Overactive Bladder and its Management

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According to Johns Hopkins Medicine (2011), close to 33 million Americans are said to be affected by overactive bladder. Urine leakage, frequent urination as well as urinary urgency and nocturia are some of the forms an overactive bladder can take.

It is a common condition and it is highly treatable.


Treatment options

 The condition is treatable; this can be achieved by modifying one’s behavior and change in lifestyle. It is important to have some records of how and when the condition started or occurred. Such parameters include the number of times of the urination, the number of incidents/accidents that occur and when these incidents occur. In addition to the above, it must be emphasized that some foods and drinks are capable of worsening the symptoms if you already have an overactive bladder. It is advisable to stay away from spicy foods, such as those containing hot peppers or curry, citrus fruits and juices, such as orange, tangerine, and grapefruit, tomatoes/tomato products, including spaghetti sauce and tomato paste, coffee and tea, both caffeinated and decaffeinated as well as alcoholic beverages and chocolate.

Closely related to the above, having healthy bowel habits helps in improving any bladder disorder. Primarily, avoid getting constipated because the condition naturally inflicts pressure on the bladder, thereby increasing the urge to urinate. Excessive fibre consumption found in beans, fresh fruits, and whole wheat bread will greatly help in preventing constipation. Regular exercise program can help you maintain bowel regularity. Obesity is a risk factor for many medical conditions including overactive bladder. It is advisable to lose weight to reduce the effect on the symptoms. Possible physical activities in which urine might be lost include laughing, coughing, or exercising. More importantly, some lifestyles such as cigarette smoking irritate the bladder muscle, and smoker’s cough is capable of leaking urine. It is advisable to consume three to four glasses of non-irritating fluids such as water on daily basis but you should avoid acidic or caffeinated beverages, which can worsen the symptoms.

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Furthermore, some medication like anticholinergics and antidepressants help to control the muscle spasms that lead to overactive bladder.Dealing with the symptoms of overactive bladder can be frustrating and embarrassing; your choices may be helpful. Listing and knowing your symptoms to track progress, avoiding foods and drinks that worsen bladder problems, developing healthy bowel habits, and retraining your bladder muscles may help you avoid medicines or more invasive medical procedures.

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