Overactive bladder is described as a chronic condition. It usually does not go away on its own and can get worse if it is not properly treated. The good news is that if you talk to your doctor about your overactive bladder symptoms, the appropriate care can result in significant improvements. Treating overactive bladder can reduce the impact that this condition has on your overall quality of life. According to studies, approximately 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men are living with symptoms of this condition. If you’re one of them, know that you can get better, but you’ll likely need a doctor’s care to do that.
Symptoms of an overactive bladder include:
- A sudden sensation to urinate that is difficult to control
- Accidental incontinence as a result of the urgent sensation.
- Urinating eight or more times in a 24 hour period.
- Waking up more than two times a night to urinate.
What Causes Overactive Bladder?
Normally, nerve endings in the bladder signal to the brain when the bladder fills with urine. These signals cause the bladder to contract and the urethra to relax so urine can escape. A person with overactive bladder experiences involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle. This may happen for several reasons, including health conditions such as diabetes, urinary tract infection, multiple sclerosis, or stroke. Women are susceptible to overactive bladder as they experience the hormone shifts that occur during menopause. Men may experience an overactive bladder secondary to an enlarged prostate. Constipation and incomplete bladder emptying may also contribute to the symptoms of overactive bladder.
Managing and Treating Overactive Bladder
If you are experiencing the symptoms of an overactive bladder, you should talk to your doctor or schedule a consultation with a urologist. Here, our staff works with each patient to ensure they are comfortable and informed of all viable treatment options. In addition to clinical treatment, a few changes in lifestyle may help reduce the intense urge to urinate. These include:
- Limiting acidic foods and beverages.
- Reducing the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
- Doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
- Losing weight, if necessary, to reduce pressure on the bladder.
- Bladder retraining.
To determine the best way to treat an overactive bladder, a urologist may perform a series of tests. This enables them to customize treatment around each patient’s needs. Some of the common methods of treating this condition include medication and interStim therapy. The OAB Clinic at Erlanger East Hospital is a comprehensive clinic dedicated to the evaluation and management of overactive bladder. Here, we have all of the resources to diagnose and treat even the most complex patients, including those who have failed prior treatments or are having complications from previous therapies.
Regain control over your bladder health. Contact the OAB Clinic at (423) 778-4OAB today.