Overactive Bladder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Management
Overactive bladder cause a sudden urge to urinate. The call is so strong even if there is a minimal amount of urine left in the bladder that you are unable to hold it. Urine leakage caused as a result is termed as urine incontinence.
What Is Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is a type of urge incontinence. Not every overactive bladder leads to leakage of urine. Even if there is no incontinence, this condition makes your life tough as there is a need to evacuate every single drop from your bladder and so you have to run to the bathroom every time. If you are unable to reach bathroom at the time and drop is urine wets your cloth it is embarrassing. This condition is very common in the elderly. Both males and females can suffer from it however; it is more common in females.
Overactive bladder can also lead to other issues such as urinary tract infection, depression and sleeping issues.
What Causes Overactive Bladder
The primary cause behind overactive bladder is overactive muscle that pushes every single drop of urine out. Causes that may lead to the overactive bladder are stress, bladder infection and other brain and nervous disorders such as stroke or Parkinson’s disease. Certain medicines may also lead to this condition.
Symptoms of Overactive Bladder
The primary symptom of an overactive bladder is an urgent urge to pass urine. The frequency to urinate increases. You may wake up more than 2-3 times at night to pass urine. There is an urge to urinate even after you have just peed. In some cases, when you have an urge to urinate urine leaks.
The patient suffering from the overactive bladder may suffer from all or some of the above symptoms.
How Is Overactive Bladder Diagnosed
To diagnose overactive bladder, your doctor enquires how often you urinate and if urine leaks out. You will be asked to maintain a bladder diary to note this for a few days. In addition, your doctor will ask for specific tests such as a rectal exam, pelvic exam, urine test and a blood test. Tests to check out diabetes or prostate disease may also be done.
What Are The Complications Of an Overactive Bladder
Complications of an overactive bladder include depression, disruptive quality life, dehydration, disturbed sleep, diminished sexual activity, fatigue, urinary tract infection, reduced social interaction, bladder stones, fractures and falls in elderly and skin infection and irritation.
What Is Management of Overactive Bladder
The first step is bladder restraining, that is following a urinating schedule. Next is to strengthen your bladder muscles through Kegel exercises. Kegel exercise will, to some extent improve the bladder issues. You also require making changes in your diet and lifestyle such as cutting back coffee, sodas and tea. You need to limit alcohol intake. Better, quit alcohol. Eat foods that are rich in fibre. Avoid spicy and junk food. Cranberry and citrus fruit juices help as they wash off the infection so include them in your diet. Cut down fluid during the night so that you will not have to get up repeatedly at night to urinate. You can also use a portable toilet and keep it nearby your bed. Also, it is suggested to get back to a healthy weight to manage an overactive bladder.
Your doctor will suggest you medications to calm the muscles of the bladder and medications that help the bladder to store more quantity of urine. However, these medicines have their part of side effects, so take as prescribed by your doctor.
In some cases, intermitted catheterisation is also suggested which can be done at home. This process involves the insertion of a thin tube in urethra every time there is an urge to urinate. It is an invasive procedure thus talk about it to your doctor whether it is a right option for you or not.