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Overactive Bladder (OAB): Urgent Bladder Syndrome

Do you have to go AGAIN? Learn about your overactive bladder and what you can do about it!

Nearly a third of men (30%) and over a third of women (40%) have overactive bladder symptoms(1), do you? If so, take the first step and admit that “I have an overactive bladder.” Accepting it will help you move past your troublesome symptoms and seek treatment long-lasting relief.

Without treatment, your symptoms will lead to uncertainty, and uncertainty will leave you wondering how many trips to the bathroom you will need to make today.

Learn more about overactive bladder (OAB), including overactive bladder symptoms, causes, contributing factors, and potential treatments. Or make the decision now to prevent your overactive bladder from taking over your life and schedule an appointment with Florida Urology below.

What is an overactive bladder, and how does it happen?

An overactive bladder, also referred to as urgent bladder syndrome, OAB, or hypertonicity of bladder, is a health condition in men and women that causes persistent and intense urges to urinate when the bladder is not full. In other words, OAB makes you feel like you constantly need to pee. Due to the urgency experienced with OAB, you may experience the involuntary loss of urine (leaking), also called incontinence. When leaking occurs, it can be embarrassing and force you to wear padding or bring an extra set of clothes with you everywhere you go.

A properly functioning urinary system allows you to release urine on command when your bladder is full. Your body knows your bladder is full when nerves in the bladder send a signal to your brain. After making your way to the bathroom, you can then relax the muscles in your bladder, allowing urine to freely pass from your bladder out your urethra.

Several issues can cause your urinary system to malfunction. When you have an overactive bladder, your bladder may send a signal that it is full, causing false alarms that force you into the bathroom without much urine to release. You may also experience incontinence, which happens when the muscles in your bladder force urine through your urethra without your permission.  

What causes OAB?

For many, an overactive bladder develops naturally over time. For others, overactive bladder is caused by one or more of the following:

  • An enlarged prostate
  • Strokes
  • Neurological disorders
  • Tumors
  • Bladder stones
  • Diabetes

The cause of an overactive bladder can also be different for men and women. The most likely cause of overactive bladder in men is BPH, which is also known as an enlarged prostate. Due to its location, when the prostate grows, it can obstruct the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra. The pressure it places on the bladder can cause OAB and complicate your body’s process of determining when your bladder is full. Other causes of OAB in men include bladder infections, bladder cancer, and nerve damage caused by Parkinson’s disease and other conditions mentioned above.

The causes of overactive bladder in women can vary, but common causes include losing pelvic muscle strength, pregnancy, and the effects of childbirth.

Do you know what’s causing your overactive bladder? To determine the cause, schedule your appointment with Florida Urology today.

Overactive Bladder Symptoms

If you have an overactive bladder, you may experience one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden urge to urinate
  • Incontinence
  • Urgency
  • Frequent urination, in excess of eight times a day
  • Waking to urinate multiple times at night

Waking to urinate during the night impacts the quality and quantity of your sleep. Not only may it prevent you from reaching stage 3 of sleep, which is a period of deep sleep where your body conducts maintenance and repair, but waking to urinate may also turn into a sleepless and restless hour or two while you struggle to return to sleep.

Additional symptoms of overactive bladder in men include the inability to completely empty the bladder while urinating. This may be caused by an enlarged prostate.

Additional symptoms of an overactive bladder in women include the release of urine (leaking) due to unpredictable, uncontrollable urges to urinate.

If you’re experiencing symptoms not mentioned above, they may be caused by OAB or a separate issue. To discuss your symptoms with the experts at Florida Urology, schedule an appointment below.

What conditions may be contributing to your symptoms?

Your symptoms may worsen due to an existing condition separate from your overactive bladder. If you have or have had any of the following conditions, you may experience an increase in severity in your symptoms:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Brain tumor
  • Diabetes
  • UTI
  • Menopause-related change in hormones
  • Bladder stone(s)
  • Bladder tumor

Could my symptoms be something else?

Symptoms of an overactive bladder may be shared with other conditions, or be the sign of a short-term change in your body. The urgency you’re experiencing may also be caused by one or several of the following:

  • Prescription medications known to cause an increase in urination
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Leaving urine in your bladder while urinating

How to Tell if You Suffer from an Overactive Bladder

As you age, you are likely to develop bladder issues. One of the most common bladder issues is an overactive bladder. If you have a frequent and sudden urge to urinate during the day and night, making it difficult to control and leading to incontinence (loss of control and unintentional loss of urine), you may have an overactive bladder.

While you may believe you have an overactive bladder based on your symptoms, you will need to consult with a urologist to get an OAB diagnosis. Other diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and an enlarged prostate also cause bladder issues. Having these potential causes ruled out will help ease your mind and allow you to find the right treatment.

Overactive Bladder Diagnosis: What Your Urologist Will Look For

To diagnose your condition, your physician will review information, observe your body, and conduct tests.

Information that will be reviewed includes your personal medical history. By reviewing your history, your doctor will get a clear picture of what may be contributing to your symptoms and your current state of health. Observations will be made during a physical exam, neuro exam, and through taking a urine sample. Bladder function tests, including an ultrasound scan, flow rate test, and a cystometry, which is a bladder pressure test, may also be performed.

The above information, observations, and tests will lead to a diagnosis and a recommended treatment plan.

What happens when you don’t seek treatment?

How long have you been fighting the symptoms of your overactive bladder? Whether it’s been weeks, months, or years, continuing to battle your symptoms in the short-term instead of finding proper treatment that will bring you long-term relief could bring additional problems into your life. OAB can impact your physical and mental health. The embarrassing, isolating, complicating nature of an overactive bladder can make work stressful and force you to stay home from social events instead of enjoying life to its fullest.

An overactive bladder can also disrupt your sleep and your sex life. Do you want to let OAB in your bedroom?

Natural Bladder Control: Making Lifestyle Changes

An overactive bladder can have one or several causes. If your OAB is caused by aspects of your lifestyle, making lifestyle changes may help reduce or eliminate overactive bladder symptoms.

The following lifestyle changes may help you find relief from OAB:

  • Diet changes
  • Exercise
  • Weight management
  • Strengthening your pelvic floor (Kegel exercises)
  • Scheduled bathroom breaks to avoid urgency

How to Reduce the Risk of Developing an Overactive Bladder

If developing an overactive bladder is a concern but you don’t believe you currently have it, you can proactively make lifestyle changes and avoid activities that may increase your risk. Lifestyle choices known to help reduce the risk of developing an overactive bladder include:

  • Staying within your recommended ideal body weight (IBW). Check your IBW here
  • Exercise
  • Participating in regular physical activities
  • Performing Kegel exercises
  • Avoiding the consumption of caffeine
  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol
  • Quitting or avoiding smoking
  • Managing chronic health conditions

Explore your overactive bladder treatment options with Florida Urology

Before you can know what decision to make when it comes to your overactive bladder, you need to know what your options are. Florida Urology specializes in bringing control back into your life. We help you address and overcome the symptoms caused by an overactive bladder, UTI, urinary infection, bladder cancer, BPH (enlarged prostate), urinary incontinence, and other urological diseases and conditions. Are you ready to explore your options?

Although there is no cure for overactive bladder, there are effective treatments. Florida Urology can bring you comfort and relief by creating and implementing the right treatment plan for your overactive bladder. A popular treatment for an overactive bladder is the Axonics sacral neuromodulation therapy, which is one treatment option that will be discussed during your appointment.

Axonics therapy treats the following conditions:

  • Overactive bladder (OAB)
  • Urgency incontinence
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Urinary retention

Axonics therapy reduces overactive bladder symptoms by stimulating nerves in the bladder. The therapy allows these nerves to send the correct signals to your brain, letting you know when your bladder is full and urine is ready to be released. Click here to learn more about sacral neuromodulation therapy to treat overactive bladder.

Florida Urology has convenient locations throughout Florida, including Palm Coast, Port Orange, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, and New Smyrna Beach. Call us today at 386-673-5100 or request an appointment below.

Are you tired of suffering from OAB? Are you ready to do something about your overactive bladder? Find the treatment that works for you with Florida Urology.

Schedule an Appointment

References

What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)? (Urology Care Foundation)

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