Overactive Bladder: Causes + 8 Natural Remedies
Have you ever thought about your bladder control or how often you urinate each day? Probably not, unless youve experienced a bladder control problem like overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder cannot hold urine normally. One of the most common symptoms of this health problem is urinary incontinence or leaking urine. Many people suffer in silence, but if you are currently experiencing a bladder-related difficulty you are truly not alone. Its estimated that at least 33 million Americans have overactive bladder. ” rel=”nofollow”> 1)
Sometimes a person experiencing overactive bladder doesnt have any underlying health problem. Other times, an overactive bladder can be the result of medications or other more serious health issues, such as diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons disease. OAB can also occur after surgery or childbirth. How much is too much when it comes to urination? People with OAB typically have to urinate more than 8 times per day or more than once at night.
Its crucial to address overactive bladder symptoms right away. Early treatment can reduce, or even completely get rid of, the highly unwanted symptoms. With some time and effort, there are several very doable and natural ways you can overcome an overactive bladder.
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
Sample Menu For A Discriminating Bladder
The above list may appear restricting at first glance, stripped as it is of the holy trio of epicurean guilty pleasureschocolate, coffee, and wine.
But, being kind to the bladder doesnt mean you have to restrict your loved one or yourself to tasteless rabbit-food. In fact, there are a variety of yummy foods that will keep the bladder calm without forcing you to give up the flavors that make eating pleasurable.
Ruth Frechman, M.A., a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, offers a few examples of meals that may be goodnot only for the urinary tract, but for the taste buds as well:
Oatmeal with fresh blueberries and all-natural maple syrup: One cup of oatmeal has about four grams of fiber in it. Consuming the right amount of fiber will alleviate constipation. Being constipated can put extra pressure on the bladder, increasing the urge to go. Putting fresh blueberries and natural maple syrup on top of the oatmeal will add sweetness to the dish. As an added bonus, research has shown that eating blueberries may reduce a persons risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Blueberries have also been linked to supporting urinary tract health.
Cottage cheese with carrots:If the cottage cheese is low-fat, and the carrots are fresh, this snack is a tasty way to stock up on beta-carotene , fiber, and vision-boosting vitamin A, says Frechman.
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Increase Your Fiber Intake
Eating more fiber-rich foods is one of the tastiest tips for promoting bladder health. Fiber is an essential part of an effective overactive bladder diet and can be found in an array of foods from the beans and lentil family and some of the whole-grain foods youve already added to your grocery list.
Try This: Black beans! These are a great addition to many of your already-existing meals. Love eating a quesadilla? Add black beans to your chicken quesadilla for a meal packed with fiberextra points for making it on a whole grain wrap! Do you crave pasta? Try lentil pasta for your next spaghetti night. You wont even notice the difference!
Food And Drink To Help An Overactive Bladder
An over active bladder can be problematic but did you realise how much difference your diet can make?
If you have an overactive bladder with urge incontinence, food and drink can make a big difference to your symptoms.
So sometimes what you drink or eat can aggravate symptoms and sometimes how much you eat or drink can make them worse, too.
If you are struggling, try these tips to help you calm your urge incontinence symptoms.
What to drink and when
The best drink is plain water as the added ingredients in soft drinks and energy drinks, and caffeine in coffee, may aggravate an overactive bladder.
Staying hydrated is important to overall health but choosing how much and when to drink is essential to help your bladder. THere are some tips for managing your fluid intake:
- Spread out fluid intake throughout the day, sipping water between meals.
- Unless exercising, dont carry a large water bottle with you.
- Fill your cup or glass half-way or use a smaller cup.
- Sip, dont gulp.
If youre drinking enough water, your urine should be light yellow or almost colourless and remember that you also get fluids in other foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and soups.
See your doctor if you have pain or burning with urination, or if your urine is cloudy, dark, or smells strong.
Drinks that may increase the urge to go
These are what you need to cut down, or cut out:
Foods to avoid
Some people find that certain food or drinks seem to make symptoms worse.
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Foods To Avoid If You Have Oab
Doctors have identified a number of foods and drinks that can worsen overactive bladders, including:
- Caffeinated beverages and foods
- Artificial sweeteners
When these foods and drinks collect in the bladder, it can cause irritation resulting in bladder muscle spasms. Those spasms can create the sudden urge to urinate and increase your frequency of urination. Because each person will react differently to trigger foods coffee might bother one person, while dairy can be problematic for someone else doctors suggest keep a food journal so you can see which foods affect you the most.
But there are certain beverages that are known to cause repeat trips to the bathroom. Even a moderate amount of alcohol, coffee, tea, or soda will increase the amount of urine your bladder must manage. Research published in September 2016 in the journal Current Urology showed nearly one-half of people over the age of 60 who drink more than 300 mg coffee a day suffer from overactive bladder symptoms, which is significantly higher than peers who do not consume large amounts of caffeine.
Also, chemicals in cigarettes have been shown to irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. Smoking can cause coughing spasms that increase problems with stress incontinence. The American Cancer Society offers extensive resources on quitting, noting smokers are at least 3 times more likely to get bladder cancer compared with nonsmokers.
Go Easy On The Alcohol
Among beverages to avoid, alcohol falls near the top of the list. Similar to drinks high in caffeine, alcohol also acts as a diuretic and will increase your urine production. While drinking alcohol, you may also be less aware of your urge to use the restroom, causing an increased risk of leakage or accidents.
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Cool Down On Spicy Foods
Spicy foods may taste great, but as many of us have experienced, they often lead to an upset stomach. Like caffeine, spicy foods work to irritate the bladder lining, causing an increased urgency to rush to the bathroom. If you love spice, you dont have to eliminate it from your diet but do your best to cut back on foods such as spicy Mexican dishes, hot wings, and horseradish.
Try This: If you cant live without the flavor in your life, speak with your healthcare provider to see what you can use to replace spicy foods.
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.
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Diet Changes Your Bladder Will Love
Whether you are living with incontinence or caring for a child or parent who experiences incontinence, diet is a critical factor in promoting a healthy bladder. While abs may be made in the kitchen, the same goes for incontinence. What you eat and drinkand what you dontdirectly affects your bladder.
If youre wondering how to calm an irritated bladder, youve come to the right place. And dont worry, you wont have to give up all of the good stuff! Weve included some tasty snack and meal ideas you can easily add to your weekly grocery haul. Keep reading to find out more.
A Closer Look At Fluid Intake
Women who are experiencing symptoms like urinary frequency, urgency, or bladder spasms should limit total fluid intake to less than 64 oz a day, with less than two servings of caffeine or alcohol per day.
Its important to note that a single beverage container can easily hold two or three servings depending on its size, says Dr. Miranne. Many people dont realize how much fluid they are actually consuming each day.
Read on to learn about the most common culprits in bladder irritation and ways to ease urinary symptoms.
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What Can Cause An Overactive Bladder
The term overactive bladder refers to the sudden urge to urinate. This condition can sometimes lead to urinary incontinence. This means that the patient is experiencing an involuntary loss of urine. Some people refer to the overactive bladder as urge incontinence.
However, that would be wrong. You see, patients with urgency incontinence, they always experience an involuntary loss of urine. Those with overactive bladder do not necessarily mean that they would necessarily leak urine despite feeling the sudden urge to urinate.
Overactive bladder is a condition that affects as much as 33 million American adults. Research has also shown that this is a more common problem found in women as compared to men.
Doctors refer to the overactive bladder symptoms as quite unpredictable, and that is true. The majority of the symptoms are limiting, thus affecting the patients everyday life and activities. We see many patients deal with mental distress due to the presence of OAB symptoms.
Usually, the first symptom that the patient asks for help with is urinary incontinence. We all have experienced urinary urgency at some point in our lives. Usually, laughing is the most common cause for the occasional incontinence. However, an overactive bladder is causing this symptom daily. OAB can also cause stress incontinence.
- Excessive fluid intake
- Common bladder irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, etc.
Will The Type Of Treatment Youre On Affect Your Diet
There are many medications that are available to treat overactive bladder. Most of these medications work by relaxing the bladder muscles to prevent bladder spasms. They can, however, have side effects, and those may in turn affect what you eat and drink.
A common side effect of OAB medications is dry mouth. This may cause you to drink more water than normal, which may then increase your oab symptoms. Keep an eye on how much water youre consuming, and try to take small sips throughout the day to avoid overloading your bladder.
Constipation is another potential side effect of OAB. Constipation places increased pressure on your bladder a problem in general, but especially when you have overactive bladder. Patients who experience constipation can help relieve this symptom by eating fiber rich foods, such as the ones listed above.
Talk to your doctor about any potential side effects of OAB medications you may be taking or considering.
OAB can be a frustrating condition, and one that can be tricky to treat. Talk to your doctor about the diet changes you can make to improve your symptoms, and incorporate some of the tips above. With a few small tweaks to what you eat, you may soon be on to drier days.
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Caffeine Can Make You Go Early And Often
Do you love coffee, colas, or energy drinks? You might want to rethink your caffeine habit. Caffeine is a potential bladder irritant that increases urine production, so you may make more frequent trips to the bathroom. Caffeinated beverages contain acid, which also irritates the bladder. Swap out your caffeinated favorites for decaffeinated versions, coffee that is low in acid, and herbal tea .
Oab: Drinks That May Increase The Urge To Go
One of the biggest OAB culprits is caffeine, which can make you urinate more. Studies show that reducing caffeine intake to below 100 milligrams per day — the amount in one cup of drip coffee — may help reduce urge incontinence symptoms.
Cut down or cut out these problem beverages:
- Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, colas, energy drinks, and teas
- Acidic fruit juices, especially orange, grapefruit, and tomato
- Carbonated beverages, sodas, or seltzers
- Drinks with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and saccharin, which may irritate the bladder
If you can’t imagine starting your day without a morning cup of coffee, try to lower the amount of caffeine you take in. Make a cup that’s half decaf and half regular. You may want to wean yourself gradually to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches.
For fruit juice, try switching to something with less acid, such as apple or pear juice, and dilute it with water.
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Cool It On Spicy Foods
Spicy foods may taste great but as many of us have experienced, they often lead to an upset stomach. Similar to caffeine, spicy foods work to irritate the lining of the bladder causing an increased urgency to rush to the bathroom. If you love spice, you dont have to entirely eliminate it from your diet, but do your best to cut back on foods such as spicy mexican dishes, hot wings, and horseradish.While there is no direct cure for incontinence, updating your daily diet to include just some of these tips will drastically help to improve your bladder health. Weight loss, one of the best ways to positively affect your incontinence, may also be an added benefit to the food swaps listed above.
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Fill Up On Fruits And Veggies
You want to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables because they contain the vitamins and minerals you need for good health. And when youre healthy, your urinary system can function at its best, Griebling says. Also, fresh fruits and vegetables are generally high in fiber yet low in calories, which helps you to maintain a healthy weight important for your bladder health and your overall health. Again, you might need to avoid acidic fruits like oranges and tomatoes.
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Overactive Bladder Diet: See What You Should Eat And Avoid
All content within this page has been reviewed and endorsed byDr Julia Thomson, Consultant Paediatrician
Living with an overactive bladder is no picnic. You feel the urge to urinate so often during the day that itâs hard to concentrate on anything else.
An overactive bladder can be identified by two factors: contractions even when your bladder is empty, or a sudden contraction without the usual warning that gives you time to get to a toilet.
Either way, it is inconvenient and, at times, embarrassing.
You can train yourself to control this problem by doing Kegel pelvic floor exercises or timing your bathroom trips until your body adapts to a schedule. Some medicines may help too, but letâs find out first if you can treat it with foods that help overactive bladder.
Please be aware that the impact that diet can have on bladder function is not fully understood. Isolating food and drink is a process which each woman has to work out for herself. There is no guarantee that avoiding any of the food stuffs listed below will be beneficial for you, even if it helped someone you know.
How diet can affect your overactive bladder
Certain foods can irritate your bladder and urinary tract, causing it to act up. Since this is so specific to each individual, you can best track your reactions by keeping a diary of foods that help overactive bladder.
cereals and oats
noodles and soups
Here are some tips to help you know when and what to drink:
Foods that help overactive bladder