Who Does Overactive Bladder Affect
Overactive bladder is most common in people 65 and older. Women may have OAB at a younger age, usually around 45.
How common is overactive bladder?
Overactive bladder is common. It affects up to 33 million adults in the U.S., including as many as 30% of men and 40% of women. However, that number may be higher because many people may feel embarrassed and wont get help.
How does overactive bladder affect my body?
Overactive bladder symptoms can cause stress and affect your quality of life.
When To See A Doctor For Urinary Incontinence
In most cases, UI can be treated without surgery. If left untreated, UI can lead to sleep loss, depression, anxiety and loss of interest in sex. It might be a good idea to see your doctor if your condition is causing you to:
- Frequently urinate
- Feel tired from incontinence-related sleep loss
- Feel socially anxious about your urinary incontinence
- No longer participate in activities that bring you joy
- Miss out on big moments or lose productivity
What Your Treatment Will Involve
Your healthcare professionals recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your incontinence. An underlying medical condition may require medication, surgery, or other treatments.
In certain situations, they may not be able to cure your bladder incontinence. In these cases, they will likely provide steps you can take to manage your condition.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence may include:
You cant prevent all cases of urinary incontinence, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it.
For example, try to:
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What Foods And Drinks To Avoid
While you may want to drink less liquid so you dont have to urinate as often, you should still make sure you stay hydrated. More concentrated urine, usually darker in color, can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urination.
Other foods and drinks can contribute to OAB symptoms, including:
- tomato-based foods
You can test which drinks or foods irritate your bladder by eliminating them from your diet. Then reincorporate them one by one every two to three days at a time. Permanently eliminate the particular food or drink that worsens your symptoms.
How Do You Fix A Weak Bladder
Here are 18 tips to help fix your weak bladder.
1. Get your bladder stronger through exercise
The best way to improve the strength of your bladder is with Kegel exercises. A weak bladder can cause problems like urinary incontinence. If you want to learn how to fix a weak bladder, then do some kegel exercises! These are supposed to be done by clenching the muscles in your pelvic floor. Keep doing these until you feel them getting stronger!
2. Add fiber to your diet
Fiber is important for a healthy digestive tract, but it can also help strengthen your bladder too. If you want to fix a weak bladder then add more fiber into your diet. You can eat high-fiber foods like oatmeal, flaxseed, popcorn, and nuts.
3. Use the bathroom at certain times
If you wait until its too late to go to the bathroom then your bladder will be weaker than it would have been if you went beforehand! Avoid drinking lots of liquids before bedtime so that you can wake up in the morning with a full bladder.
4. Avoid lifting heavy objects
A weak bladder can sometimes be caused by straining when you lift heavy items. If the pelvic floor feels the strain and its not strong enough, then your bladder might let go. You can easily prevent this by making sure that you lift objects in a healthy way!
5. Lose excess weight
This might seem obvious, but if your weight is over the line then it could cause problems with your bladder. If you are overweight, then losing excess pounds will make your bladder stronger!
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Overactive Bladder In Men At A Glance
- Overactive bladder is the result of malfunctioning bladder muscles and nerves that send sensations to the brain, causing involuntary and unnecessary contraction of the bladder muscles.
- The primary symptom of OAB is a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate, often resulting in leakage of urine, which is incontinence.
- OAB, also called urge incontinence, affects up to 30 percent of males, preventing them from controlling when and how much they urinate.
- Nearly two-thirds of cases of OAB in men are caused by an enlarged prostate.
Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder
Yes, nerve stimulation can help improve OAB. Your nerves help tell your brain that your bladder is full. By treating your nerves, you can improve your bladder control.
Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment. Healthcare providers only recommend it if other treatments dont work.
There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These include:
Sacral nerve stimulation
Sacral nerve stimulation is a therapy that electrically stimulates the nerves that control your bladder.
A healthcare provider will implant a small device called a neurotransmitter under the skin near your upper buttock area. The neurotransmitter sends mild electrical impulses through a wire near your sacral nerve. Your sacral nerve is a nerve in your lower back. The impulses help you control your bladder.
Sacral nerve stimulation can reduce the number of times you have to use the bathroom or the number of times you accidentally leak pee. Its overall very effective. Its also an outpatient procedure, so you can go home afterward.
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation
Percutaneous tibial stimulation sends small nerve impulses to a nerve branch near your ankle. It helps stimulate bladder control.
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is an outpatient procedure. Many people need 12 weekly sessions and then monthly maintenance sessions afterward.
Botulinum toxin injections
Botox® is the most well-known botulinum toxin brand. A healthcare provider injects Botox into your bladder wall using a cystoscope.
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Promoting General Bladder Health
When You Should See A Health Care Professional
You shouldnt have to wear a pad to soak up urine every day. Also ask yourself these questions:
Is the urge to urinate interfering with your work because of leaking or frequent bathroom breaks?
Do you map out where bathrooms are when you run errands?
Is incontinence interfering with your sex life or intimacy with your partner?
These are all signs of a problem, and that it may be time for you to talk with a gynecologist.
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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.
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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 ÃÂ¾ 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.
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I Have A Weak Bladder What Does This Mean And Is Your Bladder Really Weak
When you come in to Physio for help with pelvic floor problems, we will ask you to talk though what the main problems and issues that you need help with.
Bladder problems are high on the list of problems for which people seek help.
A LOT of people will tell us that they have a weak bladder. By this, they mean that they go to the toilet more often than everyone else. In other words, the bladder is weak because it cant hold on.
Well this isnt entirely true..
In order to explain what the real issue is, it is necessary to explain some facts about the bladder:
BUT MY BLADDER IS WEAK BECAUSE IT LEAKS!!
We can help find solutions to this common problem. If you think your bladder is weak, come and find out whats really happening and what you can do to fix it!.
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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Incontinence In Alzheimers Disease
People in the later stages of Alzheimers disease often have problems with urinary incontinence. This can be a result of not realizing they need to urinate, forgetting to go to the bathroom, or not being able to find the toilet. These tips may help:
- Avoid drinks like caffeinated coffee, tea, and sodas, which may increase urination. But dont limit water.
- Keep hallways clear and the bathroom clutter-free, with a light on at all times.
- Provide regular bathroom breaks.
- Use underwear that is easy to get on and off, and absorbent briefs or underwear for trips away from home.
Visit Alzheimers Disease: Common Medical Problems for more tips.
What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.
Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.
With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.
Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.
It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.
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What Is Overactive Bladder
Overactive Bladder, or OAB, is the frequent and urgent need to empty your bladder. Also sometimes called spastic bladder or irritable bladder, OAB affects an estimated 33 million people in the USA alone. And half of the people with Overactive Bladder are struggling with Urgency Urinary Incontinence , when leakage actually occurs.
Overactive bladder can be a nuisance at best, and debilitating at worst. Its frustrating to constantly be running to the bathroom, and can cause anxiety, shame and even depression when its is also accompanied by urinary incontinence.
Contrary to what many people think, overactive bladder is NOT a normal part of getting older, and isnt something you should think you have to live with. Its a real medical condition that deserves treatment.
How Does The Urinary System Work
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, the bladder and urethra. The kidneys filter the blood to remove waste products and produce urine. The urine flows from the kidneys down through the ureters to the bladder. A ring of muscle squeezes shut to keep urine in the bladder and relaxes when we need to wee. The urine passes through another tube called the urethra to the outside when urinating .
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:
Diagnosis Of Urinary Incontinence
The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor. He or she will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and the medicines you use. He or she will want to know if you have been sick recently or had surgery. Your doctor also may do a number of tests. These might include:
- Urine and blood tests
- Tests that measure how well you empty your bladder
In addition, your doctor may ask you to keep a daily diary of when you urinate and when you leak urine. Your family doctor may also send you to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in urinary tract problems.
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