal. However, urinary incontinence is even one of the most common postpartum pelvic floor complications.

Even though bathroom accidents are common, that doesnt mean you cant get treatment.

Overactive Bladder: Causes + 8 Natural Remedies

By Annie Price, CHHC

Have you ever thought about your bladder control or how often you urinate each day? Probably not, unless youve experienced a bladder control problem like overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder cannot hold urine normally. One of the most common symptoms of this health problem is urinary incontinence or leaking urine. Many people suffer in silence, but if you are currently experiencing a bladder-related difficulty you are truly not alone. Its estimated that at least 33 million Americans have overactive bladder. ” rel=”nofollow”> 1)

Sometimes a person experiencing overactive bladder doesnt have any underlying health problem. Other times, an overactive bladder can be the result of medications or other more serious health issues, such as diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons disease. OAB can also occur after surgery or childbirth. How much is too much when it comes to urination? People with OAB typically have to urinate more than 8 times per day or more than once at night.

Its crucial to address overactive bladder symptoms right away. Early treatment can reduce, or even completely get rid of, the highly unwanted symptoms. With some time and effort, there are several very doable and natural ways you can overcome an overactive bladder.

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Take Charge: Seek Your Doctors Advice

Approximately 80% of those affected by urinary incontinence can be cured or improved, yet only one in 12 people with incontinence issues seek help. Talk to your doctor about your bladder control as it can dramatically improve your lifestyle.

Your doctor can investigate and establish a cause for your overactive bladder. Treatment can then be tailored to this cause and may involve medications, bladder retraining, pelvic floor exercises, absorbent products, surgery, or combinations of these options.

Plus, consider joining the Drugs.com Overactive Bladder Support Group. Here, you can connect with people with similar questions and concerns, share your experiences, and keep up with the latest new drug approvals, ongoing research, and medical news.

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