Who Gets Overactive Bladder Syndrome
- OAB is the second most common cause of female urinary incontinence .
- The prevalence of OAB increases with age.
- OAB may be associated with Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, dementia or stroke however, most cases have no specific cause.
- In men, urge incontinence may be due to neurological disease or an enlarged prostate gland .
The Dos And Donts For Managing An Overactive Bladder Through Diet
Changing your lifestyle and diet can make you less likely to have overactive bladder issues.
Alamy Jill Chen/Stocksy
People living with an overactive bladder often can find relief by changing their diet.
“We forget that some of the things we eat are causing our problems,” said the late Jean Fourcroy, MD, a urologist who was based in Washington, DC, in a 2011 interview.
Avoiding things that irritate the bladder, regulating your amount of fluid intake, and increasing your dietary fiber are just a few of the ways you can eat better to improve the symptoms of overactive bladder.
Find out more about the dos and donts of managing this condition through diet.
Overactive Bladder Syndrome Symptoms
Overactive bladder syndrome symptoms include a sudden urge to pass urine that is very difficult to delay and may be associated with leakage. Other features include:
- Frequency of micturition.
- Abdominal discomfort.
- Urge incontinence .
There are no specific physical signs and the diagnosis is usually made from the symptoms and confirmed with urodynamic testing.
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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.
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 .
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Overactive Bladder Remedies And Supplements
Discovering the underlying cause of your overactive bladder will assist you in finding the proper treatment and lifestyle changes to pursue. There are several home remedies and supplements that can ease or even eliminate symptoms related to an overactive bladder. Of course, it is essential to consider other solutions in your regimen. You should consult your doctor before implementing dietary supplements to avoid adverse reactions and side effects.
Common home remedies for frequent urination include:
They are traditionally used to treat urinary tract infections, bladder inflammation, and prostate inflammation. A scientific study performed on rats supported the effectiveness of this extract. Corn silk extract may aid urinary tract health, improving bladder control, and easing an overactive bladder.
Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in antioxidants and magnesium both beneficial to lower inflammation and improving general health. Some studies suggest that pumpkin seeds can ease symptoms related to an overactive bladder. One study performed on 45 subjects showed effective results using pumpkin seed oil extract. After taking the extract for six and 12 weeks, the subject noticed a positive change in the urinary disorders.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
When To See Your Doctor
For those in the post-menopause or perimenopause phase who are experiencing severe bladder issues and have had little or no success in managing incontinence through holistic approaches like exercise and avoidance of trigger foods, there are certain continence medications available.
A good rule of thumb is to see your health care provider if you are no longer able to complete everyday tasks due to incontinence or having to accommodate regular activities. You should also consult your medical provider if you are experiencing frequent urine leakage or your sleep schedule is being constantly disrupted by the urge to urinate.
What have you done to improve your pelvic floor strength? Has this helped with bladder leakage? Have you had to consult with your doctor about OAB?
Let’s Have a Conversation!
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Natural Treatment For Overactive Bladder
Certain herbal supplements have proven beneficial in treating OAB symptoms. However, some of these supplements are not something that can usually be found in mainstream stores and shopping sites.
Seeking out a naturopath would be helpful as they would likely be able to help you find a vendor. It is advised that you speak to your doctor first before trying some alternative remedies as it may have unknown side effects.
As well, be wary of where youre buying herbal supplements. A reputable vendor or company can save you from contaminated products, as well as provide proper knowledge of the product and dosage.
There are many other types of herbal remedies that have shown signs of helping with OAB. It can be a trial and error treatment, as many types of treatments for OAB are.
Gosha-Jinki-Gan and Hachimi-Jio-Gan
One popular Chinese herbal blend is Gosha-jinki-gan . GJG is a blend of 10 traditional Chinese herbs that inhibit the bladder and can drastically decrease frequency during the day.
There is another Chinese herbal medicine that claims it may influence bladder muscle contraction. It is Hachimi-jio-gan . HE is made up of eight natural ingredients, however, some of which are also in the herbal medicine GJG.
It is recommended you use homegrown or organic corn as supermarket corn is loaded with pesticides. However, it is easily found in your local grocery store in the herbal supplement aisle in capsule form.
Surgery As An Overactive Bladder Treatment
Having all these medical advances is extremely beneficial. We have so many options to help treat OAB. However, at this point in the long list of treatments, we are getting into surgical procedures.
Surgery may not be an option for everyone, as it can be extremely expensive, and not available in most hospitals around the world. Therefore when trying to find a solution to OAB, lifestyle, natural and herbal, and medicinal are usually exhausted first before proceeding to more difficult, yet typically effective, treatments.
One of the other types of surgery for OAB treatment is called bladder augmentation. This surgery is a last case scenario, as once it is performed, it is irreversible. It is typically offered to patients who have gone through every treatment, and also meet an age requirement that the doctor feels comfortable making such an irreversible change.
Bladder augmentation increases the size of the bladder, allowing it to fill up more, and also allowing for more elasticity. It is for patients who have completely been resistant to all types of treatment and suffer from severe OAB symptoms.
However, the side effects are typically having to use a catheter every time they feel the need to void. Sometimes a stoma is created outside of the bladder so that the patient can use this to void. This allows for much more freedom in their everyday lives and allows the patient to decide when to urinate verses when their bladder would make that decision.
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Medications For Unspecified Oab
If your doctor cant find a cause for your OAB, dont worry. Drugs can still help ease your symptoms. Some of these drugs work by relaxing your bladder. They stop involuntary contractions that bring on the urge to urinate. Other drugs help strengthen the tissues around your bladder that may have become weak. The stronger tissue can help improve your bladder control.
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What Causes Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:
- Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
- Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
- Pelvic or back surgery.
Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.
How Women Can Manage Incontinence Around Menopause
Bladder issues are something that affects many women going through menopause, with recent studies showing the prevalence of urinary incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome significantly increases for women in postmenopausal age.
Consequently, many women believe that urinary incontinence is an inevitable part of the aging process, yet it isnt, and can be highly preventable and treatable if certain steps are taken.
With the number of menopausal women worldwide estimated to reach 1.1 billion by 2025, now is the time for women to understand what treatments and preventative measures are available to combat OAB syndrome.
If left untreated, OAB can interfere with work, going out with friends, exercise and sleep resulting in more serious complications down the road.
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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?
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.
Supplements For Adequate Nutrition
Developing a diet free of irritants can take some trial and error. During this time, its important to get the recommended amount of daily nutrients.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your individual nutritional needs. They can help determine the appropriate supplements for you.
You may find it beneficial to supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin or nutrition drinks. Popular nutrition drinks include shakes, such as Boost or Ensure, and formulas, such as ProNourish.
Check in with your doctor before adding a supplement or nutrition drink to your regimen. Certain ingredients may interfere with your medications or otherwise negatively impact your overall health.
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Tips For Oab And Diet
What Are The Symptoms Of An Overactive Bladder
- Sudden and overwhelming urge to urinate: This symptom can come on very quickly and without any warning.
- Urge incontinence: This happens when you suddenly leak urine after feeling an urgent and immediate need to go to the toilet. Theres also a feeling of not being able to reach the toilet fast enough.
- Frequency: This is the need to urinate more often than usual sometimes more than eight times within a 24 hour period. Often the need to urinate is ever-present whether fluid intake is limited or not.
- Nocturia: This occurs when an overactive bladder wakes you to use the toilet several times during the night to the point where your sleep cycle is disrupted.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Increased weight especially around the abdomen puts stress on the bladder and pelvic floor, which can increase the tendency to leak urine, says Poston.
So one way to help mitigate an overactive bladder is to stay at a healthy weight which means maintaining a body mass index between 18.5 to 24.9.
What the research says:
- A 2019 study found that being obese was associated with overactive bladder in women, and with urgency-related incontinence in both men and women.
- Meanwhile, a 2020 study found overweight young women with a higher body fat percentage were 95% more likely to have an overactive bladder than those with a lower body fat percentage.
Quick tip: Cooking most of your own meals at home and getting 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week can help you stay within a healthy range.