Ways To Treat Bladder Leakage
With so many bladder leakage products and treatment options, how do you know what is the best one for you?
First, be sure to check in with your urologist or urogynecologist to see what may be causing your bladder leakage. Knowing the cause will help you and your doctor decide what treatment option will work best for you. While certain drinks, foods and medications may stimulate your bladder, there are other medical reasons that can cause your symptoms, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Weakened pelvic floor, sometimes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or having had a hysterectomy
- Neurological disorders
Depending on what is causing your urinary incontinence, a unique treatment plan should be developed based on your personal situation, says Nina Bhatia, M.D., urogynecologist at Hackensack Meridian Health. There are several lifestyle changes, including bladder retraining techniques, dietary changes, avoiding bladder irritants, pelvic floor exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy that can help tremendously. If those fail to provide you relief, there are non-surgical and surgical options that we can offer.
Urinary Incontinence Treatment: Natural Remedies Medications Devices And Procedures You Should Know About
If youre one of the 33 million Americans who struggle with overactive bladder and bladder control, then youve probably considered asking your doctor about incontinence treatment. Nearly half of women over 50 have reportedly experienced bladder leakage, and its not uncommon for younger women to experience stress incontinence.
Even so, you might feel embarrassed or hesitant about approaching your doctor, so weve compiled this guide to help you feel more informed and confident when discussing treatment options with your physician.
Urinary Incontinence In Dogs
Urinary incontinence in dogs, means your dog has the inability to retain urine in his bladder in other words, bladder leaks.
The urinary system is quite elegant. Urine is produced by the kidneys and fed through the ureters to the bladder. A sphincter keeps the passage to outside closed until its voluntarily opened during urination. At that point, urine flows through the urethra to whatever object your dog decides to gift with his or her scent.
When the sphincter doesnt stay fully tightened, involuntary leakage occurs. If the bladder is too full, urine can overflow into the urethra and escape. This often happens while your dog is resting or sleeping, or when she gets up from lying down.
Dribbling urine can also be a behavior issue if it happens when your dog is frightened or being submissive.
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Fluid Charts: Keeping Track
To better manage your symptoms, your doctor might ask you to keep a fluid chart or bladder diary. Using this journal, you carefully track all the liquids you take in, as well as how often you drink them and how frequently you visit the bathroom. This information can help your doctor choose the right treatment.
Herbal Supplements For Oab
An abundance of herbal products claim to give you confidence, make your bladder better, or help you go less. However, the science behind these assertions is very thin. Some animal studies show a potential effect of certain herbs on the bladder, but the studies are small and havent been repeated on a large scale in humans, if at all.
study involving 44 women with OAB in Japan demonstrated decreased urinary frequency and improvement on a quality-of-life scale in those who took 7.5 g of gosha-jinki-gan daily for eight weeks. Larger-scale studies would need to confirm the results.
The Chinese herbal blend hachi-mi-jio-ganHE for shortcontains several of the same herbs found in gosha-jinki-gan. HE may inhibit bladder contractions prompted by the chemical acetylcholine, according to a Japanese study done on rats. No human trials have been conducted.
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Specific Antidepressants May Suppress Symptoms
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.
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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Home Remedy Treatments For Incontinence
Now that you know a little bit about the different types of incontinence, as well as what typically causes them, you’re ready to learn home remedies that can help you deal with this bladder control problem.
Keep a diary. Maintaining a voiding diary, or uro-log, will create a record of when you urinated and the circumstances surrounding it. The diary should include the time of day of urination or leakage the type and amount of fluid intake that preceded it the amount voided in ounces the amount of leakage the activity engaged in when leakage occurred and whether or not an urge to urinate was present. Keeping such a diary for at least four days, if not a full week, before you see a doctor can help him or her determine what type of incontinence you have and the course of treatment. When you see a doctor, take along a list or the actual bottles of any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you have been taking, because some medications can cause incontinence.
Lose weight. Carrying extra fat in the abdominal region puts pressure on the bladder and stresses the pelvic muscles.
Do not smoke. Here’s another reason to give up the habit. Nicotine can irritate the bladder, and for heavy smokers, coughing can contribute to stress incontinence.
Go before you go. Try to empty your bladder before you take a trip of an hour or more, whether you feel the urge to go or not.
Kegel Exercises And Muscle Training
You can also do special pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, in addition to regular exercise. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles to minimize involuntary contractions and improve posture. Its also one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications.
To do Kegel exercises:
You can also talk to a physical therapist to see if youre squeezing the right muscles.
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Herbal Remedies For An Overactive Bladder
Bladderwrack: This is a form of seaweed rich in iodine. Although commonly used to treat an underactive thyroid, it can also be beneficial for treating an overactive bladder.
Gosha-jinki-gan: Studies have found this Japanese herb to be effective in reducing overactive bladder symptoms, particularly in men with an enlarged prostate.Horsetail: This herb has been found to aid in urinary leaks, bladder stones, and urinary tract infections.
Goldenseal root: This is considered a great treatment for urinary tract infections. You can drink it as a tea or take it orally as a supplement.
Uva ursi : The leaves of this plant have been found to help treat urinary tract infections.
Buchu: Dried leaves of buchu can be steeped in a tea to reduce bladder infections.
Hachi-mi-jio-gan: This Chinese herb has been found to relax bladder muscles to prevent spasms.
Cleavers: The leaves are usually brewed in a tea to help relieve urinary tract infections. Some patients have noted it can soothe an overactive bladder too.Cornsilk: These fine threads are packed with antioxidants and vitamins to help fight bladder infections and have recently been used to treat overactive bladder.
Ganoderma lucidum: This mushroom is common in Chinese medicine, and a Japanese study found it can prevent prostate enlargement to reduce the risk of overactive bladder in men.
Chiropractic Acupuncture And Osteopathy
These hands-on treatments are excellent choices that can be very successful in resolving incontinence. Theyre especially effective if urinary incontinence in dogs is due to physical issues like spine misalignment, muscle spasms, or nerve injury or impairment.
Read how to find a practitioner under the Find A Holistic Vet section below. You may also be able to find a local veterinary rehab facility that offers these modalities.
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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 Is Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is a condition that happens when a person is unable to control urine from escaping from the urethra, the tube that allows urine to leave the body from the bladder. This may happen on occasion, or you may not be able to hold in your urine at all.
Overall, there are several types of urinary incontinence that are important to bear in mind. Lets take a look at them.
Stress urinary incontinence
Have you ever coughed, sneezed, laughed, or exercised, and a few drops of urine escaped? If the answer is yes, it could be stress urinary incontinence. This occurs when the pelvic muscles have weakened.
This type of incontinence is more common in women who have pelvic prolapse or have had more than one vaginal birth.
Urge urinary incontinence
With this type of incontinence, a person has a sudden, urgent need to urinate but not enough time to get to the toilet because their bladder contracts at inappropriate times and urine leaks out.
This can happen because of problems with the nerves of the urinary system, the pelvic muscles, and the persons inability to respond to their need to urinate.
Some people feel that they cant empty their bladder completely when they urinate. This causes constant dribbling after urination.
Theres usually a feeling of still having a very full bladder, although the volume of urine that comes out is small.
Mixed urinary incontinence
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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.
Natural Supplements You Can Take At Home
While there have been very few scientific studies on herbal remedies as an option for overactive bladder treatment, some remedies have shown promising results for some people.
Studies from Japan have shown improvements in urgency, leakage and a reduction in night-time urination using a herbal remedy known as Gosha-jinki-gan. Also, the buchu plant from South Africa is thought to nourish the bladder tissue and fights inflammation which can lead to infections and incontinence.
There are also plenty of common herbs that may help with symptoms, including:
- Corn silk
- Ganoderma lucidum
Remember to consult your doctor first before adding any of these herbal remedies into your overactive bladder management plan.
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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
Natural Remedies For An Overactive Bladder
1. Kegel Exercises
If a weak pelvic floor is at the root of your OAB then kegel exercises can help a lot. These pelvic floor exercises can be done anywhere at anytime and they benefit both men and women. When done regularly, they can really help an overactive bladder.
Melody Denson, MD, a board-certified urologist with the Urology Team in Austin, TX, recommends these exercises for OAB. She says, They will trigger a reflex mechanism to relax the bladder. If you feel a tremendous urge to urinate, doing a kegel before you run to the bathroom will help settle down the bladder spasm and help you hold it until you get there.
2. Avoid Dietary Triggers
Significantly reduce the following foods and drinks that are known to contribute to overactive bladder:
- Soda and other carbonated beverages
- Spicy foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Milk and milk products
- Sugar and high sugar foods
Caffeine, alcohol and certain medications like diuretics are known to be major causes of acute incontinence, especially in the elderly population. Cranberry juice is surprisingly another thing to avoid if you have OAB. Although cranberry juice is often recommend for bladder health, it actually acts as an irritant if you have OAB.
3. Watch Fluid Intake
5. Schedule bathroom trips
6. Delay Urination
7. Try Acupuncture
8. Stop Smoking
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Signs Of Incontinence In Dogs
I probably dont need to tell you how youll know your dog is incontinent. Its usually pretty obvious!
The most common sign of urinary incontinence in dogs is wet spots wherever your dog sleeps.
You might also notice
- Dampness around the hindquarters and thighs
- Dribbling urine as she walks
- Irritated skin or redness from the dripping
- Licking the vulva or penis more than usual
- Dribbling urine when she is excited, frightened, submissive, or stressed
Natural Remedies To Heal Your Troubled Bladder
The bladder. We may complain about our creaky joints, moan about our aching muscles, and harp on our unending heartburn, but the bladder is one troublesome system most people pay precious little lip service to.
However, bladder problems from incontinence to infection to pain afflict millions of more people than many realize in the United States, more than 13 million Americans regularly experience issues with bladder control, let alone the dozens of other bladder maladies that exist.
Fortunately, though most people are remiss to discuss their urinary troubles, there are a handful of discreet natural treatments that resolve most bladder distress.
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Home Remedies From The Refrigerator
Juice and other drinks. Grape, cranberry, cherry, and apple juices are not irritating to the bladder and may help control the odor of your urine. They may also help diminish urinary tract infections. However, some beverages seem to irritate the bladder lining and, as a result, cause bladder leakage. You may want to eliminate certain substances from your diet or at least decrease your intake of them to see if your urine control improves. The caffeine in coffee, for instance, may irritate the bladder, and the ingredients that give coffee its distinct aroma can be irritating too. Tea, another favorite breakfast drink, is not only a diuretic, which promotes fluid loss through urination, but also a bladder irritant. Citrus fruits and juices, such as grapefruit and tomato, can be a problem. Carbonated sodas may be irritating, too . And, finally, alcoholic beverages should be avoided. Your safest beverage bet is water, perhaps with a twist of lemon for flavor .