The Link Between Weak Bladder And Oab
When the smooth muscle within the bladder becomes overactive, it can lead to improper contraction and relaxation of the muscle. Problems in the nerves that stimulate the bladder, as well as some neurological conditions, may lead to OAB.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States have OAB symptoms.
The muscles in the lower abdomen that support the bladder and urethra are known as the pelvic muscles. For women, these muscles often stretch and weaken during pregnancy and childbirth, which can cause organs in the abdomen to shift.
A lack of muscle support around the bladder can cause sagging, which can lead to leakage. This can lead to stress incontinence, which often results from a mix of OAB and urge incontinence.
If a person is experiencing frequent urination or having urine leakage after a sudden urge to urinate, it may be time to talk with a doctor about treatment options to help with OAB.
However, there are also several lifestyle changes that a person can make to help to calm the bladder muscle, which may help improve OAB symptoms. Read on to learn more.
The sections below provide suggestions for ways to help manage a weak bladder, which may also improve OAB symptoms.
Living With Bowel Or Bladder Incontinence
There is no single, right way to cope with bladder or bowel incontinence. The challenge is to find what is best for your situation, so you can get the help you need and return to a normal daily life. Talk with your health care team if you notice a change in bowel or bladder habits, and about the best ways to manage incontinence, if it is a problem. You might find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with incontinence, too. Ask a member of your cancer care team about support groups in your area.
Here are some things you can do that may help make incontinence less of a problem:
- Empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours while awake, to avoid accidents.
- Empty your bladder before bedtime or before strenuous activity.
- Limit drinks with caffeine, or and avoid alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder and make you have to go more often.
- Avoid hygiene products that may irritate you Women should avoid feminine spray or over-the-counter vaginal suppositories.
- Because belly fat can push on the bladder, avoiding weight gain or losing needed weight sometimes helps improve bladder control.
- Avoid tobacco use which can cause coughing and bladder irritation due to harmful substances in tobacco products.
- Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking. Some may affect urine control.
What The Caregiver Can Do
- Encourage or help the patient with appropriate skin care after using the bathroom. Use warm water and pat the area dry.
- Help the patient keep a diary that records specific foods or drinks that may affect how frequently the patient goes to the bathroom.
- Help the patient maintain a bladder or bowel plan.
- Encourage the patient to go to the bathroom at consistent time frames during the day, like after a meal.
- Encourage regular daily exercise, as permitted by the health care team.
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How Bladder Training Can Help
After going through bladder training, you should be able to:
- Go longer periods of time between bathroom visits
- Hold more liquid in your bladder
- Have more control over the urge to go
Although you probably want to see results right away, be patient. Bladder retraining can take six to 12 weeks to be successful.
If you’ve been trying bladder training for several weeks and it still isn’t working, check back in with your doctor. You might need to try other approaches, like medication or surgery.
Plan A Toileting Schedule
Plan toileting attempts at least every two to three hours during the day. Normal bladder behavior is to urinate six to eight times per day, along with emptying your bladder before changing activities, leaving home or going to bed. A schedule helps prevent your bladder from becoming too full, resulting in a rush to find a restroom.
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What You Can Do: Watch Your Weight
Youâre more likely to have problems with your bladder if youâre overweight. Too much body fat can strain your pelvic floor and make you pee when you donât want to. It also can put pressure on the pelvic nerves, which makes you feel like you have to go sooner than you really do. Losing weight can ease the pressure on both.
Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
Once individuals are performing pelvic-floor muscle contractions daily and correctly, they can begin to incorporate the exercises into their activities of daily living. Developing healthy bladder habits, such as regular and timed bathroom visits, and avoiding potential bladder irritants such as caffeine, can be helpful lifestyle changes for people with urinary incontinence.
Your physical therapist can provide information about:
- Diet and nutrition, to help you avoid food and drinks that may irritate the bladder.
- Changing the behaviors that make your symptoms worse.
- Techniques to decrease urinary urge and frequency, such as muscle strengthening or stretching.
- Maintaining a healthy bathroom schedule.
- Maintaining bowel regularity.
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Exercises For Urinary Sphincter Muscles
The urinary sphincter muscles are located at the base of the pelvic floor. They help control urine flow as well as prevent leaking of urine from the bladder. Sphincter muscles are circular and surround the opening of the urethra where it connects to the bladder. The urethra is a tubular structure that extends from the bladder to the outside of the body, through which urine flows. As we grow older, our sphincter muscles may weaken. Exercise strengthens this muscle and helps prevent incontinence.
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Exercises Your Leaky Bladder Wants You To Do
There are exercises for your butt, your legs, your arms, your spare tire, even your ever-texting achy thumbs. So considering the bladder itself is a muscleand its surrounded by other musclesit makes sense that you can whip that puppy into shape, too.
Of course, unless you already have the occasional leakage due to aging, genetics, or childbirth, you might not focus much exercise attention on your bladder. But strengthening those down-there muscles can stop so-called stress incontinence in its tracks, says Candace Howe, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn in private practice in Newport Beach, California. Who wants to undergo surgery? Howe says. Im a surgeon, and I tell my patients I wouldnt want to! If we can fix incontinence with exercise, thats preferable.
When Suzanne Andrews, host of Functional Fitness, was experiencing urinary incontinence after the birth of her son, her doctor told her to consider surgery. As an occupational therapy clinician, Suzanne was seeing patients with the same symptoms and realized her exercise background could help. She created the 30 Day Bladder Fix, a pelvic floor strengthening DVD that combines seated and lying-down exercises to help control incontinence. I remember the day I realized I didnt have it anymore, Andrews says. I sneezed and nothing came out!
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Seeking Medical Treatment For Incontinence
Tip: Make sure to tell your doctor about any other symptoms you are having along with loss of bladder control.
How Kegel Exercises Help
The pelvic floor muscles act as a sling to help hold the bladder and urethra in place. These muscles also help keep the urethra closed. Weak pelvic floor muscles may allow urine to leak. To strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, do Kegel exercises daily. In a few months, the muscles will be stronger and tighter. This can help prevent urine leakage.
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How Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder
There are several treatments that involve stimulating your nerves to help improve overactive bladder. Your nerves help communicate the message that your bladder needs to be emptied to your brain. By treating the nerves, your healthcare provider can improve your bladder control. Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment that is considered when conservative treatments have not worked or have not been tolerated. Conservative treatments include behavioral therapies and medications.
There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These can include:
Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles Can Help Prevent Bladder Leakage
Therapist: Do you have any issues with your bladder?
Patient: No. Well, I only leak with normal stuff like coughing and sneezing. But otherwise, Im fine.
Leaking urine from your bladder isnt a normal part of being a woman. However, you may be lulled into thinking leaking is simply something you need to deal with. Women may have increased risk factors for leaking, such as vaginal child birth, pelvic anatomy and menopause, but, again, its not normal. The best news is you can do something about it.
Pelvic floor muscles
Pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that make up the bottom of the pelvic region. They have an important role in continence, supporting the pelvic organs, stabilizing the pelvis and in sexual activity. They are essentially like any other muscle in the body they can be weak, stretched out, strong and tight. Generally, pelvic floor weakness and tension leads to pelvic muscle dysfunction. Weakness is a common cause for incontinence, and tension often leads to pelvic pain.
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Walk Regularly To Avoid Retaining Fluids
Some people, like those who are sedentary or have heart disease, may develop fluid buildup in their legs during the day. At night, this fluid causes them to need to empty their bladders frequently. If you have fluid retention in your legs that’s causing an active bladder overnight, try walking around more throughout the day. If you can’t walk, flex your calf muscles and raise your legs to waist level.
What Does It Mean If A Man Is Peeing A Lot
There are a few things that it means if a man is peeing a lot. For one, it could mean that he is having an issue with his bladder and needs to go frequently. It could also mean that he is having a problem with his prostate or it could be a sign that he is having a problem with hisrection. Lastly, it could also mean that he is having a lot of leakage and needs to go to the bathroom frequently.
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Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ, much like a balloon, that stores urine. Urine contains waste and extra fluid left over after the body takes what it needs from what we eat and drink. 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. The elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less flexible bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak.
While you cant control everything that affects your bladder, here are 15 steps you can take to keep it as healthy as possible:
Kegel Exercises For Your Pelvic Muscles
Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles under the uterus, bladder, and bowel . At the bottom of your pelvis are layers of muscles known as your pelvic floor. They are shaped like a hammock and connect to the front, back, and sides of your pelvic bone. Your pelvic muscles support the bladder, rectum, and sexual organs. They hold them in place and help control the flow of urine.
For women, pregnancy and childbirth can weaken the pelvic muscles. For men, prostate surgery can weaken the pelvic muscles. Your risk also increases as you age and if you are overweight. Brain and nerve disorders can also lead to problems with urine leakage or bowel control.
Weak pelvic muscles can cause you to leak urine. Luckily, Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic muscles and help you regain bladder control.
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Do Regular Kegel Exercises
Once you find your pelvic floor muscles, you can complete regular Kegel exercises to strengthen them. Simply contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold them for five to ten seconds, and relax them. The Urology Care Foundation suggests that you complete at least two sessions of Kegel exercises per day. Up to 30 contractions per session.
Medical Treatments To Strengthen Weak Bladder:
Electrical stimulation is actually a painless process which involves delivering of gentle electricity volts, via a vaginal probe for activating and strengthening the muscles of pelvic floor. Sometimes, there is an implantation of a device under the skin of the upper buttock so as to stimulate a nerve known as the sacral nerve, which is connected to the bladder and the pelvic floor.
Surgery is required at times for strengthening weak bladder, especially in individuals who experience severe symptoms and who do not respond to any other type of treatment. Surgery intends at improving the storing ability of the bladder and at reducing the pressure in your bladder.
You might require using a catheter for the rest of your life if you undergo the surgery to strengthen weak bladder.
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Drink Plenty Of Fluids To Flush Out Bacteria But Dont Overdo It
Drinking plenty of water six to eight glasses daily can flush bacteria out of your urinary tract and help prevent bladder infections. But many people drink more than that these days, having heard that drinking water frequently is healthy, Dr. Badlani says. If you’re bothered by a constant need to empty your bladder and you’re drinking fluids throughout the day, cut back on your intake. Also, avoid caffeinated sodas and coffee theyll only make you urinate more.
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Kegel Exercises Are A Natural Way To Improve Bladder Control
Pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegels, are an excellent way to improve bladder control naturally. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, enhancing your ability to hold it in and reduce the risk of leaks when you cough, sneeze, or lift something heavy.
Kegel exercises can strengthen bladder muscles in both women and men, helping people manage symptoms of urinary incontinence. In this article, we explain the step-by-step process for women to improve bladder weakness.
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What You Can Do: Clean Carefully
After you poop, be sure to wipe from front to back so bacteria doesnât get near your genitals. When you wash, be gentle and donât use harsh soaps that can damage the sensitive skin in the area and let bacteria in. And a shower can be better than a bath. Sitting in bathwater can let bacteria and other irritants get inside your urinary tract.
Watch What You Eat And Keep A Food Diary
A condition called interstitial cystitis, which is much more common in women than men, can cause bladder pain, an urgent, frequent need to urinate, and sexual dysfunction. Some people find that certain foods worsen their bladder symptoms, Badlani says. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and orange juice, may be linked to flare-ups. Keep a diary of your symptoms and see if you can connect them to any foods. If you can, steer clear of these foods and see if you notice any improvement.
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