Bladder Strength And Overactive Bladder
The bladder is completely made up of muscles that make it contract and relax. Just like any muscle in the body, the bladder can lose strength and become weaker. Even though we use our bladder every day, does not mean it is functioning correctly nor is it very strong.
OAB can occur for numerous reasons, along with some unknown ones, and sometimes retraining your bladder and learning new habits is what your physician may recommend.
There are many movements and activities you do every day that require your pelvic muscles to work without you even knowing. Therefore, you may accidentally leak when you stand up or sit down, among other movements.
For example, if your pelvic floor is not very strong, then you are likely to suffer from stress incontinence. Leaking may be the norm for you, but it is not meant to be normal. Your body is telling you it needs help.
Don’t: Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol causes your body to make more urine, which means you’ll have to go to the bathroom more often. Alcohol also stimulates your bladder, which means you’ll feel it more urgently, too. Drinking in the evening can make overnight control especially hard.
You may not want to give up alcohol completely, but it’s a good place to start. If that helps, you can have a drink every now and then, as long as your symptoms don’t get worse.
Does Overactive Bladder Ever Go Away
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What Are The Treatments For An Overactive Bladder
Once tests have been done to determine the cause your overactive bladder, your doctor will suggest a solution that will alleviate your symptoms and minimise any side effects. And while the goal is obviously to find a simple, effective solution, it could be one or a combination of treatments including lifestyle changes, medications and/or surgery.
- Bladder Training and Scheduled Voiding This method teaches the bladder to steadily hold urine over time, which can help build a tolerance to the urgency that comes with an overactive bladder.
- Double Voiding This involves urinating twice within a few minutes in between to void any residual urine in the bladder.
- Kegel exercises These are pelvic exercises to help manage urge incontinence in an overactive bladder by helping strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and urinary sphincter.
- Fluid and Diet Management including:
- maintaining a schedule of the timing and amount of daily fluid intake
- limiting caffeine and acidic drinks such as coffee, cranberry and citrus juices
- limiting alcohol
- eating foods high in fibre, such as flaxseed, or taking fibre supplements.
Gotta Go Gotta Go The A
The term overactive bladder may conjure up pictures of running to the bathroom every five minutes and jokes about peeing more than a race horse, but its more than that.
Having an overactive bladder can also be super embarrassing, leaving you hiding out from your work and social life in the bathroom. But your life is so much more than hours spent running to a stall heres some advice on how you can navigate your overactive bladder.
Causes Of Overactive Bladder
The bladder is a muscle shaped like a sphere and about the size of a grapefruit. The bladders main job is to store a normal amount urine and then empty at the appropriate time. Usually this involves certain signals between the bladder and the brain and nervous system. When the bladder is truly full, it should signal that it is time to urinate, and the person should be able to hold the urine in time to get to the bathroom.
OAB occurs when the brain and bladder have mixed up nerve signals. The brain may tell the bladder to empty when it isnt really full, producing that feeling of gotta go when really there isnt much urine there. The bladder muscles can also be overactive and contract when a woman isnt in the bathroom yet, causing sudden urgency or leakage of urine that she cant control.
Mixed up nerve signals or damaged nerves are thought to be the cause. OAB and urge incontinence are common in neurologic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, or as a result of back or pelvic surgery, herniated discs or radiation treatments. These are just a few causes though, and the cause of OAB symptoms are not always known.
Even though the exact cause may remain unknown for many patients, we do know that certain things like alcohol and caffeine can increase the amount of urine. Certain foods can serve as triggers for OAB in some women. We also know of risk factors making women susceptible to the condition.
Overactive Bladder: A Common Cause Of Bladder Continence Problems In Children And Young People
June 24, 2021|Bladder & Bowel UK|General
Monday 21st July to Sunday 27th July marks World Continence Week 2021. Davina Richardson, Childrens Specialist Nurse at Bladder & Bowel UK, talks about an overactive bladder in children and young people.
Many children and young people experience bladder problems, but these are often poorly understood. They may be associated with behavioural difficulties or emotional problems but are rarely caused by them. It is more likely that any behaviour and/or emotional issues are the result of the bladder problems. Often these reduce or go away when the underlying bladder issue is treated.
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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.
Travel Tips For People With Overactive Bladder
Everyone deserves to take some time off of work and enjoy life. Some people are content with staying home and simply enjoying the time to relax, while others want to pack their bags and explore. If youre one of the latter, but are suffering from overactive bladder , it might seem like traveling is impossible. Were here to tell you that its not.
Traveling with OAB is possible and doesnt have to ruin your trip. While it will be a bit more difficult than managing your regular day-to-day routine, you can do it. With a few preparations and some strategic planning, youll be able to enjoy your vacation time without embarrassing mishaps. In this article, well explore some great travel tips for people with overactive bladder.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder In Men
The symptoms of OAB are similar for both men and women. The hallmark sign of OAB is the urgent, uncontrollable need to empty bladder. This usually occurs many times through the day, making you feel like youre constantly going to the bathroom. For those unable to make it to the toilet in time, accidents or leaks may accompany OAB symptoms.
People with OAB may also find it difficulty to completely empty their bladder, have a weak urine stream, or have difficulty starting urination. They may also suffer from needing to use the bathroom multiple times at night, a condition known as nocturia.
What Is Overactive Bladder Or Urge Incontinence
Overactive bladder, which is sometimes called urge urinary incontinence though that is really the most common symptom of OAB, is a complex of urinary symptoms:
- The urgent and uncontrollable need to urinate often with leaking urine at these times .
- The ongoing need to frequently urinate .
- Waking up in the middle of the night specifically to pee .
OAB makes people feel like they gotta go suddenly and much too often.
Its a common and frustrating part of life for many men and women: About 40% of women and 30% of men have OAB symptoms, reports the Urology Care Foundation. Women over age 45 are more likely to have OAB, especially if they are entering menopause.
Many of these people dont talk about it, even with their doctor. We know that women often think OAB is uncommon and are embarrassed to discuss it, or they fear that the only treatment is surgery or there is no treatment. None of that is true.
Our physicians encourage women to seek medical attention for overactive bladder because it most often can be managed. Another reason is that it could be a symptom of another medical problem, like a UTI or diabetes.
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Overactive Bladder And Botox
Botox may be best known as a great wrinkle reducer for the face. But this injection has actually shown great promise as a treatment for many medical conditions.
Most overactive bladder medications aim to calm muscles and nerves in the urinary tract. If these medicines arent effective, your doctor may consider injecting Botox into your bladder muscles. This can help calm the muscles and reduce symptoms of OAB.
Botox injections for overactive bladder are well-tolerated with few side effects. The injections effects typically last six to eight months. After that time, your doctor may want to use another round of injections to control symptoms.
Medical Treatments For An Overactive Bladder
Depending on how successful they were and the strength of your condition, your doctor may recommend that you continue with the above treatments and return for another check-up after a specific period of time.
However, if they decide, usually in consultation with the patient, that medical treatment may be beneficial or necessary, they may choose to prescribe one or multiple medical treatments, some of which are detailed below.
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Pelvic Floor Exercises Can Help Immensely
You cant see your pelvic floor muscles however, just like other muscles in your body they lose their strength if they are not put to use.
Pelvic floor exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor when done consistently at least twice a day. How are they done?
- Imagine you are holding back gas or urine.
- Squeeze and lift the rectal area without tightening your buttocks or belly. Try and hold it for a count of three before relaxing. Repeat this cycle 10 times. Do 10 sets of Kegel exercises, at least 3 times a day.
- Increase your contractions as your doctor recommends.
- Do not hold your breath when you do Kegel exercises. Keep your stomach, back, and leg muscles relaxed.
- Don’t use Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream which can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and an increased risk of a urinary tract infection.
Understanding Urine And The Bladder
The kidneys make urine all the time. A trickle of urine is constantly passing to the bladder down the ureters, the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder. You make different amounts of urine depending on how much you drink, eat and sweat.
The bladder is made of muscle and stores the urine. It expands like a balloon as it fills with urine. The outlet for urine, the urethra, is normally kept closed. This is helped by the muscles beneath the bladder that sweep around the urethra, the pelvic floor muscles. When a certain amount of urine is in the bladder, you become aware that the bladder is getting full. When you go to the toilet to pass urine, the bladder muscle squeezes and the urethra and pelvic floor muscles relax.
Complex nerve messages are sent between the brain, the bladder, and the pelvic floor muscles. These tell you how full your bladder is, and tell the right muscles to contract or relax at the right time.
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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.
How Do I Stop The Urge To Pee
The good news is that you can do something about all three:
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Complications Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. It can interfere with work, sleep, exercise, your social life, and your sex life.
Many people with OAB are nervous about having access to a restroom outside their home and may shy away from certain social activities or even everyday errands. This, in turn, may result in feeling isolated and lonely.
If you need to get up several times during the night to urinate, it may be difficult to get restful sleep. This can leave you tired during the day and contribute to mood disorders, like depression and anxiety.
And if youre worried that sexual activity will cause discomfort, that youll be interrupted by the need to urinate, or that youll leak urine, you may be reluctant to engage in sex. This can take a toll on relationships, causing further emotional difficulty.
In addition, urine leakage can lead to skin problems or infections.
Prevention Of Overactive Bladder
Following a healthy diet and getting enough physical activity can help improve bladder symptoms by strengthening muscles in your torso, ensuring bowel regularity, and helping you maintain a healthy body weight.
Certain foods and ingredients can irritate your bladder, and you may want to keep a diary to figure out whether any are contributing to your symptoms.
Foods and beverages that may contribute to OAB include:
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How The Urinary Tract Works And What Happens With Oab Your Browser Does Not Support Html5 Audio Playback You May Download The Audio File Directly Here
The urinary tract is the important system that removes liquid waste from our bodies:
- kidneys: two bean-shaped organs that clean waste from the blood and make urine
- ureters: two thin tubes that take urine from the kidney to the bladder
- bladder: a balloon-like sac that holds urine until it’s time to go to the bathroom
- urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. The urethra has muscles called sphincters that lock in urine. The sphincters open to release urine when the bladder contracts.
When your bladder is full, your brain signals the bladder. The bladder muscles then squeeze. This forces the urine out through the urethra. The sphincters in the urethra open and urine flows out. When your bladder is not full, the bladder is relaxed.
With a healthy bladder, signals in your brain let you know that your bladder is getting full or is full, but you can wait to go to the bathroom. With OAB, you can’t wait. You feel a sudden, urgent need to go. This can happen even if your bladder isn’t full.
Natural Supplements You Can Take At Home
While there have been very few scientific studies on herbal remedies as an option for overactive bladder treatment, some remedies have shown promising results for some people.
Studies from Japan have shown improvements in urgency, leakage and a reduction in night-time urination using a herbal remedy known as Gosha-jinki-gan. Also, the buchu plant from South Africa is thought to nourish the bladder tissue and fights inflammation which can lead to infections and incontinence.
There are also plenty of common herbs that may help with symptoms, including:
- Corn silk
- Ganoderma lucidum
Remember to consult your doctor first before adding any of these herbal remedies into your overactive bladder management plan.
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