Overactive Bladder Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
If your find yourself running towards the bathroom singing the song ‘gotta go gotta go gotta go go go’ more frequently than you’d like, you are probably dealing with an overactive bladder. Your bladder has stopped listening to your brain telling it when it’s time to void and it is now calling the shots for when it wants to empty itself, bringing on that sudden and strong urge to ‘go’.
Causes of Overactive Bladder
Age, hysterectomy, diuretic drugs, diabetes nerve damage and certain neurological conditions can be the cause behind the disconnect between the brain and bladder. Unknown causes that will never be figured out may also be reason you know where every bathroom is located within a 50 mile radius of your home. Sometimes an overactive bladder just happens for no apparent reason and sometimes it is also accompanied by another bladder condition known as stress incontinence.
Treatments for Overactive Bladder
When you’ve had enough of your life revolving around the bathroom and you decide to seek medical help (most people suffer with overactive bladders for around five years before talking to their doctor about it due to being embarrassed about the condition) the first thing your doctor will ask you to do is keep a bladder diary for one month. Save yourself a second visit to the doctor and just go ahead and keep a diary to track your bladder’s behavior before making that first appointment with your doctor, then take your dairy with you.
Buy an inexpensive notebook and two measuring cups. Use a new page for each day and make three columns on each page. One column is for what was drunk, how much (use one measuring cup to measure all beverages before drinking) and what time the beverage was consumed. The second column is for what time and how much you voided (use the other measuring cup) and the third column is for a little notation as to the circumstances and urgency level of the void. The bladder diary will probably help you realize that you always have sudden urges in certain situations, like the moment you put the door key in the lock. You may also discover that drinking certain beverages increase the number of times you go the bathroom and you may be surprised by how much liquid you actually drink during the day.
Your doctor will probably recommend bladder retraining as part of a treatment plan. You set up certain times of the days for bathroom breaks, then you gradually increase the time intervals between breaks. This helps to break your bladder’s control cycle of going whenever it feels like it.
Hypnotherapy, visualization and stress reduction therapies may also be employed as part a treatment program. Kegel exercises may be recommended to help control urine flow when those sudden urges strike and medication to relax the bladder may be prescribed as part of the treatment plan too.