What Is Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is a common condition that causes the affected individuals to develop a sudden urge to urinate. This urge is often difficult to control and may even result in the involuntary loss of urine. In such a situation, this condition may also be termed as urinary incontinence.
The sudden urge to urinate can occur at any time of the day. The frequency of the unpredictable urge to urinate can also have a negative effect on a persons life.
An overactive bladder isnt a disease in itself, but it represents a group of urinary symptoms. The common symptoms associated with this condition are discussed below.
How Long Does It Take To Work
If urinary urgency and frequency are your only symptoms, you may see improvement in a few weeks. If you have more severe urgency and frequency, bladder retraining may take longer. On average, it takes about three months to retrain the bladder. By using this technique, you can take more control of your urinary urgency and frequency symptoms.
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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.
Precautions And Proper Diagnosis
The main symptoms of OAB can also occur in other health conditions like bladder cancer, urinary tract infection and enlarged prostate. Seeing blood in your urine is not a symptom of OAB.
A sudden and frequent need to urinate is common in both OAB and a UTI. How can you tell the difference between these two urinary health issues? Unlike OAB, a UTI also comes with other symptoms such as discomfort while urinating. In addition, OAB symptoms are continuous while UTI symptoms are sudden and may also include a fever.
Overflow incontinence is characterized by the involuntary release of urine from an overfull urinary bladder, often in the absence of any urge to urinate. This condition is not associated with OAB. It typically occurs in people who have a blockage of the bladder outlet, which can occur with benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer or a narrowing of the urethra. Overflow incontinence can also occur when the muscle responsible for removing urine from the bladder is too weak to empty the bladder in a normal way.
It is very important to see a doctor to ensure a proper diagnosis if you experience any changes in your urine and/or urination habits.
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Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.
As people get older, the bladder changes. Visit Bladder Health for Older Adults for more information on how the bladder changes and common medical problems, including bladder infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections.
While you cant control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to improve bladder health. Follow these 13 tips to keep your bladder healthy.
Your Bladder Control Programme
There are many things you can do in your everyday life to improve your bladder control, and reduce light bladder leakage, most of them are quick and easy and can be integrated into your day with no problems. Follow a schedule for going to the toilet as directed by your doctor. The overall aim is to gradually increase the time between visits by holding out a little longer each time.
- Reduce or cut out caffeine , very sweet drinks and alcohol
- Avoid constipation by eating plenty of fibre from fruit, vegies and whole grains. Dont use laxatives!
- Drink the recommended amount of water per day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do pelvic floor exercises. A strong and fit pelvic floor boosts your chances of beating incontinence
Getting control begins with you keeping a bladder diary to get baseline information about your bladder function and habits. When youve kept your diary for a week, take it to your doctor or physiotherapist to discuss your bladder training program.
Some tricks and tips for hanging on
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Reclining Bound Angle Posev
Also referred to as Supta Baddha Konasana, it is a classic restorative Yoga pose that can work the entire pelvic floor muscles.
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.
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How Many Times Is Normal To Urinate At Night
Not everyone is the same, and there are factors that determine what is normal for most people. For example, nighttime urination is more common if you have something to drink right before bed, and is also more common in older adults. Most people without nocturia can sleep for 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate, but getting up to go to the bathroom once during the night is still within the realm of normal. If you have to use the restroom two or more times per night, it is a good idea to talk to your urologist about nocturia.
Mistake #: Not Drinking Enough Water
Many urinary complaints are related to poor hydration. Generally speaking, if your urine is clear or very light, that’s a sign you are drinking the right amount of water. If your urine is dark yellow or amber, that’s usually a sign of dehydration.
Odor, an “off” color, and the sense of burning while voiding are other signs that might indicate you are not properly hydrated. Not drinking enough water can contribute to UTIs and kidney stones. Concentrated urine can irritate the lining of the bladder, making it more sensitive. It is also more likely to form kidney or bladder stones.
Many patients ask if drinking alternative fluids will suffice, but many beverages contain high sugar concentrations or caffeine, which can have other health effects, says Dr. Brito, noting these might make overactive bladder symptoms worse. Water is the safest option to maintain hydration and keep your kidneys and bladder healthy.
There are some conditions that can make your urine appear more concentrated even if you are well-hydrated, such as liver problems or hematuria. So, if you are drinking enough water but have dark-colored urine, odor, or burning, its worth a trip to a urologist, who can evaluate your symptoms more closely.
“The ability to urinate freely and without difficulty is taken for granted by most people,” says Dr. Brito. So, next time you have to go, follow the above advice for better urinary health.
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What Causes An Overactive Bladder
Your kidneys produce urine, and the urine later drains into your bladder. As you urinate, the urine further passes through an opening at the bottom of your bladder and then flows out of your body through the urethra. In women, the urethra is located right above the vagina, whereas, in men, the urethra opens at the tip of the penis.
This entire process of urination is controlled by nerve signals. When your bladder is filled, your brain receives signals to trigger the urge to urinate. As you urinate, your brain again receives signals to relax the muscles of your pelvic floor as well as the urethra to help pass the urine. Simultaneously, your bladder tightens to push the urine out.
In the case of an overactive bladder, the contraction of the bladder occurs involuntarily, even when the volume of urine inside is relatively low. This action causes a sudden urge to pee.
While the exact cause of this occurrence is yet to be found, the following are some factors that could be contributing to the symptoms of an overactive bladder:
Overactive Bladder In Women
Women are more likely to report symptoms of OAB to their doctor. In fact, at least 40 percent of American women experience symptoms of overactive bladder. Many more may not report the experiences to their doctor at all.
Overactive bladder consists of a series of symptoms that cause you to need to urinate more frequently. These symptoms include
- feeling a sudden need to urinate
- not being able to control urination
- urinating at least two times every night
- urinating at least eight times every day
Its not clear what causes overactive bladder, but OAB becomes more common in women after menopause. That may be the result of estrogen deficiency. However, overactive bladder can occur at any age.
Overactive bladder is a common childhood condition, but not every accident or soiled bed is the result of OAB. Children frequently grow out of overactive bladder symptoms, but treatment can help prevent frequent urination or complications.
Symptoms of OAB in children include:
- an urgent or frequent need to urinate
- accidents or leaking urine
- urinating more than eight times in a day
- not feeling as if theyve emptied their bladder despite urinating
Symptoms of OAB become less common as children get older. With age, kids learn to properly control their bladder and recognize signals that they need to urinate. If symptoms of overactive bladder dont seem to be resolving or are getting worse, talk with your childs doctor.
Causes of OAB in children include:
- urinary tract infection
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How Does The Urinary System Work
Urination, or voiding, is a complex activity. The bladder is a balloon-like organ that lies in the lowest part of the abdomen. The bladder stores urine, then releases it through the urethra, the canal that carries urine to the outside of the body. Controlling this activity involves nerves, muscles, the spinal cord, and the brain. The bladder is composed of two types of muscles: the detrusor, a muscular sac that stores urine and squeezes to empty and the sphincter, a circular group of muscles at the bottom or neck of the bladder that automatically stay contracted to hold the urine in and automatically relax when the detrusor contracts to let the urine into the urethra. A third group of muscles below the bladder can contract to keep urine back. A babys bladder fills to a set point, then automatically contracts and empties. As the child gets older, the nervous system matures. The childs brain begins to get messages from the filling bladder and begins to send messages to the bladder to keep it from automatically emptying until the child decides it is the time and place to void. Incontinence happens less often after age 5: About 10 percent of 5-year-olds, 5 percent of 10-year-olds, and 1 percent of 18-year-olds experience episodes of incontinence. It is twice as common in boys as in girls. Failures in this control mechanism result in incontinence. Reasons for this failure range from simple to complex.
Types Of Urinary Incontinence
While UI in men is primarily associated with prostate enlargement, women are affected by three major types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overactive bladder. Many women have a combination of two or three of these, which is referred to as mixed incontinence. To understand the types of incontinence, and their underlying causes, we must briefly review the bladder and its muscles.
The balloon-like bladder stores urine after delivery from the kidneys . The bladder is surrounded by a muscular wall. Normally, leakage from the bladder is prevented by sphincter muscles that keep the urethra the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body shut at either end. When we urinate, the bladder muscle contracts and the two sphincters relax, so that urine is squeezed out through the urethra. Incontinence occurs when the bladder muscle contracts suddenly and inappropriately and/or the sphincters are too weak to hold back the urine.
- Stress Incontinence is typically associated with coughing, laughing, exercise, or other movements that put pressure on the bladder. It commonly occurs as a result of physical changes following pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause that weaken the sphincters.
- Overactive Bladder is a result of the bladder muscle squeezing at the wrong time without warning and too frequently. Symptoms include high urinary frequency urinary urgency and urge incontinence.
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