Overactive Bladder

OVERACTIVE BLADDER toilet

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview

The mechanism of urination is complex and involves multiple processes and intricate coordination between various organs, nerves, and muscles. Urine produced by the kidneys is conveyed to the urinary bladder where it collects until the bladder walls begin to stretch and the pressure within the organ builds up.

This triggers a series of reflexes, signaling the urge to urinate. The brain is capable of suppressing this urge for a certain period of time until the person can find a suitable opportunity to void the bladder. When the person has located a toilet and feels ready to urinate, relaxation of the muscles guarding the external aperture of the urethra and contraction of the bladder muscles expels urine from the body. However, voluntary control by the brain can only override the urge to urinate for a limited period of time. Beyond that time, the person experiences involuntary loss of urine or ‘urge incontinence’. An overactive bladder is one of the causes for urge incontinence.

 

What Is An Overactive Bladder (OAB)?

OVERACTIVE BLADDER toiletIndividuals suffering from a condition known as ‘overactive bladder’ tend to experience sudden and overwhelming urges to urinate even when the bladder is not completely full. Normally, control of the bladder is both voluntary and involuntary, allowing one the opportunity to seek an appropriate time and place for urination. However, when a person is suffering from an overactive bladder, they experience such an intense and urgent need to urinate that they are unable to reach a toilet in time and end up suffering urge incontinence.

Patients of OAB typically need to pass urine several times in a day and usually when the bladder is not even full. When bladder activity is normal it is considered normal to pass urine around 8 times during the day and once at night. It is not unusual to urinate even more frequently when liquid intake is increased. However, in the case of an overactive bladder, the frequency of the urge has no real correlation with the actual fullness of the bladder. In fact, the patient may even experience such an urge soon after passing urine. The patient is even compelled to urinate multiple times in the night. This condition can potentially arise at any age, although it tends to be more common in old age. It is one of the most common forms of bladder dysfunction.

 

What Causes This Condition?

Often, the immediate cause for sudden and intense urges to urinate is overactivity of the detrusor muscles which form the muscular wall of the bladder. Other common causes include neurological disorders causing nerve signals to prematurely signal the urge to void the bladder, obstruction of the bladder outlet and disorder of the pelvic floor muscles. Symptoms may also be triggered by surgery or childbirth. However, the cause is not always identifiable. Some well-known causes are listed below:

  • Stroke.
  • Injury to the spinal cord.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Prior surgery for treating incontinence.
  • Constipation.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Impaired kidney function.
  • Diabetes.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Taking diuretics.
  • Tumour or stones in the bladder
  • Bladder outlet obstruction.
  • Acute urinary tract infections.
  • Enlarged prostate gland.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse.

 

What Are Its Symptoms?

OVERACTIVE BLADDER bedwettingA patient suffering from an overactive bladder may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden and intense urge to urinate, several times a day.
  • This usually occurs even when the bladder is not full.
  • Passing small quantities of urine each time one urinates.
  • Passing urine several times during the night.
  • Urge incontinence.

 

Are There Different Types of OAB?

Depending on whether or not the patient experiences incontinence, this disorder is characterized as either dry OAB or wet OAB. As the name suggests, wet OAB is a condition in which the usual urinary symptoms of an overactive bladder also tend to result in accidental leakage of urine or incontinence. This condition is less common than dry OAB.

 

Complications of An Overactive Bladder

This condition can have an adverse impact on the patient’s quality of life. The fear of incontinence can cause them to avoid the outdoors or any kind of physical exertion. They may cut down on recreational and occupational activities. Such withdrawal can cause them to become isolated, depressed and generally unhealthy. Having to wake up several times during the night in order to urinate affects the quality of sleep. Over the long term, the loss of sleep can make the person irritable and tired.

 

Diagnosing an Overactive Bladder

Similar urinary symptoms may be caused by conditions such as urinary tract infection, cancer or kidney disorders. The following procedures may be performed in order to rule out other such possibilities and definitively diagnose a case of overactive bladder:

  • Physical examination and medical history.
  • Urinalysis and urine culture tests to check for blood or signs of infection in the urine.
  • Post-void residual test to measure the amount of urine remaining in the bladder immediately after urination.
  • Urodynamic tests to measure the pressure of urine and rate of flow.
  • Cystometry, a specialized technique used for measuring pressure within the bladder upon filling it with liquid.
  • Ultrasound test to visualize specialized of the urinary bladder.
  • Specialised neurological tests to study nervous function.

 

Treatment and prevention

Treatment Overactive bladder treatment

  • Those who have been diagnosed with an overactive bladder will be taught how to control and regulate their pelvic floor muscles.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight can ease the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
  • Making a schedule for washroom visits help in controlling an overactive bowel. These schedules can vary depending on person-to-person.
  • Some patients prefer intermittent catheterization. Here, the catheter does the same work as the bladder.
  • To avoid the embarrassing situation of inadvertent urination absorption pads are recommended.
  • Bladder training can only work if the pelvic floor muscles have been trained. Here, patients are taught how to hold their washroom urges starting from 30-240 minutes (half an hour to 4 hours) to help them get control over their bladder.
  • Medications to ease the symptoms of an overactive bladder may be prescribed.
  • Certain protein injection can pr prescribed to those who have an overactive bladder. These proteins tend to paralyze the bladder partially to help control the symptoms of this condition. Specific nerves can be stimulated to help curb the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
  • Surgery to increase the bladder size is conducted for those who have a severe case of incontinence.
  • In the worst case scenario, the patient’s bladder is removed. Once this is done a replacement bladder is put in place of the original one.

Prevention 

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Treat medical condition that may contribute to an overactive bladder.
  • Exercise regularly.

Facts

  • Men tend to experience overactive bladder more than women, especially above the age of 60 years.
  • 33 million Americans suffer from an overactive bladder.

Facts

  • The bladder can hold 400-500 ml of urine.
  • Humans tend to urinate 3,000 times per year.

Facts

  • Women tend to have a shorter urethra than men; this is why they are more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
  • The skin is considered a part of the excretory system. Humans normally sweat 1.5 gallons per day.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Get a proper diagnosis done; there are a lot of causes of an overactive bladder such as diabetes or nerve damage. Getting a thorough diagnosis can help you understand if you have an overactive bladder.
  • Always keep your medications handy.
  • Avoid your triggers; this can help in ensuring that your overactive bladder does not act up at random times.
Don'ts
  • Reduce your water intake. Reducing water intake can irritate the bladder, even more, resulting in frequent visits to the washroom.
  • Forget to ask your doctor for supplements. Medications that are prescribed for overactive bladder tend to have side effects.  Ask your doctor if there are any supplements or over-the-counter medications that you should take to ease those side effects.
  • Rush into getting a surgery. There are many non-surgical treatment methods available to treat an overactive bladder.

 

 

 

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Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
apolipoprotein a1 test
Apolipoprotein -A1 (APO-A1) Test Apolipoprotein A-I (Apo-A1) constitutes 70% of protein content in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and helps in lipid metabolism.
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
Cottage cheese: What can you find in this healthy chunk of fresh milk cheese? Love cheese but scared of putting on extra pounds? With cottage cheese, you can get the best of…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
Unbelievable health benefits of gooseberries (and a few tasty recipes) Gooseberries are antioxidant-rich tasty fruits that can be easily added in daily diet to improve overall health and…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…