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How To Live With Overactive Bladder

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Treatment Options When Behavioral Changes Arent Enough

Living with Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Behavioral changes are the first step, but they may not be enough for some women. In these cases, we have a number of possible treatments for overactive bladder. I often recommend pelvic floor physical therapy for patients who dont find success with behavioral changes alone. We have a network of physical therapists throughout the greater Washington region who help patients train the muscles of the pelvic floor, so they have more time to get to the bathroom when the urge strikes.

If physical therapy isnt enough on its own, medications are the next step in the treatment process. We use a class of medications called anticholinergics to treat the symptoms of overactive bladder. These medications block involuntary nerve signals, like the ones that control the processes of the urinary tract. Some anticholinergics can cause unpleasant side effects, such as constipation, dry eyes and dry mouth. However, newer medications may make it possible for women to avoid these effects.

Anticholinergics used to be the last tier of treatments available for overactive bladder, but we now have access to a range of newer treatments that can relieve these symptoms. Acupuncture with electrical stimulation near the ankle is one such example, as its been shown to be as effective as medication therapy for treating overactive bladder.

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Overactive Bladder Treatment Options To Try

Originally published on: October 3rd, 2017. Last modified on May 6th, 2021

Living with a bladder condition such as Overactive Bladder can be both physically and emotionally demanding. NewLifeOutlook give you some great self care tips that can help to improve your bladder symptoms.

When your bladder doesnt want to cooperate, it can be more than just annoying. Living with an overactive bladder may make you feel your independence and social life has been taken away from you because of your urges to go frequently.

We know this is no way to live your life and you shouldnt suffer.

Thankfully, there are more than several methods to get your bladder issues under control, and if self-care doesnt bring the improvement you were hoping for, you can team up with your doctor to find a more aggressive OAB treatment plan with a combination of any of these approaches.

  • Kegels for Bladder Training
  • The first step to a stronger bladder is with physical strengthening. It is time to get into the habit of exercising your bladder every day with kegel exercises.

    Kegel exercises are helpful for stress incontinence than they are for urge incontinence . Training exercises for overactive bladder are more passive, but just as targeted: you will set an urge schedule and stick with it, and when the urge to go comes along, you force your bladder to wait just a little bit.

  • Dietary Changes to Reduce Urges
  • A few dietary changes to your daily menu can have profound effects on your bladder control.


    Foods To Eat And Drink For Optimal Health

    Dr. Fourcroy recommended tackling incontinence by making your diet as simple as possible.

    “Very often, I have my patients start off with Cream of Wheat and baby food and then add back little by little to see what causes problems,” she said.

    Since constipation can cause or exacerbate urinary incontinence, you should make sure you’re getting enough fiber by filling your daily diet with the following foods:

    • Noncitrus fruits
    • Legumes
    • Vegetables

    For most of these things you can do a little trial and error try certain elimination diets or eliminate certain fluids to see if theres a positive impact, says Benjamin M. Brucker, MD, a urologist at NYU Langone adding that its best to start with bland foods and slowly add things back.

    There are a number of juices that are less irritating to your bladder than others, including apple, grape, cherry, and cranberry. These juices also help by making urine more acidic, preventing the spread of bacteria and controlling urine odor. But beware of additives in these drinks. A study published in March 2016 in the journal Research and Reports in Urology noted that artificial sweeteners can increase the likelihood of OAB. And remember to drink plenty of water, which is the best way to hydrate your body.

    Overall, you should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid every day. If you drink less, your urine might become concentrated and irritate your bladder. If you drink more, you might overtax your bladder and make matters worse.

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    Overactive Bladder Treatment Options

    Beyond behavioral changes, medications, non-invasive treatments, and, in some cases, surgery may help with OAB. Certain medications relax your bladder and control muscle spasms, which helps reduce sudden urinary urges. If youve already gone through menopause, your doctor may suggest vaginal estrogen therapy to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles to better control urination.

    In some cases, non-invasive therapies such as bladder injections and nerve stimulation help relax bladder muscles and control nerve impulses sent to your bladder. This may help reduce symptoms if other treatments dont work. Surgery is typically only used for people living with severe OAB symptoms who cant find any other effective treatments. The goal of any overactive bladder surgery is to reduce pressure and help the bladder store more urine, which can contribute to urges.

    There is no reason to settle for living with overactive bladder. Behavioral changes are effective for many people, but if those therapies dont work, medications and surgery can make a significant impact and get you back to your normal life. If youre concerned your current overactive bladder treatment plan isnt working as well as it could, ask your doctor about other options to control urges and allow you to live as comfortably as possible.

    Specific Antidepressants May Suppress Symptoms

    What causes an overactive bladder and what you can do to ...

    Specific antidepressants such as Tofranil, Tyramine and Norfranil may help to suppress overactive bladder symptoms. Which one your doctor chooses to prescribe will depend on your particular symptoms.

    For example, the SSRI class of antidepressants works better for stress incontinence than for urge incontinence, although its not clear how it helps. Alternatively, tricyclic antidepressants are known to have anticholinergic side effects, which relax the bladder muscle and cause the muscles of the bladder neck to contract.

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    Tips For Oab & Travel

  • Are you a road warrior? While that caffeinated cola may keep you awake when driving, the caffeine can cause leaks. It may be time to cut back.
  • Biofeedback may help control OAB. Talk with your doctor about this treatment option — then perfect the practice on your next long plane trip!
  • Traveling by air? Bring your medication, supplies, and insurance information in your carry-on bag — in case you become separated from your luggage.
  • When you travel, stay on the medication schedule you’re used to at home, even though your routine while away may be very different.
  • Traveling far and wide? Continue to follow the OAB dietary and lifestyle guidelines that work for you at home.
  • On a whirlwind trip? Enjoy yourself without overindulging on foods and beverages that may aggravate your OAB symptoms.
  • When traveling, remember to bring along enough medication to last your whole trip.
  • Stash a little cash in your pocket when traveling. Next time you see a ” Customers Only” sign on a restroom door, you can quickly become a patron!
  • Did you know you can buy portable toilets to take along on trips? Try a little online research: Options vary in size and expense.
  • Traveling awhile? It might be helpful to bring along your urologist’s phone number, in case you have questions while away.
  • Flying? Don’t leave check-in to the last minute. Phone or go online early to book your seat — increasing your chances of getting a spot near the restroom.
  • Diagnosis Of Overactive Bladder

    To thoroughly diagnose overactive bladders, tests should be conducted by highly expert urologists. Diagnostic tests include medical history, physical exam, which may include a rectal exam and a pelvic exam in women, urine sample to test for infection or other abnormalities and focused neurological exam that may identify sensory problems or abnormal reflexes. Overactive bladder assessments include:

    • Frequency and quantity of urination in each day starting from morning time after waking up and before going to sleep at night
    • Frequency and quantity of urination during nighttime starting from sleep at time to morning time.
    • Number of urination with inability to hold the urine
    • Number of urination with a sudden urge to urinate and that is difficult to control

    In addition, tests might also involve measuring urine left in the bladder, measuring urine flow rate and testing bladder pressure. Individual patients might need different tests and procedures depending on their medical conditions and personal factors.

    Read Also: What Causes Overactive Bladder In Women

    When Did You Decide To Confide In Your Wife And How Did You Feel After

    After a particularly bad accident overnight, one that was too much to explain away, I confessed everything to my wife. It was very emotional and embarrassing for both of us and she was almost immediately worried that there would be some kind of serious underlying cause. Afterwards I felt relief like never before and was almost angry with myself for not speaking sooner.

    Overcoming An Overactive Bladder

    Living With Overactive Bladder – Using Products To Manage Symptoms

    Illustration: Thinkstock

    Get your life back if you’re experiencing this easily treatable condition.

    An overactive bladder causes a sudden urge to urinate, even when your bladder isn’t full. For some people it’s simply a nuisance. For others, the urge can’t be controlled, which leads not only to incontinence but also a severe impact on quality of life. “It’s a major problem which limits people’s social lives due to fear of embarrassing urine leakage. It is a significant contributory factor to depression. I have some patients who rarely venture outside of home because they are afraid they will wet themselves while in a public place,” says Dr. George Flesh, director of urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

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    • Research health conditions
    • Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
    • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
    • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

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    Use Of Myrbetriq And Important Safety Information

    Do not take MYRBETRIQ® if you are allergic to mirabegron or any ingredients in MYRBETRIQ. MYRBETRIQ may cause your blood pressure to increase or make your blood pressure worse if you have a history of high blood pressure. You and your doctor should check your blood pressure while you are taking MYRBETRIQ.

    Study Design And The Study Tool

    This study was conducted in a cross-sectional design among medical and dentistry students in Palestine using a questionnaire as the study tool. The study was conducted and reported in compliance with the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology Statement . Compliance with the STROBE statement is shown in Additional file : Table S1. Because the study was conducted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an online version was used to collect the data in this study.

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    Reliability Of The Study Tool

    When the scores of the students in the pilot testing were correlated, the Pearsons correlation coefficient was 93.0%. This indicated an excellent stability of scores over the short period of time. The Cronbachs alpha of all items was 93.3% . For the 6 OAB symptom bother items, the Cronbachs alpha was 81.1% . For the 13 HRQoL items, the Cronbachs alpha was 93.3% . This indicated that the items in each domain as well as in the questionnaire as a whole were internally consistent.

    Eat And Drink With Your Bladder In Mind:

    What Are the Causes of Overactive Bladder?

    Adopting a bladder-friendly diet will go a long way in easing the symptoms of an overactive bladder. This means avoiding foods that make your urine acidic because acid will further irritate your bladder. Do your best to saying no to caffeine, alcohol, citrus, carbonated beverages and spicy foods.

    If you wake up a lot needing to go to the restroom, then make sure you are getting plenty of fluids during the day and limit drinking fluids closer towards before bedtime. This may help reduce the need to urinate frequently at night.

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    You Asked: How Do You Manage Overactive Bladder

    Its normal to use the restroom a few times an hour. I must just drink a lot of water. Doesnt everyone?

    Sound familiar?

    If so, you may be one of the nearly 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States living with overactive bladder . An embarrassing phrase to even voice aloud, OAB while imposing is actually quite common.

    Overactive bladder occurs when nerve signals between the bladder and brain tell the bladder to empty even when it isnt full. It can also happen when bladder muscles are too active. This sudden, strong urge to urinate is caused when the bladder muscles contract to pass urine before the bladder is full.

    Overactive bladder is very prevalent and often undertreated, said Timothy Boone, M.D., Ph.D., vice dean of Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Medicine Houston campus and chairman of the department of urology for Houston Methodist Hospital. People should be concerned if they go to the bathroom eight or more times a day.

    The major symptom of OAB is a sudden, strong urgency to urinate that you cant ignore. This have-to-go feeling known as urgency incontinence breeds fear that you will leak urine if you dont go immediately. Other symptoms of overactive bladder include:

    Women are more likely to have an OAB at younger ages, but, by the age of 60, women and men will experience it at an equal rate, Boone said.

    Anticholinergic Drugs For Overactive Bowel

    This particular class of medication is used to control the muscle spasms that lead to overactive bladder. Anticholinergic drugs focus on blocking the nerve signals that typically trigger inopportune bladder contractions, reduce the frequency, and the severity of your urge to urinate.

    There are several anticholinergic drugs to choose from and they all require a doctors prescription. Most people have very favourable reactions to anticholinergics, though there are a few possible side effects which may include dry mouth, constipation, increased heartbeat and/or drowsiness.

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    How To Live Your Life With An Overactive Bladder

    How to Live Your Life With an Overactive Bladder

    Overactive bladder, also known at OAB, is a common condition affecting an estimated 33 million Americans. The most common symptom is a sudden urge to urinate that you are unable to control. Some people may leak urine when they feel this urge. This accidental or involuntary leaking of urine is called incontinence. Because of the nature of the symptoms of OAB, many people are too embarrassed to talk to their doctors about it and get help.

    The occurrence of OAB is greater in elderly populations with an estimate of about 30 percent of those aged 65 years or older having OAB symptoms. Among the elderly in long-term care facilities, the prevalence of urinary incontinence may be as much as 50 percent and is the basis for admission in many cases. The high prevalence of OAB in elderly populations has led people to believe that urinary incontinence is a normal consequence of aging.

    What Treatment Has Your Gp Prescribed So Far

    Overactive Bladder (OAB), the symptoms and treatment

    Anxiety medication due to the emotional stress and anxiety that I relate to any toilet activity after bottling up my emotions for so long, also some changes to my diet . Ive got to lose some weight and have some exercises to do. My GP did suggest that I will be referred to a urologist once my anxiety is under control.

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    Tips For Oab And Diet

  • If you have OAB, it’s important to enjoy a fiber-rich diet to avoid complications like constipation.
  • Sometimes extra weight can lead to overactive bladder. Talk with your health care provider to learn if this might be the cause of your OAB.
  • Some medications — especially those with caffeine or diuretics in them — can worsen OAB. Consult with your doctor to know for sure.
  • Chocolate, coffee, tea, and cola — food and drinks with caffeine — can make your OAB symptoms worse. Try cutting back.
  • OAB can be very stressful at times. Don’t go it alone: Talk to your health care team, get treatment, and find support.
  • Some medications, like prescription diuretics, sedatives, and antidepressants, can lead to OAB symptoms. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medication.
  • Use waiting time to manage OAB: Kegel exercises can improve, and even prevent, overactive bladder symptoms. Perform them 30 to 80 times daily for four to six weeks.
  • Pelvic muscle rehabilitation can improve pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage. Talk to you doctor or look online to learn more.
  • Did you know smoking can irritate your bladder? This may be the motivation you need to quit at last!
  • Is your over-the-counter allergy medicine aggravating your OAB symptoms? Discuss the possibilities with your doctor.
  • Never stop taking a medication because you think it might be aggravating your OAB. Talk with your doctor to know for sure — there could be other causes.
  • Foods To Avoid If You Have Oab

    Doctors have identified a number of foods and drinks that can worsen overactive bladders, including:

    • Caffeinated beverages and foods
    • Sugar or honey
    • Artificial sweeteners

    When these foods and drinks collect in the bladder, it can cause irritation resulting in bladder muscle spasms. Those spasms can create the sudden urge to urinate and increase your frequency of urination. Because each person will react differently to trigger foods coffee might bother one person, while dairy can be problematic for someone else doctors suggest keep a food journal so you can see which foods affect you the most.

    But there are certain beverages that are known to cause repeat trips to the bathroom. Even a moderate amount of alcohol, coffee, tea, or soda will increase the amount of urine your bladder must manage. Research published in September 2016 in the journal Current Urology showed nearly one-half of people over the age of 60 who drink more than 300 mg coffee a day suffer from overactive bladder symptoms, which is significantly higher than peers who do not consume large amounts of caffeine.

    Also, chemicals in cigarettes have been shown to irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. Smoking can cause coughing spasms that increase problems with stress incontinence. The American Cancer Society offers extensive resources on quitting, noting smokers are at least 3 times more likely to get bladder cancer compared with nonsmokers.

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