Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Having an overactive bladder (OAB) means your bladder has problems storing urine normally. Common symptoms of OAB include: needing to go to the bathroom more often than usual being unable to hold your urine experiencing leakage when you need to urinate (incontinence) needing to urinate several times throughout the night

 

Having an overactive bladder (OAB) means your bladder has problems storing urine normally. Common symptoms of OAB include:

  • needing to go to the bathroom more often than usual
  • being unable to hold your urine
  • experiencing leakage when you need to urinate (incontinence)
  • needing to urinate several times throughout the night

Over time, these symptoms may affect your daily life. They can make it harder to plan trips, cause unintentional disruptions during work, or affect your sleep quality.

OAB can have many causes, including aging-related changes, medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, bladder obstruction, and weak pelvic muscles. Sometimes, the cause is unknown. OAB is a very common and treatable condition.

In fact, several remedies like herbs, exercises, and behavioral therapies are known to help manage urinary symptoms. About 70 percent of women who use these methods report they’re satisfied with the results, according to Harvard Health Blog.

Read on to find out how you can strengthen an overactive bladder and reduce trips to the bathroom.

 

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Over time, these symptoms may affect your daily life. They can make it harder to plan trips, cause unintentional disruptions during work, or affect your sleep quality.

OAB can have many causes, including aging-related changes, medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, bladder obstruction, and weak pelvic muscles. Sometimes, the cause is unknown. OAB is a very common and treatable condition.

In fact, several remedies like herbs, exercises, and behavioral therapies are known to help manage urinary symptoms. About 70 percent of women who use these methods report they’re satisfied with the results, according to Harvard Health Blog.

Holistic Solutions

Herbal treatments for an overactive bladder

Always check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements. They can interact with medicines you are taking and cause unintended side effects.

Chinese herbal blends

Gosha-jinki-gan (GJG) is a blend of 10 traditional Chinese herbs. Several studies have been done on this herbal blend, and researchers foundthat GJG inhibits the bladder and significantly improves daytime frequency. People who took 7.5 milligrams of GJG a day also reportedbetter results on their International Prostate Symptom Score(IPSS), which records urinary symptoms.

Another Chinese herbal medicine is Hachimi-jio-gan (HE). HE is made up of eight natural ingredients, some of which are also in GJG. Preliminary studiesshow that HE may have an effect on bladder muscle contraction.

Ganoderma lucidum (GL)

Also known as lingzhi mushroom, this extract from East Asia is used to cure many ailments including hepatitis, hypertension, and cancers. In a randomized study, 50 men reported better scores for IPSS.

This studyrecommends 6 milligrams of GL extract in men with lower urinary tract symptoms.

 

Corn silk (Zea mays)

Corn silk is the waste material from corn cultivation. Countries from China to France use this as a traditional medicine for many ailments, including bedwetting and bladder irritation. It may help with strengthening and restoring mucous membranes in the urinary tract to prevent incontinence, according to the International Continence Society.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is found in the fleshy part of Chile peppers, not the seeds. It’s commonly used to treat pelvic pain syndrome, which is often a symptom of OAB. Studieshave found that peak bladder capacity increased from 106 milliliters to 302 milliliters.

Read more about supplements that help your OAB symptoms »

Side effects

Always talk to your doctor before trying alternative remedies for your OAB. They may cause unintended side effects. Make sure you buy your herbs from a reliable source. Herbs from unreliable sources may be contaminated, and many don’t have a standard dose. Many herbs aren’t well researched and don’t go through quality control processes or human trials to prove their effectiveness.

See Also

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Pumpkin seedsare packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. One studyfound that pumpkin seed oil improves abnormal urinary function and reduces symptoms of OAB.

Another Japanese studyfound that pumpkin seeds and soybeanseed extract also significantly reduced incontinence. Participants took five tablets of this processed food two times a day for the first two weeks and then three tablets a day for the next five.

Shop online for pumpkin seeds.

Kohki tea

Kohki tea is the extract of a subtropical plant in southern China. This sweet tea is sold over the counter in Japan and is high in antioxidants. It’s also shown to have protective effects on the bladder.

One studyfound that kohki tea had a significant protective effect on bladder function and contractile responses in rabbits with partial bladder obstruction.

Other bladder-friendly drinks include:

  • plain water
  • soy milk, which may be less irritating than cow’s or goat’s milk
  • cranberry juice
  • less acidic fruit juices, such as apple or pear
  • barley water
  • diluted squash
  • caffeine-free teas like fruit teas

Eating to reduce constipation

Sometimes constipationcan place extra pressure on your bladder. You can prevent constipation by exercising regularly and including more fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiberinclude beans, whole-wheat breads, fruits, and vegetables.

The Cleveland Clinicrecommends eating 2 tablespoons of a mixture of 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and 3/4 cup of prune juice every morning to promote bowel regularity.

 

What foods and drinks to avoid

While you may want to drink less liquid so you don’t have to urinate as often, you should still make sure you stay hydrated. More concentrated urine, usually darker in color, can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urination.

Other foods and drinks can contribute to OAB symptoms, including:

  • alcohol
  • artificial sweeteners
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruits
  • coffee
  • soda
  • spicy foods
  • tea
  • tomato-based foods

You can test which drinks or foods irritate your bladder by eliminating them from your diet. Then reincorporate them one by one every two to three days at a time. Permanently eliminate the particular food or drink that worsens your symptoms.

Other irritants

You can reduce the amount of times you get out of bed by not drinking two to three hours before you sleep.

It’s also recommended to refrain from smoking. Smokingcan irritate the bladder muscle and cause coughing, which often contributes to incontinence.pastedGraphic.png

What can exercise do for an OAB?

Losing weight

Extra weight can also increase the pressure on your bladder and cause stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is when urine leaks after you do something that increases pressure on the bladder, like laughing, sneezing, or lifting. While eating healthy foods can help you lose excess weight, getting regular exercise like strength training can help with long-term management.

Researchshows that women who are overweight and have incontinence had less episodes of OAB. One study found that women with obesitywho lose 10 percent of their body weight saw improved bladder control by 50 percent.

Simple exercises to overcome an overactive bladder »

Kegel exercises and muscle training

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.

To do Kegel exercises:

  1. Try stopping your urine mid-stream when going. The muscles you use are pelvic floor muscles. This is what you’ll focus on contracting during Kegel exercises.
  2. Focus on tightening those muscles when you have an empty bladder. Hold this position for about five seconds at a time. Relax the muscles and then repeat five times. As your muscles get stronger, increase the duration to 10 seconds and 10 repetitions. Perform the exercises 10 or more times a day.
  3. Breathe normally when doing these exercises.
  4. Avoid squeezing your stomach, thighs, or buttocks instead of your pelvic floor muscles.

You can also talk to a physical therapist to see if you’re squeezing the right muscles.

Yes, Kegel exercises works for men, too »

Bladder retraining

Overtime OAB causes your bladder muscles to react a certain way. Bladder retraining can help reboot your bladder muscles. The idea is to let the urge to urinate pass before going to the bathroom and gradually work your way toward longer holding times. Bladder retraining also works best alongside Kegel exercises.

Perform the following steps to train your bladder:

  • Keep a journal to determine how frequently you go to the bathroom.
  • Delay urination with small intervals. Once you feel the need to pee, see if you can hold off for five minutes and work your way up.
  • Schedule trips to the bathroom. You can keep a journal to see how often you need to go and delay that time. You can start with 10 minute delays and work your way up to every three to four hours. Most women should be able to wait three to six hours between bathroom breaks.
  • Perform Kegel exercises regularly.

A bladder-retraining program can take six to eight weeks to prove effective.

What happens if these remedies don’t work?

Talk to a doctor if your symptoms are interfering with your overall health. Let them know if you’ve tried these remedies. Your doctor will work with you to find an appropriate treatment. This may include OAB medications or surgery. Read more about the surgical options for OAB here.

Can acupuncture help your OAB symptoms? »

 

Article resources

 

 

If you are waking up at night with frequent urination, you are experiencing something called “nocturia.” This symptom has many potential causes, so take a look at this list below to find out what may be causing your sudden trips to the bathroom—and then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the symptom.

Lifestyle Causes

Drinking a lot of beverages—especially those that contain high amounts of caffeine (such as coffee, tea, or soda) or alcoholic beverages late in the day—may contribute to a need to urinate during the night. If you lay off those fluids or stick to drinking them earlier in the day, you may reduce or eliminate the problem.

In early pregnancy, women often feel the need to urinate at night because of rising progesterone levels. It could be a sign that you’re pregnant.

Medications

Some medications may affect your bladder, increasing the need to urinate, such as diuretics and cold medicines.

Acute (Temporary) Medical Conditions

Having an acute and severe urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause some people to urinate more frequently at night. Other symptoms of a UTI include a burning sensation when urinating, passing small amounts of urine at a time, cloudy urine, bloody urine (that would appear pink, red, or dark brown), strong-smelling urine, and pelvic pain.

Having bladder stones lodged in the urinary tract, creating a blockage in the ureters or bladder, can also lead to more frequent urination while you’re trying to sleep. The symptoms of this are very similar to those of a UTI, except that you may also have trouble urinating or you may experience an interrupted flow of urine when you go to the bathroom.

UTIs: Causes and Risk Factors

Chronic (Long-Lasting) Medical Conditions

Patients who have congestive heart failure may experience swelling in their legs and ankles during the day. Upon lying down in bed at night, the fluid is redistributed and the kidneys produce more urine. Heart disease, vascular disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, restless leg syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and sleep apnea also often result in frequent urination at night.

Childhood Medical Conditions

Among kids, frequent urination at night can be a sign of a urinary tract infection or juvenile diabetes. Girls who don’t wipe correctly (advise them to wipe from the front to the back) can develop inflammation in the urinary tract area. In boys, an infection near the tip of the penis may lead to more frequent urination.

Common Risk Factors for Frequent Urination

The most commonly associated risk factors for developing frequent urination at night are:

  • Getting older. As people age, they experience a more frequent need to urinate.
  • Bladder prolapse and pelvic organ prolapse in women, particularly after pregnancy, put additional pressure on the urinary tract, making women wake up during the night to urinate.
  • Interstitial cystitis and radiation cystitis can make it difficult for your bladder to function normally because your bladder is inflamed.
  • Prostate problems in men can make it harder to hold urine.

Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments

Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments

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Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments

ABOUT

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Causes of Frequent Urination
  • Diagnosing the Cause of Frequent Urination
  • Treatment for Frequent Urination

Gotta go all the time? The technical name for your problem is frequent urination. In most people the bladder is able to store urine until it is convenient to go to the toilet, typically four to eight times a day. Needing to go more than eight times a day or waking up in the night to go to the bathroom could mean you’re drinking too much and/or too close to bedtime. Or it could signal a health problem.

Causes of Frequent Urination

Frequent urination can be a symptom of many different problems from kidney disease to simply drinking too much fluid. When frequent urination is accompanied by fever, an urgent need to urinate, and pain or discomfort in the abdomen, you may have a urinary tract infection. Other possible causes of frequent urination include:

 

Diabetes . Frequent urination with an abnormally large amount of urine is often an early symptom of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as the body tries to rid itself of unused glucose through the urine.

Pregnancy . From the early weeks of pregnancy the growing uterus places pressure on the bladder, causing frequent urination.

Prostate problems . An enlarged prostate can press against the urethra (the tube that carries urine out the body) and block the flow of urine. This causes the bladder wall to become irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.

Interstitial cystitis . This condition of unknown cause is characterized by pain in the bladder and pelvic region. Often, symptoms include an urgent and/or frequent need to urinate.

Diuretic use. These medications that are used to treat high blood pressure or fluid buildup work in the kidney and flush excess fluid from the body, causing frequent urination.

Stroke or other neurological diseases. Damage to nerves that supply the bladder can lead to problems with bladder function, including frequent and sudden urges to urinate.

Less common causes include bladder cancer, bladder dysfunction, and radiation therapy.

Often, frequent urination is not a symptom of a problem, but is the problem. In people with overactive bladder syndrome, involuntary bladder contractions lead to frequent and often urgent urination, meaning you have to get to a bathroom right now — even if your bladder is not full. It may also lead you to wake up once or more during the night to use the bathroom.

Diagnosing the Cause of Frequent Urination

If urinary frequency interferes with your lifestyle or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, back or side pain, vomiting, chills, increased appetite or thirst, fatigue, bloody or cloudy urine, or a discharge from the penis or vagina, it’s important to see your doctor.

To diagnose the cause of frequent urination, your doctor will perform a physical exam and take a medical history, asking questions such as the following:

  • Are you taking any medications?
  • Are you experiencing other symptoms?
  • Do you have the problem only during the day or also at night?
  • Are you drinking more than usual?
  • Is your urine darker or lighter than usual?
  • Do you drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages?

Depending on the findings of the physical exam and medical history, your doctor may order tests, including:

Urinalysis . The microscopic examination of urine that also involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine. There’s a broader term called urodynamics which includes tests such as cystometry, uroflowmetry, urethral pressure and others

Cystometry . A test that measures the pressure inside of the bladder to see how well the bladder is working; cystometry is done to determine if a muscle or nerve problem may be causing problems with how well the bladder holds or releases urine.

Cystoscopy . A test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope.

Neurological Tests. Diagnostic tests and procedures that help the doctor confirm or rule out the presence of a nerve disorder.

Ultrasonography. A diagnostic imaging test using sound waves to visualize an internal body structure.

Treatment for Frequent Urination

Treatment for frequent urination will address the underlying problem that is causing it. For example, if diabetes is the cause, treatment will involve keeping blood sugar levels under control.

The treatment for overactive bladder should begin with behavioral therapies, such as:

  • Bladder retraining. This involves increasing the intervals between using the bathroom over the course of about 12 weeks. This helps retrain your bladder to hold urine longer and to urinate less frequently.
  • Diet modification. You should avoid any food that appears to irritate your bladder or acts as a diuretic. These may include caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, tomato-based products, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. It’s also important to eat high-fiber foods, because constipation may worsen the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome.
  • Monitoring fluid intake. You should drink enough to prevent constipation and over-concentration of urine, but you should avoid drinking just before bedtime, which can lead to nighttime urination.
  • Kegel exercises. These exercises help strengthen the muscles around the bladder and urethra to improve bladder control and reduce urinary urgency and frequency. Exercising pelvic muscles for five minutes three times a day can make a difference in bladder control.

Treatment may also include drugs such as darifenacin (Enablex), desmopressin acetate (Noctiva), imipramine (Tofranil), mirabegron (Myrbetriq), oxybutynin (Ditropan), oxybutynin skin patch (Oxytrol), solifenacin (Vesicare). tolterodine extended-release (Detrol LA), and trospium extended-release (Sanctura XR), Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter. Darifenacin is specifically for people who wake up more than twice a night to urinate.

There are other options for those that do not respond to lifestyle changes and medication. The drug Botox can be injected into the bladder muscle causing the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity, and reducing episodes of leakage.

Several types of surgery are also available. The least invasive involve implanting small nerve stimulators just beneath the skin.The nerves they stimulate control the pelvic floor and the devices can manipulate contractions in the organs and muscles within the pelvic floor.

 

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Causes of Frequent Urination. Frequent urination can be a symptom of many different problems from kidney disease to simply drinking too much fluid. When frequent urination is accompanied by fever, an urgent need to urinate, and pain or discomfort in the abdomen, you may have a urinary tract infection.Jan 17, 2017

Frequent Urination in Men and Women: Causes & Treatments – WebMD

https://www.webmd.com/urinary…oab/frequent-urination-causes-and-treatments#2-4

 

 

 

Diagnosis

A doctor will carry out a thorough history and physical examination, asking the patient about frequency of urination and other symptoms.

They may ask about:

  • the pattern of frequent urination, for example when it started, how things have changed, and what time of day it occurs
  • current medications
  • how much fluid is being consumed
  • any changes in the color, smell, or consistency of the urine
  • how much caffeine and alcohol the person consumes, and whether this has recently changed

Tests may include:

  • urine analysis to identify any abnormality in the urine
  • ultrasound, for a visual image of the kidneys
  • a plain film X-ray or CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis
  • neurological tests to detect any nerve disorder
  • testing for STIs

A man or woman may be referred to a urologist, or a woman may be referred to a gynecologist.

Urodynamic tests

Urodynamic tests assess the effectiveness of the urinary bladder in storing and releasing urine, and they examine the function of the urethra.

Simple observations include:

  • recording the time it takes to produce a urinary stream
  • noting the amount of urine produced
  • gauging the ability to stop urinating mid-stream

To obtain precise measurements, the health professional may use:

  • imaging equipment to observe the bladder filling and emptying
  • monitors to measure pressure inside the bladder
  • sensors to record muscle and nerve activity

The patient may have to change their fluid intake or stop taking certain medications before the test. They may need to arrive at the clinic with a full bladder.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

If the consultation leads to a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, treatment will aim to keep high blood sugar levels under control.

For a bacterial kidney infection, the typical course of treatment is antibiotic and painkiller therapy.

If the cause is an overactive bladder, a medication known as an anticholinergic may be used. These prevent abnormal involuntary detrusor muscle contractions from occurring in the wall of the bladder.

If needed, medication therapy will be prescribed and monitored by a physician.

Training in behavioral techniques may also help.

Bladder training and exercises

Othe

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