Do Bladder Control Products Help To Strengthen A Weak Bladder
Bladder control products are natural dietary supplements that help strengthen your bladder without synthetic ingredients and potentially harmful chemicals. These products contain herbs, plants, and other compounds that have been used for centuries to address these problems.
Not only they alleviate incontinence, but they also support urinary tract health and provide more strength to bladder muscles. At the same time, these products stimulate the excretion of fluids from the body while alleviating pain, discomfort, and other symptoms you experience. Potent herbs remove toxins that would otherwise damage your bladder, urinary tract, and overall health.
There is no simple yes or no answer to the question of whether these products work. Not all bladder control supplements are equal. Some of them work, others do not. It all depends on the product you buy, so you need to pay extra attention when choosing these items.
When To Consider Meds
If you have urge incontinence and have tried nondrug measures for several months but symptoms are still interfering with your quality of life, you might consider adding medication.
There is a role for these drugs, Hochman says, but typically only after trying safer treatments first.
How do they work? In some people with urge incontinence, the bladder muscles contract at the wrong time, causing the uncomfortable feeling of urgency and often leaks. Drugs used to treat the condition relax the bladder muscles, which can increase the storage size of the bladder and reduce the urge to urinate.
Based on analysis of the evidence by CR Best Buy Drugs, none of the drugs clearly works better than the others.
If you and your doctor conclude that one is worth trying, consider generic prescription extended-release oxybutynin. It costs about twice as much as the short-acting drug if youre paying out-of-pocket but offers the convenience of once-a-day dosing.
In addition, research suggests that it has a somewhat lower risk of side effects than other forms of the drug, including the OTC patch, as well as some other bladder drugs, including short-acting tolterodine.
Watch closely for side effects, particularly memory problems or confusion, which can be subtle, Hochman says. Because of those risks, our experts advise against the drugs for anyone diagnosed with dementia.
If symptoms havent improved after eight weeks, ask your doctor about adjusting the dose or trying a different option.
Will I Have Incontinence For My Entire Life
Sometimes incontinence is a short-term issue that will go away once the cause ends. This is often the case when you have a condition like a urinary tract infection . Once treated, frequent urination and leakage problems caused by a UTI typically end. This is also true for some women who experience bladder control issues during pregnancy. For many, the issues end in the weeks after delivery. However, other causes of incontinence are long-term and related to conditions that are managed throughout your life. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes or multiple sclerosis, you may have incontinence for a long period of time. In those cases, its important to talk to your provider about the best ways to manage your incontinence so that it doesnt interfere with your life.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about bathroom habits with your healthcare provider. This embarrassment shouldnt stop you from treating incontinence, though. Often, your healthcare provider can help figure out the cause of your bladder control issue and help make it better. You dont need to deal with it alone. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best ways to treat incontinence so that you can lead a full and active life without worrying about leakage.
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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:
- Corn silk
- Ganoderma lucidum
Remember to consult your doctor first before adding any of these herbal remedies into your overactive bladder management plan.
When Should I See A Doctor About Incontinence
Its important to know that incontinence can be treated. Many people believe that its something that just goes along with aging and is an unavoidable issue. If you find that incontinence is disturbing your daily activities and causing you to miss out on things you typically enjoy, talk to your healthcare provider. There are a wide range of options to treat incontinence.
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How Can Medicines Cause Leaking
Leaking can happen when medicines affect any of these muscles or nerves. For instance, medicines to treat high blood pressure may make the sphincter muscles too tight or too loose. Medicines to treat colds can have the same effect.
You may take medicine to calm your nerves so that you can sleep or relax. This medicine may dull the nerves in the bladder and keep them from signaling the brain when the bladder is full. Without the message and urge, the bladder overflows. Drinking alcohol can also cause these nerves to fail.
Water pills take fluid from swollen areas of your body and send it to the bladder. This may cause the bladder to leak because it fills more quickly than usual. Caffeine drinks such as coffee and cola have the same effect. Some foods such as chocolate also can cause bladder problems.
Other Bladder Control Medications
If symptoms of urinary incontinence are thought to be caused by an enlarged prostate, different medications can be offered to reduce these symptoms. The prostate gland wraps around the urethra , and if it is enlarged, it could squeeze the urinary passage tight, making the emptying of bladder more difficult and incomplete.
In brief, the following categories are available for the treatment of urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate :
- Alpha-blockers, terazosin , doxyzosin , alfuzosin , silodosin , and tamsulosin , work by relaxing the muscles around the urethra and prostate, thus, making urination more comfortable and complete. These medications start to relieve symptoms within a few weeks, but they do not affect the prostate size.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, finasteride and dutasteride , work by reducing the size of the prostate gland. They may take several months to become effective.
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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.
Sacral Nerve Stimulation Therapy
Sacral nerve stimulation is a treatment in which mild electrical impulses are sent to the sacral nerves near the lower back. A device — implanted in the upper buttocks under the skin — is used to provide electrical pulses that influence bladder function. The procedure to implant the device does involve surgery, but it is minimally invasive, and reversible.
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Anticholinergic Drugs For Overactive Bowel
This particular class of medication is used to control the muscle spasms that lead to overactive bladder. Anticholinergic drugs focus on blocking the nerve signals that typically trigger inopportune bladder contractions, reduce the frequency, and the severity of your urge to urinate.
There are several anticholinergic drugs to choose from and they all require a doctors prescription. Most people have very favourable reactions to anticholinergics, though there are a few possible side effects which may include dry mouth, constipation, increased heartbeat and/or drowsiness.
The Modern Way To Address Bladder Control
So far, weve looked at some fairly straightforward methods to deal with the problem most of which can easily be adopted into your lifestyle.
A slightly more modern approach comes in the form of biofeedback. This involves electrical sensors monitoring the muscles in your body, which ultimately reveals exactly what is causing incontinence.
Its a technique that is popular amongst physical therapists and actually can be linked to Kegal exercises. For example, a lot of therapists will monitor your body via this method, before recommending appropriate Kegal exercises based on the feedback.
Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive ways to deal with incontinence.
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Behavioral Therapies For Oab
Some people with urinary incontinence may get relief by making simple changes to their lives and that’s what experts recommend trying first.
If you have urge incontinence, in which you get the sudden urge to urinate and can’t always make it to the bathroom in time, your doctor may tell you to avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and carbonated drinks, because they can irritate the bladder and make the problem worse.
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, known as Kegels, can help people with stress incontinence. Kegels can also help people with urge incontinence. Sometimes, Kegels are combined with biofeedback techniques to help you know if you are doing the exercises properly.
For urge incontinence, bladder training, sometimes called bladder retraining, can also help. This involves gradually increasing the interval time between trips to the bathroom, working up to longer and longer intervals between bathroom stops.
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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Botox For An Overactive Bladder
Although not commonly used, Botox is a handy muscle relaxer for a variety of conditions, including an overactive bladder. The compound is injected right into the bladder, and patients can experience fewer uncomfortable contractions and increased bladder capacity for up to a year after the injection has taken place.
However, Botox isnt without its dangers. Some patients find that after the procedure they retain urine too much, and experience pain and complications . For these reasons, Botox for overactive bladder treatment is only considered for certain people.
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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Cholinergic Drugs For Bladder Problems
This class of drugs includes bethanechol . Cholinergic refers to nerve cells or fibers that use a certain type of chemical to send signals within the body. Cholinergic drugs are used when the bladder is not emptied completely following urination. This problem is known as residual urine in the bladder.
- How cholinergic drugs work: These drugs contract the bladder, thus allowing complete emptying.
- Who should not use these medications: Individuals with the following conditions should not use cholinergic drugs:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bladder or bowel obstruction
How Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder
There are several treatments that involve stimulating your nerves to help improve overactive bladder. Your nerves help communicate the message that your bladder needs to be emptied to your brain. By treating the nerves, your healthcare provider can improve your bladder control. Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment that is considered when conservative treatments have not worked or have not been tolerated. Conservative treatments include behavioral therapies and medications.
There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These can include:
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And Throw A Bit Of Vitamin D In There As Well
Something else that you can do to your diet is throw in a bit of Vitamin D.
While the primary use of this vitamin has been to promote calcium intake over the years, some studies have shown that it has positive effects on the bladder as well.
Its worth mentioning that the daily requirement of vitamin D is 600 IU and most people fall well short of this.
Considering the fact that studies have specifically targeted vitamin D in relation to incontinence issues, it might be time to fine-tune your diet.
Dealing With Overflow Incontinence
After-dribble/overflow incontinence is where a small amount of urine leaks out after youve finished.
The good news is that this type of incontinence responds well to self-treatment. Here are some tips:
- Sit down on the toilet to empty your bladder.
- Make sure elatics, belts or briefs are not tight around your penis and scrotum to ensure the urethra is straightened when urinating.
- Alternatively, place your fingertips behind the scrotum and apply gentle upward and forward pressure to encourage urine flow.
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Beta Agonists For Bladder Problems
This class of medication, mirabegron , works by relaxing the bladder muscle during the storage phase, thus increasing the capacity of bladder to hold more urine. They can be used for the treatment of overactive bladder . Mirabegron is the first drug in this category.
- How beta-agonist drugs work: They work by relaxing the bladder muscles and reducing bladder overactivity.
- Who should not use this medication: Individuals with the following conditions should not use mirabegron or a similar class of drugs:
- Allergy to this drug
- Advanced kidney disease
Natural Treatment For Overactive Bladder
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.
Another way to strengthen pelvic floor muscles is electrical stimulation, which sends a small electrical pulse to the area via electrodes placed in the vagina 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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Treatment Of Urge Incontinence
The anticholinergic agents oxybutynin and tolterodine are used widely to treat urge incontinence. These medications are not, however, the most effective therapies. Behavior therapies are more effective, and theynot medicationsshould be first-line treatment.
Behavior therapies for urge incontinence include bladder training and pelvic floor muscle exercises. Bladder training is more effective than oxybutynin and improves incontinence in more than 50 percent of patients.6 Kegel exercises are even more effective. In a randomized controlled trial 7 comparing Kegel exercises with oxybutynin in patients with urge incontinence, patients performing Kegel exercises had an 81 percent reduction in incontinence episodes compared with a 69 percent decrease in oxybutynin-treated patients, a statistically significant difference.
Although biofeedback commonly is used to help patients learn effective Kegel technique, evidence suggests that biofeedback training does not result in decreased frequency of incontinence episodes compared with Kegel exercises alone.8 Physicians should keep in mind that successful use of Kegel exercises is dependent on a patients motivation and ability to cooperate with the exercise routine.
One patch twice weekly
86 to 95
What The Drug Ads Don’t Say
Drug ads may leave out information you need to decide whether medication is best for you, Hochman says. For example:
Symptoms may be addressed without drugs. About one-third of the time, bladder leaks and strong urges to go resolve in women within a year without treatment. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on certain fluids or doing exercises to strengthen muscles supporting the bladder, can greatly improve control.
The drugs often dont work well. According to an analysis by Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs, most people who take these medications can expect only modest relief. Medication reduces the number of daily bathroom trips from 12 to nine or 10, on average. People who experience bladder leaks can expect one or two fewer episodes per day.
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