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Treating Overactive Bladder Without Medication

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Home Remedies For Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a common condition with many treatments.

Overactive Bladder and Home Remedies


Overactive bladder which is also known as incontinence or Detrusor instability is a condition which results in involuntary action of the bladder. Frequent trips to the rest-rooms for urination are a characteristic of this disorder. Here the bladder muscles cannot be controlled and their contraction and relaxation are affected. The urination process cannot be managed when inflicted with this condition. The four types of incontinence are stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed incontinence and overflow incontinence.

Basic modifications can be made to ones lifestyle when looking to cure the bladder problem. Avoidance of spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, coffee, tea and alcoholic drinks can alleviate the symptoms of a weak bladder. Increasing the intake of fibrous foods can also go a long way in gaining control of the bladder. Exercising on a regular basis can promote regular bowel movements. Reduction of obesity is also helpful when battling bladder issues. Abstain from smoking is another way of preventing incontinence. Conditioning the bladder muscles through various techniques can help in regulating the urine flow and a doctor can be consulted for the same.

Out of the many treatments for overactive bladder, the home remedies can be deemed the best solution to deal with the quandary.

Home Remedies

Overactive Bladder Vs Urinary Incontinence

Overactive Bladder

  • Condition in which the bladder can no longer hold urine normally.
  • Often feel a sudden urge to urinate or experience an accident.
  • Defining symptom is urgency, or the inability to postpone urination.
  • OAB is typically a chronic problem
  • Often requires strengthening of pelvic floor muscles to get rid of symptoms like urinary incontinence.
  • Symptoms including urinary incontinence are ongoing.
  • Bladder muscle problems at the root of it.
  • Can result from regularly consuming alcohol and caffeine in large quantities.
  • Serious health conditions can lead to OAB including a stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis , or Parkinsons disease.

Urinary Incontinence

  • Is when you lose control of your bladder.
  • Isnt a condition its a symptom.
  • Is a symptom of OAB.
  • Can be caused by a loss or weakening of control over the urinary sphincter.
  • Can be a sign of something simple like a singular occasion of too much fluid consumption, a temporary problem.
  • Is a common symptom of a UTI along with a burning sensation during urination and/or blood in the urine.

The Three Stages Of Oab Treatment

First, you need to know that the goal of OAB treatment is to reduce your symptoms, not to eliminate them all together, says Maude Carmel, M.D., an associate professor of urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. To set expectations, Dr. Carmel tells her patients: If you have OAB, I can make you better, but not cure you. That said, symptom reduction can mean significantly fewer trips to the bathroom. The American Urological Association recommends a three-line treatment strategy to help: behavioral changes first, medications second, and finally neural regulation therapies.

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Coping Methods And Quality Of Life Issues

Most women visit their physicians without hesita-tion forsuch conditions as urinary tract infections , vaginal fungalinfections, and birth control. However, for some inexplicable reason, alarge number of those suffering from OAB postpone a medical appointment,many for as long as 6 or 7 years.4 During this time, theyemploy a variety of coping mechanisms of dubious efficacy andquestionable safety. For instance, the use of absorbent pads ispartially effective, but increases the risk of a UTI.4 Somewomen also take great pains to ascertain the location of all bathroomsin advance of an attack of OAB, a behavior known as toilet mapping.4

Women with symptoms of OAB may reduce the extent ofactivities they once found pleasurable, such as movies, walks, tennis,golf, or visiting with friends. They may voluntarily reduce fluidintake, which can lead to dehydration. They may feel forced to wearclothing that would conceal a urine leak, and only sit on furniture thatwould not be permanently stained if a leak were to occur. It becomesapparent that OAB can cause constant concern due to fear of an accidentand also the perception that odor from underclothing or absorbent padsmight be detected by others. If a patient feels forced to lead a moresedentary lifestyle, she may experience greater medical andpsychological problems.

What Is The Role Of Alpha

Acupuncture Controls Overactive Bladder

Alpha-blockers have a potential effect of improvement of symptoms related to overactive bladder. However, there is currently no scientific information that supports its clinical use4646. Chang SJ, Chiang IN, Yu HJ. The effectiveness of tamsulosin in treating women with voiding difficulty. Int J Urol 2008 15:981-5..

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Overactive Bladder Treatment Options When Oral Medication Is Not Working

Overactive bladder is a range of urinary symptoms that vary from person to person. It can present itself through the presence of urgency, frequency, nocturia, and more. These can be consistent or come and go over time. There are many potential causes for OAB, and many doctors prescribe medications to help control symptoms. However, sometimes medications arent effective. Here are 7 overactive bladder treatment options when oral medication is not working.

Behavior: Sweat More Lose More

If youve been slipping on your new years diet and exercise resolutions, the promise of improved OAB symptoms might be the kick-in-the-pants you need. A study in the Open Access Journal of Urology found that weight loss of 5%-10% had an efficacy in women similar to that of other nonsurgical urinary incontinence treatments. Eating a balanced diet is key, but exercise is, too, says Diego Illanes, M.D., chief of urogynecology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. Physical activity is proven to stimulate the central nervous system and causes weight reduction, he says. This translates to a healthy bladder.

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What Is Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder syndrome is characterized by the occurrence of urinary urgency which is a sudden compelling desire to urinate that is difficult to postpone. It is usually accompanied by frequent urination and nocturia . It is also commonly accompanied by urgency incontinence, where urine is accidently lost with urgency. This commonly manifests as the inability to get to the bathroom on time once urgency starts. OAB is quite common and affects about 11-16% of adults to varying degrees. Although it is common, that does not mean that a person who is affected by OAB should simply live with the condition, as many do. For some OAB can have a profound effect on quality of life causing disruptions at work, curtailing of social activities, reduction of sexual intimacy, and interfere with sleep. However, it is important to know that there are effective treatments for the symptoms of OAB.

There are other conditions such as urinary tract infections , polyps or tumors in the bladder, and excessive drinking of fluids that can cause similar symptoms and these conditions should be ruled out by your health care provider before embarking on OAB treatment.

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How Can Diet Affect Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder

Some foods and drinks irritate the bladder, possiblycontributing to the problem. You should strive to eliminate caffeinefrom your diet by halting use of coffee, tea, and all caffeinated softdrinks. Alcohol should be eliminated entirely, as it is another bladderirritant. Spices such as pepper add flavor to foods, but they also cancause severe irritation to the bowels and bladder. It may be helpful tokeep a diary of your intake of these foods and drinks to see if theyactually do produce a worsening of symptoms.

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Common Treatment For Overactive Bladder Linked To Increased Risk Of Depression

Finding a bathroom during times of urgency can be extremely stressful, but luckily, were usually able to find the facilities in time and enjoy well-deserved relief. While this may not occur often, there are people out there who struggle with this ordeal on a daily basisthey have been diagnosed with overactive bladder. Being a recognized disorder, there are various pharmaceutical treatment options patients may choose from. However, according to a new study, an antimuscarinic medication used in women for the treatment of overactive bladder was linked with and an increased risk of depression.

This population-based retrospective cohort study found that use of antimuscarinics was associated with subsequent depressive disorder in women with overactive bladder, said Li-Ting Kao, senior author of The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study. Continue reading

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Medication To Relax The Bladder

Once you and your doctor conclude that lifestyle measures arent adequately controlling your overactive bladder, drugs are often the first treatment to be added.

You may continue with behavioral changes when drugs are added to your treatment plan, or you may give up certain lifestyle changes if theyve become too difficult to maintain.

Most of the drugs used to treat overactive bladder work by relaxing your bladder muscle. They help prevent your bladder from contracting before its full of urine.

Some drugs for overactive bladder are taken by mouth, while others are given as a gel that you apply or a patch that you wear on your skin.

It may take some time to figure out what dose of a drug works best for you. Always follow your doctors instructions about dosing, including whether and when to change the dose youre taking.

If a drug doesnt work well enough even after you arrive at an optimal dose, your doctor may recommend that you add another drug or switch to taking a different one.

The following drugs may be prescribed for overactive bladder:

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Behavior: Change Your Diet

This is going to take some work, but the payoff can be great. Dr. Carmel says 70% of her patients see symptom improvement with behavioral modifications alone. If you dont do this, any other treatment will not work, she says. She recommends starting by limiting fluid intake to two liters spread throughout the day to reduce overall urine volume. Next, experiment with eliminating bladder-irritating foods and bevvies like alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, spicy food , citrus, tomatoes, and milk. Keeping a food diary can help you track how these foods affect your symptoms.

Natural Treatment For Overactive Bladder

13 best OVERACTIVE BLADDER HELP images on Pinterest

Bladder training and pelvic floor exercises are just two natural treatments for overactive bladder. Research suggests that these nondrug remedies can be very effective for many women, and they have almost no side effects.

But before starting any OAB treatment, itâs important to understand bladder function and what things may cause overactive bladder.

Another way to strengthen pelvic floor muscles is electrical stimulation, which sends a small electrical pulse to the area via electrodes placed in the or rectum.

Until you get your overactive bladder under control, wearing absorbent pads can help hide any leakage.

Other lifestyle tips for preventing incontinence include:

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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.

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.

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Other Treatments To Try

In rare cases when all OAB treatment fails and overactive bladder is severe, doctors may recommend one of several types of surgery.

A procedure called bladder augmentation uses part of the bowel to increase bladder capacity. Or, urinary diversion, an alternate route for bladder drainage for severe, complicated OAB patients.

Sacral nerve stimulation. Another procedure implants a small device, similar to a pacemaker, under the skin. The device is connected to a wire, which sends small electrical pulses to nerves around the pelvic floor that control the bladder and muscles surrounding it. This helps build bladder control. Itâs often called a bladder pacemaker. The main limitation with this treatment is that it keeps you from having a spinal MRI.

Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation. The doctor places a needle on nerves near your ankle that affect bladder control. Youâll have one session a week for 12 weeks and then maintenance treatments as needed. This procedure is done in the office.

An overactive bladder doesnât have to get in the way of your daily life. With a little time, patience, and the right treatment, you can regain control — and peace of mind. Whatever treatment for overactive bladder you and your doctor decide upon, it’s important that you stick with it. If you do, chances are your condition will improve in time.

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Home Remedies For Treating Overactive Bladder Problems

Overactive Bladder (OAB), the symptoms and treatment

Overactive bladder can cause many health problems and social embarrassment, try these home remedies to treat this condition.

There are many problems that are associated with our urinary system. Not all the problems can be considered as a disease but are quite serious issues. Overactive bladder is one such condition in this a person has the urge to urinate more frequently than normal which is not good for health. This can happen both during the day and in the night. Overactive bladder also results to urgency and uncontrollable urge, that means a person loses his control to urinate and sometimes leaks urine trying to control. This can affect your social life and relationships, hence it is important to treat it. Here are some home remedies that you should try to treat your overactive bladder.

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Prevalence And Epidemiology Of Oab

As many as 17% to 40% of adult women in the United States have OAB.4,7This is approximately 20 million OAB patients. However, the true numberis likely to be far higher, as many patients do not enter the healthcare system. There are three major reasons for this reluctance to do so.4First, many patients view OAB as an inevitable part of aging and chooseto take various self-care measures rather than visit a physician foradvice. Second, as many as 61% of OAB sufferers do not realize that thecondition can be successfully treated with medication and therefore donot seek help. Finally, OAB can induce shame and embarrassment inpatients, and the resultant negative social stigma may cause them toavoid any mention to health care providers.

Although OAB occurs in women of all ages, it exhibits a strong age association.3,8 The median age is 52 years, and the most common age range is 45 to 60 years.4

Pelvic Floor Exercises Can Help Immensely

You cant see your pelvic floor muscles however, just like other muscles in your body they lose their strength if they are not put to use.

Pelvic floor exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor when done consistently at least twice a day. How are they done?

  • Imagine you are holding back gas or urine.
  • Squeeze and lift the rectal area without tightening your buttocks or belly. Try and hold it for a count of three before relaxing. Repeat this cycle 10 times. Do 10 sets of Kegel exercises, at least 3 times a day.
  • Increase your contractions as your doctor recommends.
  • Do not hold your breath when you do Kegel exercises. Keep your stomach, back, and leg muscles relaxed.
  • Don’t use Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream which can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and an increased risk of a urinary tract infection.

Review our information about Kegel exercises for both women and men to learn more about the techniques.

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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:

  • Ganoderma lucidum

Remember to consult your doctor first before adding any of these herbal remedies into your overactive bladder management plan.

Side Effects Of Antimuscarinic Drugs And Safety Precautions

Treating Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder Without Surgery

Dry mouth and constipation are the most common and bothersome side effects of antimuscarinic agents. In addition constipation may potentiate symptoms due to the effect of the presence of excessive stool in the rectal ampulla. This may decrease the bladder capacity and therefore, should constipation appear, an early use of fiber and stool softeners is recommended .

Constipation may lead to the discontinuation of medication in up to 50% of patients . Another reason for not following the recommended oral drug regime during the first 2 to 3 months may be that improvement appears gradually or only to a small degree.

Contraindications for the use of antimuscarinic agents are patients with closed angle glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, severe ulcerative colitis, a toxic megacolon, or intestinal obstruction because of their anticholinergic effects on the bowel. However, treatment decisions should be individualized and their prescription might need approval from the clinician caring for these disorders.

Compliance in using antimuscarinic may not be sufficient, as shown in a 2011 systematic review of 149 papers that found discontinuation rates of 4383% in the first 30 days of treatment, and more than half of patients never refilled the initial prescription . Regular follow-ups are important in monitoring treatment effects and adherence. All available antimuscarinic drugs come as an oral preparation.

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