Overactive Bladder, or OAB, is a term used to describe a condition in which urinary frequency and urgency interfere with normal patterns of daily living.
OAB is very common and can occur in women of all ages.
what is OAB?
what are possible causes of OAB?
hormonal changes during menopause may weaken muscles
as well as aging
neurologic disorders such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis as well as diabetes may affect nerves
use of medication
medications that cause a rapid increase in urine production or require that you take them with lots of fluids
alcohol or caffeine
excess consumption of caffeine or alcohol can stimulate the bladder
urinary tract infections that can cause symptoms similar to those of an overactive bladder
excess body weight increases abdominal pressure. This in turn increases bladder pressure and mobility of the urethra. This leads to stress urinary incontinence and may also causes an overactive bladder
what are the symptoms of OAB?
the primary symptom of OAB is bladder contractions that trigger the urge to void even without a full bladder
urinate frequently, usually eight or more times in 24 hours and may wake up more than two times in the night to urinate (nocturia)
urgency and incontinence often occur together, and being forced to hold urine can lead to incontinence
OAB can also exist as a symptom of interstitial cystitis (IC) also known as painful bladder syndrome. One of the key differences between IC and OAB is nighttime frequency. Unlike their IC counterparts, patients with OAB generally do NOT get up in excess of four times per night. Pain may or may not be a part of the symptoms experienced with OAB, but it is usually a symptom of IC. With OAB, though, pain is usually less common.
There is not a diagnostic test per se. It is described by the patient, sometimes in conjunction with tests to eliminate other possibilities.
Don’t automatically accept that your OAB is a permanent part of your life. One possibility to consider is that overactive bladder may be caused by an undiagnosed food sensitivity, such as gluten intolerance, that is causing irritation in the bladder or urethra, which in turn triggers the urge to void.
Detrol (tolterodine), Ditropan, Vesicare, and Enablex, available to help control symptoms of OAB.
Be aware that constipation and dry mouth are common side effects of this class of medications
Bladder retraining is aimed at increasing bladder capacity and normalizing voiding patterns by gradually increasing the time between voids, regulating fluid intake, and learning relaxation techniques to avoid the sense of extreme urgency
You can also do special pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, in addition to regular exercise. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles to minimize involuntary contractions and improve posture. It’s also one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications
higher vitamin D levels have been associatedwith lower risk of pelvic floor disorders
there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and episodes of bladder leaking in older adults
has been shown to improve symptoms of unirary incontinence and nocturia
magnesium also helps relieve constipation, a trigger for frequent urination
pumpkin seed oil
herbalists traditionally used pumpkin seed extract and pumpkin seed oil to strengthen bladder tissue and help the bladder expand and contract. It helped the nerves of the bladder to regain control after childbirth and helped with the many trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night for people over age 50
Aerobic exercise is anti-inflammatory, improves circulation, improves anxiety and depression, improves bowel function and estrogen metabolite elimination, and results in an outpouring of endogenous endorphins, our own natural pain relievers.
do not smoke
Smoking can irritate the bladder muscle and cause coughing, which often contributes to incontinence
Stress management is an integral part of treating women with PMS, as their cyclic pain will surely contribute to angst and further dysfunction. Meditation, yoga, prayer, mindful awareness, and other stress-reduction efforts are an essential part of caring for women in pain.