What Are The Specific Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder represents a collection of symptoms that can include:
- Urinary urgency: This is a failure to be able to postpone the need to urinate. When you feel you need to urinate, you have a limited amount of time to get to a bathroom.
- Frequency of urination: People who experience this symptom need to urinate very often. Typically its an increase in the number of times you urinate compared to what you previously experienced.
- Urge incontinence: In this case, there can be a leakage of urine when you get the urge to urinate.
- Nocturia: This symptom is characterized by the need to get up and urinate at least two times each night.
Try To Avoid Caffeine Carbonated Drinks Sugar Alcohol And Spicy Or Acidic Foods
- Caffeine is a diuretic which makes you need to use the bathroom more often.
- Carbonated drinks and sugar are thought to stimulate the bladder.
- Alcohol switches off the ability of your body to concentrate urine. This means you tend to urinate more dilute, watery urine, which dehydrates you. Since you are dehydrated, you may drink more.
- Acidic or spicy food may aggravate your overactive bladder and worsen your symptoms. Certain acidic fruit and juices like orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime can aggravate your bladder, too.
What Behavioral Changes Can I Make To Help With Overactive Bladder
There are many techniques and changes to your typical behavior that you can try to help with an overactive bladder. These can include:
Keeping a log: During a typical day, write down your fluid intake, the number of times you urinate, the number of accidents and when they occur. Make a note about what happened when the accident happened, like when you:
- Were unable to reach the bathroom in time.
Monitoring your diet: Eliminate or decrease foods or beverages that may worsen your bladder symptoms. These could include:
- Spicy and acidic foods and drinks.
- Foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.
Maintaining bowel regularity: Constipation can place added pressure on the bladder and have a negative effect on your bladder function. By keeping healthy bowel habits, you may be able to avoid constipation and help to lessen bladder symptoms. The following are some suggestions for maintaining bowel regularity:
- Increase your fiber intake by eating foods like beans, pasta, oatmeal, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Every morning, take 2 tablespoons of this mixture: 1 cup apple sauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and ¾ cup prune juice.
- Exercise regularly to maintain regular bowel movements.
Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight can add pressure on your bladder, which may contribute to bladder control problems. If you are overweight, weight loss can reduce the pressure on your bladder.
- Drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.
Read Also: Can I Have A Bladder Infection Without Pain
Is Bladder Training Right For Me
The decision to try bladder training depends on whats causing the problem. Bladder control training is typically used to treat urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine. Incontinence is most common in women, especially after childbirth and menopause. Different types of urinary incontinence exist, including:
- Stress incontinence: Sudden pressure on your abdomen causes you to accidentally lose urine.
- Urge incontinence: You feel a sudden, strong urge to go to the bathroom because your bladder contracts even when its not full. You may not always be able to reach the toilet in time.
- Mixed incontinence: A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence: A problem emptying the bladder completely that leads to urine leakage.
Bladder retraining may also be used to treat bed-wetting in children.
How Diet Affects Oab
When our bodies create urine, its made up of the liquid waste that the kidneys filter from our blood. Traces of the foods and drinks we consume can therefore end up in our urine, which is then stored in the bladder. Some foods that you eat may actually irritate your bladder, causing bladder spasms, that gotta go now feeling, and even bladder leaks.
People who have a sensitivity to gluten may also experience overactive bladder symptoms, as the bladder can be irritated by gluten. Eliminating foods with wheat, rye and barley may help to alleviate symptoms of OAB.
You May Like: Best Pills For Bladder Infection
Foods To Incorporate If You Have Oab
Lean Proteins – fish, chicken breast, turkey, low fat beef and pork are good options. Eggs are also a good source of protein if youre trying to avoid meat.
Fiber Rich Foods – these foods are filling and can help prevent constipation, which can put extra pressure on your bladder. Almonds, oats, pears, raspberries lentils and beans are all good options when you want to add more fiber into your diet.
Fruits – while some fruits, especially citrus, can irritate the bladder, its still important to incorporate them into your diet. Bananas, apples, grapes, coconut and watermelon are good options for those with overactive bladder.
Vegetables – Leafy greens, like kale, lettuce, cucumber, squash, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, celery and bell peppers.
Whole grains, like oats, barley, farro, and quinoa .
You may wish to eliminate all the foods on the do not eat list, then slowly reintroduce them back into your diet one by one to determine which ones your bladder finds irritating.
Should I Limit The Amount Of Fluids I Drink
No. Many people with bladder pain syndrome think they should drink less to relieve pain and reduce the number of times they go to the bathroom. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health. Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevent urinary tract infections, and prevent constipation, which may make your symptoms worse.9
Dont Miss: How Do I Treat A Bladder Infection At Home
You May Like: What Is Best For Bladder Infection
Make Regular And Controlled Visits
Double void is another approach to dealing with OAB. This technique involves relieving yourself and then, a few minutes later, going again. This deliberate approach to bathroom visits helps you to make sure that after passing urine a second time, your bladder is mostly or completely empty. The main benefit of this approach is that you can avoid having to return to the bathroom just a few minutes after your initial visit, which is both a nuisance and sometimes embarassing.
How Bad Is It
Your doctor may ask you questions to help figure out how much OAB is affecting your life. For example, you could rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how much you’ve been bothered by things like accidental leaks, lots of daytime bathroom breaks, and waking up at night to go. Your doctor might also ask you to keep a voiding diary of your bathroom trips.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Treat A Bladder Infection At Home
What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.
Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.
With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.
Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.
It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.
Can Eating Certain Foods Or Drinks Make My Bladder Pain Symptoms Worse
Maybe. Some people report that their symptoms start or get worse after eating certain foods or drinks, such as:16
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges
- Drinks with caffeine, such as coffee or soda
Keep a food diary to track your symptoms after eating certain foods or drinks. You can also stop eating foods or drinks one at a time for at least one week to see if your symptoms go away. If not, stop eating other trigger foods or drinks one at a time for one week to see which ones may be causing some of your symptoms.
You May Like: When Is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
What Foods And Drinks To Avoid
While you may want to drink less liquid so you dont have to urinate as often, you should still make sure you stay hydrated. More concentrated urine, usually darker in color, can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urination.
Other foods and drinks can contribute to OAB symptoms, including:
- tomato-based foods
You can test which drinks or foods irritate your bladder by eliminating them from your diet. Then reincorporate them one by one every two to three days at a time. Permanently eliminate the particular food or drink that worsens your symptoms.
The Top 12 Tips To Manage Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is a term thats used to describe a range of urinary symptoms and is therefore, not technically defined as a disease. Overactive bladder affects over 30 million men and women in the United States, making it a very common urologic condition. OAB can present itself through the presence of urgency, frequency, nocturia, and other disruptive symptoms. These can be consistent or come and go over time. There are many potential causes for overactive bladder, some of which include diabetes, urinary tract infections, neurological disorders, nerve damage, infection, hormonal changes, bladder abnormalities, bladder obstructions, medications, declining cognitive function, excessive consumption of bladder irritants, obesity, difficulty walking, incomplete bladder emptying, and weakened pelvic floor muscles. However, with lifestyle changes and the proper treatment, you can find relief from severe or disruptive overactive bladder symptoms. To help, here are the top 12 tips to manage overactive bladder.
Overactive bladder symptoms can be exasperated by increased pressure on the bladder. This commonly happens when you overexert yourself or lift heavy objects. Lifting heavy objects puts increased pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and weakens them over time. This leads to a reduction in support for your bladder, which increases overactive bladder symptoms in addition to urge incontinence.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Bladder Infection Symptoms Last
Altering The Bladder With Bladder Augmentation Surgery
When all other approaches to strengthen and retrain the bladder have failed, you may need to alter the bladder itself. This surgery is typically used as a last resort and in only the most severe cases of an overactive bladder.
Bladder augmentation involves enlarging the bladder with a section of your large intestine, so theres more physical space to store urine in and less pressure to urinate frequently. The surgery is the most invasive and complicated procedure for solving overactive bladder problems, and includes a long recovery time and possible lasting consequences. Once you have bladder augmentation surgery, you will cease to be able to urinate naturally you will have to use a catheter or stoma.
The good news is that many, if not most cases of an overactive bladder can be very well controlled with healthy lifestyle changes, and natural and traditional medical treatments. Its important to remember that not all of the listed treatment options may work for everyone.
Remember to discuss the above overactive bladder treatment options with your doctor before beginning them.
What Are The Causes Of Bladder Weakness
A weak bladder can be caused by many different factors affecting the pelvic floor ranging from life events to health problems. It may be that you have noticed a sudden weakening of the pelvic floor, or perhaps a more gradual worsening of weak bladder symptoms over time.
A weak bladder may make it hard to keep urine in when there is extra pressure placed on your pelvic floor such as when laughing or sneezing. This is known as stress incontinence. Alternatively, you may have a frequent and urgent need to go to the toilet as a result of the detrusor muscles in your pelvic floor contracting too often. This is known as urge incontinence.
There are many causes of a weak bladder. Some of the most common include:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Cystocele and pelvic organ prolapse
- Neurological disorders
Being overweight, smoking, or drinking large amounts of alcohol or caffeine can also put you at risk of bladder weakness symptoms.
Also Check: Can You Have Intercourse While Having A Bladder Infection
Recommended Reading: Can Acupuncture Help With Bladder Problems
Causes And Risk Factors
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:
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
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.
Extra weight or obesity
Try To Prevent Constipation
Constipation causes the colon to swell and strain because of increased abdominal muscle pressure. This can adversely affect the bladder muscles and may also increase the frequency and severity of OAB symptoms.
Eating more fiber, getting regular exercise, and staying hydrated can help prevent constipation. In addition, there are certain yoga poses including the Crescent Lunge, Cobra, and Legs up the Wall that can help relieve constipation and promote healthy bowel movements.
Those who experience chronic constipation should talk with a doctor to learn more about other ways to help manage their constipation more effectively, such as by taking medications or trying physical therapy.
Also Check: Does Your Bladder Shrink With Age
Medical Treatments For Nocturia
Your doctor may prescribe medications when preventive measures and lifestyle changes fail to reduce the frequency of your nighttime urination. Doctors prescribe a class of drugs called anticholinergics to treat symptoms of OAB, if thats the cause of your nocturia. They reduce bladder spasms that create the urge to go.
Your doctor may suggest you take a diuretic for regular urine production. A diuretic can itself cause nocturia. But if you take it early enough in the day, it may help you get rid of excess fluid while youre awake. This should decrease your urine production at night.
Other drugs that may help are:
- desmopression in cases of diabetes insipidus to cause the kidneys to produce less urine
- tamsulosin , finasteride , or dutasteride to treat prostate enlargement
- antibiotics if you have a urinary tract infection
Your doctor may also adjust your diabetic medications to lower your blood sugar if theyre causing nocturia.
What Causes Overactive Baldder
Overactive bladder can be a manifestation of other diseases or conditions, such as:
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Pressure on the bladder from an enlarged uterus or ovarian cyst.
- Local disease in the bladder, such as ulcer or mass.
- Neurological disease.
Having an overactive bladder can also be a problem in its own right, without an underlying cause. This happens when there is increased sensation from small volumes of urine in the bladder, with or without causing unwanted bladder contraction . Habitual frequent passing of urine for fear of leakage can lead to overactive bladder, as a learnt behaviour.
Excessive fluid intake, especially coffee, tea, cola and alcohol, as well as smoking, can irritate the bladder enough to cause or worsen the condition.
Overactive bladder may co exist with stress incontinence of urine , which is known as mixed incontinence.
It may also follow continence surgery, such as mid urethral tape sling operations and Burch colposuspension.
Read Also: What’s Good For Weak Bladder
How Does My Doctor Know I Have Interstitial Cystitis
You may have interstitial cystitis if any of the following occur:
You have to urinate often or urgently
You have pelvic or bladder pain
A urologist finds bladder wall inflammation, pinpoint bleeding or ulcers during an exam with a special scope that looks inside your bladder
Your doctor has ruled out other diseases such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, bladder cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and, in men, chronic prostatitis
Recommended Reading: Does Bcg Cure Bladder Cancer
How To Stop Overactive Bladder
Do you ever find yourself searching for bathrooms everywhere you go, or do you find that you have overwhelming urges that sometimes mean you can’t make it to the bathroom in time? Maybe you have little bits of urine leaking out through the day, and you’re always putting a pad in just in case. These are all signs of urinary incontinence and the good news is, there is lots of opportunity for improvement and elimination of these symptoms.
Planning your life around the bathroom and your bladder is interfering with you living your life fully. Here are my top tips to help you take back control so you can overcome those pesky leaks, those strong urges and the need to find a bathroom everywhere you go.
BLADDER DIARYThe first step in bladder retraining is to complete a bladder diary for 3-4 days.
In the bladder diary, you’re going to record all of the food that you eat and all of the liquid that you drink. You’re also going to note, when you have to go to the bathroom . How long was your stream ? Did you have any sensations of urgency or any leaking? What activity were you doing at the time?
Another distraction measure would be calf raises. Talk to your bladder and go up and down onto your toes.
Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash
Don’t Miss: Difference Between Bladder And Urinary Tract Infection