Signs Of Urinary Tract Infection
In some elderly people, mental changes and confusion may be the only signs of a UTI. Older adults with a UTI are more likely to be tired, shaky, and weak and have muscle aches and abdominal pain.
Symptoms of a UTI in the bladder may include:
- Cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
- Pain or burning during urination
- Strong and frequent need to urinate, even right after emptying the bladder
- A mild fever below 101°F in some people
If a UTI spreads to the kidneys, symptoms may include:
- Chills and shaking
- Feeling tired or generally ill
- Fever above 101°F
- Pain in the side, back, or groin
- Flushed, warm, or reddened skin
- Mental changes or confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Very bad abdominal pain in some people
Some people may have bacteria in the bladder or urinary tract, but not feel any symptoms. If a urine test shows that you have bacteria in your urine, but you do not feel any symptoms, you may not need any treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether antibioticsthe medications that treat UTIsare needed.
Alternative Treatments For Nocturia
Many people turn to complementary and alternative medicine before seeking medical help. You may also be interested in alternative medications or treatments for nocturia, but there are few studies to support their use. These treatments may work for nocturia, but only if OAB is the cause.
For example, research has found that:
- herbal medications have a positive impact on symptoms of OAB and quality of life
- acupuncture provides short-term relief for OAB symptoms
- homeopathic remedies may have benefits, but need more studies
- alternative treatments have fewer side effects than medications
- saw palmetto berry extract has no benefit for nocturia
But more research is needed to confirm if CAM works for OAB.
Always talk to your doctor before trying a supplement or alternative treatment. Certain CAM treatments can cause unintended side effects, especially if youre already taking medication.
Why Does Your Bladder Get Weak
There are many reasons why someone has a weak bladder. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Pregnancy This is the most common cause of having a weak bladder for women that are not able to control their bladders at all during pregnancy, especially during the last months.
- Childbirth Giving birth is also another common cause of women not being able to control their bladders after they gave birth. During childbirth, you can seriously injure your bladder and it will never be the same again.
- Age When you get older, you lose muscle tone. For women, this is more common after they have children. After childbirth, your muscles are stretched out and you lose tone.
- Diseases When people get diseases that affect their nervous systems or abdominal organs, it can cause them to not be able to control their bladders. This is especially true if the person has had a stroke or a spinal cord injury.
- Nerve damage Sometimes, people can lose the nerve that makes them able to control their bladders after they have had surgery on their prostate. This is pretty common for older men.
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What Can Affect Bladder Health
Many things can affect bladder health. You cant control everything that affects bladder health, but there are many bladder health behaviors that you can control. Here are some things that may affect your bladder health.
Some activities can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, including:
- Having sex. Sexual activity can move bacteria from the bowel or vaginal cavity to the urethral opening. Urinating after sex lowers the risk of infection.
- Using a catheter to urinate. A catheter is a tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help empty the bladder. The catheter can make a direct path for bacteria to reach the bladder.
- Using certain types of birth control. Diaphragms can bring bacteria with them when they are placed. Spermicides may also make UTIs more likely.
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How Is Urinary Retention Treated
With acute urinary retention, treatment begins with the insertion of a catheter through the urethra to drain the bladder. This initial treatment relieves the immediate distress of a full bladder and prevents permanent bladder damage. Long-term treatment for any case of urinary retention depends on the cause.
The cause of acute urinary retention may be temporary. For example, if you have retention after surgery, you will probably regain your ability to urinate after the effects of the anesthesia wear off. In such cases, you may need to have a catheter inserted once or twice with no other treatment required after you have shown you can urinate on your own.
If you have chronic urinary retention, or if acute retention appears to become chronic, further treatment will be necessary. You may need to continue using a catheter if other options do not work for you. You may be taught to catheterize yourself as needed. You will need to learn sterile technique to avoid UTIs.
Treatments to Relieve Prostate Enlargement
The treatments for prostate enlargement range from medication to surgery. For more information, see the fact sheet Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia from the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Surgery for Women with Cystocele or Rectocele
Treatments for Men with Urethral Stricture
Another treatment for urethral stricture in men is placement of a wire mesh tube, called a stent, to keep the passage open.
Eating To Reduce Constipation
Sometimes constipation can place extra pressure on your bladder. You can prevent constipation by exercising regularly and including more fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiber include beans, whole-wheat breads, fruits, and vegetables.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends eating 2 tablespoons of a mixture of 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and 3/4 cup of prune juice every morning to promote bowel regularity.
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Managing Bladder Or Urinary Incontinence
Sometimes urinary incontinence can last a short time, depending on what’s causing it. But sometimes incontinence can be long-term and uncomfortable, making some everyday activities difficult to manage.
Your health care team will ask you questions to determine the type of bladder incontinence you might have. Then, you might need tests to verify the type and learn the cause of it which will help them know the best way to manage it.
- Pelvic floor muscle strengthening may be recommended. A physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor muscle exercises can help. This might help muscle strength and bladder control get better by doing exercises that tighten and relax muscles that control the flow of urine.
- Bladder training canhelp manage how often you need to urinate throughout the day, by assigning certain time intervals to empty your bladder.
Drugs For Overactive Bladder
In people with overactive bladder, muscles in the bladder wall contract at the wrong time. A group of drugs called anticholinergics combat this problem by blocking the nerve signals related to bladder muscle contractions. Research suggests that these drugs also might increase bladder capacity and decrease the urge to go.
Anticholinergic drugs include:
Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter. Overall, these drugs work about the same in treating overactive bladder, and generally people tolerate all of them well. The main side effect is dry mouth, but anticholinergics also can cause constipation, blurred vision, and increased heartbeat.
Anticholinergics aren’t right for everyone. Some people with glaucoma, urinary retention, or gastrointestinal disease should avoid using anticholinergic drugs.
The drugs mirabegron and vibegron called beta-3 adrenergic agonists. These medications work by activating a protein receptor in bladder muscles that relaxes them and helps the bladder fill and store urine.
Another type of drug for overactive bladder is the tricyclic antidepressantimipramine hydrochloride , which also relaxes bladder muscles.
Doctors also treat men with drugs that relax a muscle at the bladder neck and prostate to help with emptying. They include:
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What Medications Can I Use For Overactive Bladder
Your doctor may suggest trying behavioral techniques before having you use a medication to treat overactive bladder. However, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of using the following commonly prescribed medications:
These medications control muscle spasms in the bladder:
- Oxybutynin , oxybutynin XL , oxybutynin TDDS .
- Tolterodine .
- Mirabegron .
How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
To do Kegels:
If you are uncomfortable or uncertain about doing Kegel exercises on your own, a doctor or nurse can also teach you how to do Kegels. A pelvic floor physical therapist or other specialist may also be available in your area to help teach you how to strengthen these muscles.
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How Is Urinary Retention Diagnosed
Your doctor will order a number of tests to diagnose your condition.
History of Complaints and Physical Examination
A physician will suspect urinary retention by your symptoms and will attempt to confirm the diagnosis with a physical examination of the lower abdomen. The physician may be able to feel the distended bladder by lightly tapping on your lower belly. Tapping or striking for diagnostic purposes is called percussing.
A urine sample will be examined for signs of infection, which may be a cause or a result of urinary retention.
A bladder scan uses a portable ultrasound device that can determine how much urine is in your bladder. You will be asked to urinate, and then your doctor or nurse will use the bladder scan to determine the post-void residual . The word residual refers to the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination. If you typically have a PVR of 100 milliliters or more, you are considered to have chronic urinary retention.
Your doctor may use a cystoscope to see inside your bladder and urethra. The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope. These lenses let the doctor focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract.
X Ray and Computerized Tomography Scan
Blood Test for Prostate-specific Antigen
Prostate Fluid Sample
Solutions For A Leaky Bladder
Research has found that at least half of people with urinary incontinence dont discuss the condition with a health care provider. But theres no need to feel embarrassed. If you have a leaky bladder, youre definitely not alone. Bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence, affects women and men of all ages, though it becomes more common later in life.
And its definitely worth discussing, because of the many ways it can interfere with enjoying daily lifefrom exercise and travel to social outings and romance, says E. James Wright, M.D., director of urology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
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When Should I See A Gynaecologist About A Weak Bladder
If you begin experiencing regular incontinence or episodes where its more than a few drops and you wet yourself more, then you need to make an appointment to have this assessed. A history of how often you leak, what you are doing when leakage occurs, when it happens , any accidents, limitations on exercise, work or walking will guide your doctor in:
Examination of the pelvic floor and vagina may reveal prolapse, a weakness of the vaginal walls and uterus.
What Is Overactive Bladder
The condition known as overactive bladder may or may not be associated with urge incontinence. OAB refers to sudden, uncontrollable bladder contractions. When these contractions are associated with leaks, urge incontinence is also present. OAB is disruptive because strong, frequent bladder contractions prompt numerous trips to the bathroom throughout the day and sometimes also at night. OAB can interfere with work, fitness, and social life. If you get up multiple times at night to urinate, OAB can also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.
A Common Problem
OAB is an extremely common disorder. Approximately 33% of people in the United States have OAB. An estimated 40% of women in the U.S. have the condition. Despite the fact that millions of people and a large percentage of women have OAB, it is not normal and you don’t have to live with uncomfortable, limiting symptoms. There are treatments that can help.
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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.
Control Your Urge To Urinate
You may be able to control, or suppress, the strong urge to urinate, which is called urge or urgency suppression. With this type of bladder training, you can worry less about finding a bathroom in a hurry. Some people distract themselves to take their minds off needing to urinate. Other people find that long, relaxing breaths or holding still can help. Doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor also can help control the urge to urinate. Quick, strong squeezes of the pelvic floor muscles can help suppress urgency when it occurs, which may help you get to the toilet before you leak.
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Symptoms Of Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence occurs due to overactivity of the detrusor muscle. The hallmark symptom of this kind of urinary incontinence is a sudden, overwhelming urge to void, accompanied by loss of urine. Frequent urination and nighttime urination often occur with this type of urinary incontinence. The amount lost is variable. Hearing running water or changing position may trigger bladder contractions and lead to urine loss. This type of incontinence can occur in anyone of any age, but it is more typical with advancing age. Just 9% of women between the ages of 40 and 44 suffer from urge incontinence while 31% of women over the age of 75 suffer from the condition.
Sometimes stress incontinence and urge incontinence occur at the same time. This is called mixed incontinence. People who suffer from urge incontinence lose greater amounts of urine than those who suffer from stress incontinence. Those who suffer from stress incontinence notice leaks with activities that increase abdominal pressure. Keeping a voiding diary, noting the time, place, and activities associated with symptoms of urine loss can help the physician determine whether you suffer from stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed incontinence, or another issue.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated
You and your doctor or nurse will work together to create a treatment plan. You may start with steps you can take at home. If these steps do not improve your symptoms, your doctor or nurse may recommend other treatments depending on whether you have stress incontinence or urge incontinence or both.
Be patient as you work with your doctor or nurse on a treatment plan. It may take a month or longer for different treatments to begin working.
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