A topic that you hoped never to need to know about, overactive bladder syndrome affects 1 in 6 adults. Even more distressing is when bladder irritability causes urge incontinence (leaking urine), and this happens to as many as 1 in 3 people. If either of these descriptions rings true with you, then read on.
If you find that you have an uncontrollable urge to urinate, then you very likely suffer from overactive bladder syndrome. Try as you might, it is simply impossible to ignore this urge. If you find yourself familiar with every bathroom in town, if you wake up at night, or if you get sudden urges 8 or more times a day, then you are probably suffering from overactive bladder syndrome.
For some people embarrassing leaking will occur because the urges are so sudden and so strong that the person cannot make it to the bathroom in time. Despite the fact that an overactive or irritable bladder is a complete disruption to a person’s daily life, many people are reluctant to talk about the problem with their doctor. Many people assume that they are just aging, and that having the sudden urge to urinate is just a natural part of the aging process.
Good News about Overactive Bladder
Well there is good news. Overactive bladder or detrusor instability can be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. There are effective treatments for this condition that are as simple as taking a pill. Talk to your doctor and see what help is available specifically for you. You should also discuss this condition with your doctor just in case these symptoms are really a sign of something more serious going on in your body.
Now let’s take a look at what can cause overactive bladder syndrome.
As with anything in the human body, the most, simple functions are actually very complex. A delicate balance of activity between muscles of the bladder, nerve endings and your brain springs into action whenever you go to the bathroom. If any one of these parts is out of sync, then you can run into problems such as bladder irritation. Involuntary contraction of the bladder muscles is one of the most common causes of overactive bladder. Experiencing urge incontinence can be an indication that the urinary sphincter is weak. There are conditions that affect the brain such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, and even a stroke can leave its victim with bladder irritability as a souvenir.
There are other conditions though that may present as a bladder infection, and if this underlying condition is treated you may no longer experience bladder irritability. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of incontinence; so it is definitely worth checking into the cause, because if you cure the cause, the symptom may disappear.
Some of these underlying conditions include the following:
- Infections of the Urinary Tract or Vagina – A common cause of bladder irritability that can be diagnosed with a simple urine test, and it is treatable with simple antibiotics.
- Stones or Tumors in the Bladder – Easily diagnosed with an ultrasound (or any imaging tests) any foreign mass found in the bladder may lead to bladder irritability. Depending on the type and location of the mass, there are different treatments indicated. Once successfully treated, the irritability vanishes.
- Caffeine and Alcohol – By curtailing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, symptoms can improve or even subside.
- Medications – It is not uncommon for some medications to cause an increase in the production of urine. Obviously this rapid increase will cause more frequent urination. Compounding the problem is that many medications require that they be taken with a large amount of water, again causing more frequent urination. Check with your doctor for a medication review.
- Obstruction of the Bladder Outlet – There are conditions that are seemingly unrelated that can interfere with the bladder outlet such as chronic constipation, inflamed tissues around the urinary tract or enlarged prostate. These conditions can both cause overactive bladder syndrome, and they can both be treated.
- Increased Urine Production – As mentioned before medication can cause an increase in urine production, but there are other conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes that can do the same thing. Any of these conditions should be treated by a doctor, not only because they are causing irritable bladder, but because they can be potentially dangerous diseases.
Since so many different variables are involved in voiding, and there are so many dramatically different medical problems that have an irritable bladder as a symptom, a trip to your doctor for a careful diagnosis is definitely in order. Frequently when the underlying cause is diagnosed and treated, the symptoms disappear and voila, no more overactive bladder syndrome.