What to Know About an Overactive Bladder - Gousse Urology

What to Know About an Overactive Bladder

An uncontrollable urge to urinate doesn’t always mean that you drank a lot of water. When a person has to go to the bathroom several times throughout the day and night, it could indicate that something is wrong with their bladder. Most people don’t have to urinate more than three or four times per day. But if it ends up being over eight times per day, it could be an early warning sign of an overactive bladder.

We all have bladder muscles that allow us to hold urine. The brain and bladder communicate with each other regularly. The bladder tells the brain when it is full of urine and ready to urinate. The brain responds by allowing the bladder to release the urine.

But if the bladder muscles contract at random times due to an overactive bladder, the brain gets confused. This confusion may cause the brain to tell the bladder to urinate unnecessarily.

An overactive bladder is closely associated with urinary incontinence and leakage. A person with an overactive bladder could also experience stress urinary incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed urinary incontinence, overflow incontinence, or functional incontinence. They all cause incontinence but for different reasons. It is essential to understand the reasons for the overactive bladder before you can reverse it.

Stress urinary incontinence causes your bladder to leak under stress. Sneezing and coughing are two examples of when the bladder gets put under pressure. Urge incontinence results from bladder muscle spasms, making you feel the urge to urinate more frequently. Mixed urinary incontinence is the result of both muscle spasms and stressed muscles.

Overflow incontinence is a miscommunication between the bladder and the brain. The brain is unable to determine when the bladder is full of urine. As a result, you won’t release all the urine from your body when you go to the bathroom because you won’t detect how much urine is left in your bladder.

Functional incontinence comes from debilitating physical conditions or injuries that don’t allow you to get to the bathroom when you need to urinate. Seniors and disabled people experience functional incontinence the most. If they have a nurse or caregiver on standby, it is usually easier for them to deal with this problem. Otherwise, it can cause them to experience uncomfortable situations every day.

Lessons to Remember

Overactive bladder can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and professional medical treatment. People may develop weak bladder muscles because of certain types of medications or infections.  Overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol stresses the bladder. Obesity and excess weight can too.

If you experience urine leakage and uncontrollable urges to urinate, it is best to visit a primary care physician or urologist for an examination. They can give you an official diagnosis of overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.

The first professional recommendation will be to make lifestyle changes. Quit drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Try to get your weight down to a healthier level. These modifications alone will take so much stress off your bladder. However, if you continue to experience overactive bladder symptoms, more sophisticated medical treatment options will be recommended.

Some products can absorb and remove urine if you’re unable to control your bodily functions. These products include incontinence absorbent pads and catheters. Medication could assist in stimulating the bladder muscles too. Unfortunately, these are only temporary solutions for a long-term problem. More advanced treatment applications would include sacral nerve stimulation and surgical procedures.

An experienced and licensed urologist is the best person equipped to handle all these issues. Don’t guess or assume anything when it comes to an overactive bladder. Only a trained professional can diagnose and treat it correctly.