Overactive bladder is a condition that causes a person to frequently experience very strong urges to urinate. It is sometimes referred to as irritable bladder. Overactive bladder can be caused by the use of certain medications, diabetes, a urinary tract infection and enlarged prostate. It can also be triggered by an excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine. A person’s risk of developing overactive bladder increases as he or she gets older.
Overactive bladder is a very embarrassing condition. Many people find that this condition affects their quality of life. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for this condition. Below are some of the ways overactive bladder can be treated:
Some patients are able to manage this condition with bladder training. This method involves scheduling times throughout the day to urinate instead of urinating when you get the urge. Bladder training teaches a person to control their bladder by waiting to urinate. People typically start off by delaying urination for a few minutes and then gradually increasing the time until they can wait an hour or more between bathroom visits.
Your doctor may recommend that you wear absorbent pads until you can get this condition under control. Absorbent pads come in different absorbency levels and sizes.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Bladder training is more effective when it is combined with pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, which is also known as kegal exercises, help strengthen the urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. The urinary sphincter controls the exit of urine. A physical therapist or doctor can teach you how to correctly perform pelvic floor exercises.
Because caffeine and alcohol can both can increase urinary frequency, you may want to limit your intake of those beverages. It is also a good idea to avoid drinking a lot of fluids before going to bed.
If lifestyle changes do not work, then your physician may recommend that you take a medication. There are many medications available that can help relax the bladder muscles. Some of those drugs include Detrol, Toviaz and Oxytrol. Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of these medications. They may also cause constipation.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help alleviate dry mouth. Your doctor may recommend a stool softener or a fiber supplement if the medication causes constipation.