Do you find yourself having to urinate more than 8 times in a 24 hr period?
Do you have bladder accidents (incontinence) if you wait too long to go to the bathroom?
Do you find yourself waking in the night just to go to the bathroom?
Do you find it difficult to make it inside your house or to get your pants pulled down as you get closer to the bathroom without having an accident?
Then you may suffer from a condition called overactive bladder.
Overactive bladder is a very common non life-threatening, urologic problem that can affect both women and men. It is often characterized by the sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate which can often lead to the loss of urine. Many people will have these same symptoms during the night time hours causing someone to awaken from sleep to empty their bladder (nocturia). The symptoms can be very troublesome causing people to seek the locations of restrooms wherever they go. Sometimes it will limit people from travelling due to their fears of not finding a restroom. Overactive bladder is also an economic burden due to the ongoing cost of pads, laundry and beds and bed linens.
Overactive bladder may be caused by diseases such as diabetes, medications such as diuretics or excessive dietary intake of caffeine or alcohol. The condition is not caused by an infection though the symptoms may be similar.
There are many suggestions that can be made to ease the struggle of frequent and urgent urination. First, evaluate your dietary choices. You may be consuming too much caffeine, alcohol, spicy or acidic foods. You May be consuming too many diet sodas or fruit juices or not including enough water in the day. Often, the bladder can be retrained to allow for longer time in between voids or trips to the restroom. The use of “urge suppression” will allow for enough time to actually make it to the restroom without an accident.
Other therapies are available ranging from the use of medications, nerve stimulators and even Botox. Medications have long been on the market and have proven to be moderately effective. The nerve stimulator can be placed as outpatient procedure and works to decrease the stimulation from the nerves to the bladder. Lastly, the newest of the remedies, Botox, is placed into the bladder muscle to stop it from contracting or squeezing and losing urine. This treatment is also able to be performed in the office and has a good success rate.
If you feel that you may have this condition, please contact our office and allow us to help with an initial evaluation which will include a relevant history and a 24 hour voiding diary. Let our team of experts help you minimize the symptoms and give you some reassurance and a feeling of control.