Overactive Bladder

Woman holding book to stomach | Healthier Me TodayOveractive bladder is a disorder that presently affects over 33 million people in the US. The condition is characterized by an inability to hold urine. Studies have shown that OAB is a result of a miscommunication between the bladder and the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain.

An overactive bladder is usually caused by kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, aging, and high cholesterol. While OAB isn’t a life-threatening condition, it is worth noting that its symptoms are difficult to manage. Because of overactive bladders unpredictability, many people suffering from it have to limit their social activities. This ultimately affects the quality of their life and may even trigger emotional distress.

Categories of Overactive Bladders

Overactive bladder is categorized based on its severity and symptoms.

Severity:

Here, OAB is classified as either mild or severe.

  • Mild OAB can be easily managed with exercise, supplements, and dietary changes.
  • Severe OAB is sometimes linked to other health conditions. In some cases, common remedies may not be able to quell it. Health experts may recommend surgery for severe OAB.

Symptoms:

Here, OAB is categorized either as dry or wet.

  • Wet OAB is when a person starts leaking as soon as they feel the urge to urinate.
  • Dry OAB is when people experience a strong urge to urinate, but they never leak. A survey by Cedars-Sinai Hospital shows that two-thirds of people have dry OAB.

Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder 

OAB has a host of symptoms that can affect the life quality of a person. Below are some of these symptoms:

  • Frequent Urination: Urinating more than eight times daily.
  • Uncontrollable Urge to Urinate: A sudden need to urinate during any time of the day.
  • Urine Loss: Spontaneous leakage as soon as one experiences the urge to urinate.

People with OAB may not be able to empty their bladder completely. So after urinating, they may still feel like they need to urinate.

Diagnosis of an Overactive Bladder 

If you have overactive bladder symptoms, your doctor may carry out some tests to find the cause of them. Your health care practitioner may also refer you to a urologist to carry out further testing too. Below are some popular tests for OAB:

Physical Examination: During a physical exam, the specialist will check for tenderness in the abdominal region. Enlarged prostate testing could also be done!

Cystoscopy: This test helps to determine the root cause of any issue or abnormality in the bladder. Your doctor will insert a specialized scope into your bladder during a cystoscopy.

Bladder Scan: This involves the use of an ultrasound to accurately measure the amount of urine in the bladder shortly after one has urinated.

Urodynamic Testing: This test is done to check how well the bladder can hold urine.

How to Treat an Overactive Bladder

Below are some options your doctor may recommend for treatment:

Medications: Your doctor may recommend antispasmodics. Antispasmodics are a group of drugs that reduce the urge to urinate.

Dietary Changes: Your doctor may recommend making some diary changes to reduce the symptoms of OAB. Below are a few changes you may be required to make:

  • Carbonated Drinks: Avoid carbonated drinks as they can irritate your bladder muscles. What’s more, they can intensify the symptoms of OAB.
  • Irritating Foods: Reduce your intake or avoid artificial sweeteners, citrus fruits, spicy food, and alcoholic beverages, as they can aggravate the symptoms of OAB.
  • Gluten Sensitivity: You may experience more symptoms of an overactive bladder if you are gluten sensitive. Avoiding wheat-based foods may help quell your gluten sensitivity.

How To Manage an Overactive Bladder

overactive bladder medicine - healthier me today

It is possible to manage an overactive bladder on your own. However, make sure to consult your doctor and never do these only as your only form of treatment.

Vitamins & Supplements: Taking supplements, like L-arginine and vitamins, can help relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder. If you are taking prescribed medication for an overactive bladder, talk to your doctor before purchasing or taking medication,

Essential Oils: Essential oils can help improve your mood and calm the nerves that cause the unexpected muscle contraction of the bladder. Here are some essential oils that are successful with treating an overactive bladder!

  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Clary sage oil

FAQ

  1. What will happen if I don’t treat my OAB? An overactive bladder is not a life-threatening condition; if you don’t treat it, your general health will not deteriorate. Though, the symptoms associated with it may disrupt your life. Many people with the condition avoid social events, for instance.
  2. Is there a cure for overactive bladder? There is presently no cure for the condition, but there are medications and supplements that can help reduce its symptoms.

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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