1. It’s complicated:
The bladder has two functions that are totally opposite of the other. One is to relax and stretch out so it can store urine (and fill like a balloon,) and the other is to contract and squeeze down so that it can empty the urine.
2. It requires communication:
The bladder, spinal cord, brain, and nerves need to be intact for all of this to work right.
3. ... and coordination:
Between the bladder muscle squeezing down and the sphincter muscles relaxing; is required to make everything happen normally (squeeze then relax what?!)
4. It’s overactive:
With urinary incontinence, from an overactive bladder, the muscles of the bladder contract unexpectedly causing an urgent need to urinate. The bladder contracts so strongly that the sphincter muscles cannot stop the urine from passing out and the result is urinary incontinence.
5. What are the causes:
Many things can cause an overactive bladder including:
- Urinary tract infection or infection of the prostate.
- A large prostate.
- In women, multiple pregnancies or surgery on the uterus or urethra.
- Bladder stones, inflammation, or tumors.
6. The symptoms include:
Feeling the need to urinate and your body can’t hold it in, a sudden strong urge to urinate, urinating 8 or more times a day, or waking up to urinate two or more times a night.
7. Treatment options are all over the place.
Options include behavioral treatments (these do not involve medication or surgery,) bladder training, kegel exercises, weight loss, electrical stimulation, medications (some are injected into the muscles involved in urination, others come in pill form,) and surgery.
8. Lifestyle changes to try:
If you have an overactive bladder try drinking less fluid or drinking at different times of the day, cutting down on caffeine or alcohol, and again try losing some weight.
Hang in there…
- Dr. O
RELATED FROM AROUND THE WEB