You may not mean to, but if you are doing any of these things, you are actually making your overactive bladder symptoms worse – learn what not to do.
Known by many names such as irritable bladder and detrusor instability, overactive bladder syndrome is a medical condition in which the bladder is unable to hold urine and function normally. This can be quite an embarrassing situation to be in for adults. Every time you go out for a party, you constantly worry about the proximity to a restroom so you can rush in to relieve yourself as soon as you feel the urge. Long road trips with friends or family is pretty much out of the question, unless you chart your journey from restroom to restroom. It is needless to say that this adds plenty of stress and planning to what could have been a happy and impromptu holiday.
According to Weill Cornell Medical College, overactive bladder or OAB affects more than 13 million people in the United States alone. Feeling the urge to urinate frequently, especially when you have loaded up on liquids, is quite normal. But when does the urge to urinate frequently turn into an actual medical problem? People with an overactive bladder do not just need to urinate frequently, they need to go now. An intense, urgent, and overwhelming need to urinate is one of the symptoms of an overactive bladder. This may happen irrespective of the time of the day or the quantity of liquids you have consumed, OAB can even strike you right after you have emptied your bladder. During the course of a day/24 hours, it is normal for a person to urinate less than eight times. If you find yourself running to the restroom even though you need to relieve yourself of just a small amount, OAB may be the reason.
There are many way to manage your situation better as listed in these 10 tips to handling an overactive bladder, and you can also use these 10 herbs to improve overactive bladder symptoms. However, the first step to controlling overactive bladder symptoms is understanding what you are doing right now that is worsening the symptoms. Start from the grass root level of the problem by effectively eliminating behaviors and habits that are actively aggravating your overactive bladder symptoms. Have a look at this list, and ascertain if you actually do any of these things to worsen your condition, and why you need to stop them right now.
You may not mean to, but there are certain ways in which you are probably making your overactive bladder symptoms worse. Rushing to the bathroom right away is one of them. On the surface, this sounds like a good idea, right? Head to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to go, and avoid the chance of an embarrassing leak. However, physicians who specialize in treating OAB say that it is a better idea to practice holding urine for a while before you go. Not only will this give you better control over the spasms of your bladder, but it will also help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. The need of the hour is to retrain your bladder to do what it is supposed to do. A good way to achieve this goal is to set a timetable for yourself. For example, instead of rushing to the bathroom every time you feel the urge, hold on to that feeling and go regularly at the end of every hour or two. This process will help you build your bladder muscles, so it will relax, and hold urine for longer periods of time.
The important thing to understand is that your OAB is most probably a chronic condition. This means that while you can control the problem and manage it better, it may never really go away altogether. A simple search engine result page will tell you that one of the best ways to control your overactive bladder symptoms is by doing pelvic muscle exercises like Kegels. You may have started doing your pelvic muscle exercises with full gusto. But over time, ensure that you are not getting lazy about devoting those daily 5 minutes to exercising your pelvic floor muscles. If you do get lazy, chances are high that your symptoms will come back again. The bottom line is that you need to add pelvic floor muscle exercises to your daily routine for the rest of your life. Those 5 minutes every day actually have the power to improve your quality of life, so do not get lazy.
There could be a number of drinks and foods that are triggering your overactive bladder. While the list may differ slightly for different people, there are a few items that are universally recognized as troublemakers. Alcohol is one of them. Alcohol is a bladder stimulator, it causes your body to make more urine, and thereby, forces you to use the bathroom much more than you would otherwise. For people with overactive bladder symptoms, waking up from sleep to urinate is a problem that alcohol worsens. You may not be okay with giving up alcohol altogether, but it is a good idea to do so. If giving up alcohol has a significant effect on your overactive bladder symptoms, you will know that it was one of the things making your life more difficult. You may have a drink now and again, but stay within your limits, and ensure that the consumption is not making your symptoms worse.
Many of us find it difficult to even start the day without a cup of coffee. However, caffeine is a known bladder stimulator, and if you have OAB, it is definitely something that you have to learn to do without. Research studies show that reducing your caffeine consumption to less than 100mg a day can actually help you control your bladder better. In human terms, this means that all you get is one cup of coffee a day, sorry. For some people, saying no to more than one cup is good enough. However, others may have to cut caffeine completely. Like alcohol, it is a good idea to stop cold turkey, and see how it affects your OAB. Add one cup to your day later, and see if it is significantly affecting your OAB symptoms.
Depending on your healthcare regimen, you may be routinely taking other medications and drugs to help your health problems get better. However, some drugs are known to actually worsen your overactive bladder symptoms. If you are on water pills or diuretics to treat high blood pressure or heart problems, sedatives, antidepressants, antihistamines to treat allergies, estrogen pills, NSAID pain relievers, or are hooked on to OTC cold medications, check with your doctor about whether they could be the cause of your worsening OAB symptoms. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. If you find that the medication is actually affecting your OAB for the worse, speak to your doctor about reducing your dosage or changing the medication.
If none of your home remedies or these tips work, it is recommended that you consult your doctor about how to treat overactive bladder syndrome. Do not let embarrassment keep you from talking about this common problem, and living a happy and fulfilling life.
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