Are you spending more time on bathroom than elsewhere? Do you leak when coughing, sneezing or doing the heavy lifting? If you do, then you might have an overactive bladder.
Do you know about 33 millions of Americans are affected by overactive bladder? Overactive bladder(OAB) is not a disease but a condition where a person feels a sudden urge to urinate which one cannot control. People feel embarrassed and do not share about OAB problem. Due to this many people lead their whole life without any proper treatment of OAB.
One of my friends had the problem of OAB. In the beginning, we didn’t know about it and we used to tease her because of her frequent trips to the bathroom. We even mocked her if she was pregnant! One day she stopped going out with us. After lots of pestering, she shared us about her overactive bladder problem. After knowing her condition, we apologized and advised her to seek immediate help.
I went home and sat down to research more about overactive bladder. Here’s some information, including, symptoms, causes, and treatment of overactive bladder that I found about the condition.
What is Overactive Bladder?
A sudden uncontrollable contraction of the muscle in the wall of the bladder causes a compelling need to urinate. It cannot be controlled even when there is little to nothing urine in the bladder. There is no pain, burning, or blood in the urine with OAB. Many people believe that OAB affects only old people. This is not true but yes, the possibility of OAB increases with age.
So, What Are The Causes of Overactive Bladder?
There are several conditions which cause the chances of OAB. Because of this, we can single out one particular factor. Urination is caused due to contraction and relaxation of muscles in the bladder as they receive brain signals when the bladder is about half full. In the case of OAB, nerve damage and neurocognitive disorders interfere with nerve signaling, causing bladder muscle to contract at random.
Some of the common causes are:
- Weak pelvic muscles
- Enlarged prostate
- low estrogen level
- Delivery of the baby through the vagina
- Alzheimer, Parkinson’s, Diabetes
- Hip problems and surgery
- side effects of medication
- Pregnancy or menopause
- Bladder stones or tumors
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Nerve damage
- Use of medications which rapidly increases urination
- Excess consumption of alcohol or caffeine
Symptoms of OAB
- Uncontrollable urge to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full
- Daily urination more than eight times in 24 hours
- Need to urinate more than two times during the night (Bed-wetting problem)
- Urine leakage
Can you prevent the overactive bladder?
Like any other problem, overactive bladder problem can also be prevented by following some measures and making some lifestyle changes.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, sodas, vinegar based products, citrus fruits and items with artificial sweeteners. These products irritate urinary tract and cause involuntary contraction of the bladder.
- Stay hydrated but not overhydrated.
- Maintain weight. Overweight can also cause involuntary contraction of the bladder.
- Treat urinary and bladder infections.
- Pelvic muscle exercises.
- Use of absorbent pads.
- Bladder training.
So, How to Treat OAB?
- There are also some medications like T. rospium (Sanctura), Solifenacin (Vesicare) and darifenacin (Enablex) which calm the bladder down and minimize the uncontrollable urge to urinate. These medications may have side effects including dry eyes and dry mouth.
- OAB can also be temporarily treated with bladder injections. These injections partially paralyze the bladder muscles and stop the urge. The injection should be injected every five months. This treatment may have its own side effects.
- Surgery can also be done to increase the capacity of the bladder. In some serious cases, the bladder is also removed and replaced it with the construction of a replacement bladder.