Causes and Symptoms of Overactive Bladder and What Can Be Done About It
Millions of people understand the discomfort of overactive bladder. This condition interrupts and interferes with play and work. Overactive bladder symptoms can disrupt a good night’s sleep when the person needs to get out of bed several times a night to use the toilet, and generally makes life difficult for those who have it.
What Is Overactive Bladder?
Overactive bladder is the inability of the urinary bladder to store urine effectively. The muscles of the bladder start to contract even though the bladder isn’t full, which can lead to an intense need to urinate.
Why Does Overactive Bladder Happen?
Overactive bladder causes are many. Patients who suffer from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or who have suffered a stroke can have overactive bladder, as can people with bladder tumors or stones, urinary tract infections, kidney disease or diabetes. Some medications can cause the need to urinate before the bladder is full, as can drinking a lot of alcohol or caffeinated beverages. The central nervous systems of older people may not send the proper signals to the bladder. Others who have a hard time walking might not be able to reach a bathroom on time. Constipation and an enlarged prostate are also overactive bladder causes. Sometimes, the causes are not known.
Overactive bladder syndrome is a group of symptoms that accompany the bladder’s premature muscle contractions. The person not only feels an immediate need to go to the bathroom, but may also experience something called urge incontinence. This is when urine leaks uncontrollably. The person also urinates far more often during the day and night than is normal. It’s not uncommon for a person with overactive bladder to urinate more than eight times over a 24 hour timespan.
Treatment for Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder treatment can be conservative. The patient and doctor can work out a treatment plan to help the patient cope with or even defeat their condition. Many treatments are behavioral and are also overactive bladder natural remedies. The doctor can advise exercises that strengthen the muscles around the bladder. The patient can also lose weight if being overweight contributes to their overactive bladder. They can restrict their consumption of fluids and schedule their trips to the bathroom. Bladder training and double voiding also help with overactive bladder.
Some people need what’s called intermittent catheterization as overactive bladder treatment. In this treatment, a catheter is inserted now and again to help the bladder empty. People can also wear absorbent pads to avoid accidents.
A doctor may also prescribe medications to help with bladder control. There are many such medications that can do this, and the patient and doctor work together to find which drug is best for the patient.
More aggressive treatments include stimulating the nerves that control the bladder’s contractions and injecting Botox into the bladder muscles. This causes the muscles to become temporarily paralyzed. Because of the muscle paralysis, the patient may need to use a catheter to empty the bladder.
Overactive bladder is an embarrassing problem for many, but there are many safe and simple ways to control it.