Urination is a normal part of a healthy, functioning body, but when does an ‘active’ bladder become an ‘overactive’ bladder? On average, you can expect to go about eight times a day; if you down a Route 44 Slurpee, at least one extra trip to the loo is in your near future. But an overactive bladder is more than frequent urination.
What qualifies as an overactive bladder?
Often referred to as urge incontinence, having an overactive bladder involves sudden, sometimes uncontrollable, urges to urinate that feel like your body screaming “YOU GOTTA GO NOW!”
You may be one of millions who suffers from an overactive bladder if:
- You get an intense, overwhelming need to go unexpectedly
- You’re peeing a lot (more than eight times a day)
- There are times you’re not able to make it to the toilet
- You find yourself rushing to the bathroom only to release a few drops
Ok, so why does this happen?
Urge incontinence is typically caused by involuntary bladder contractions or spasms. This can occur as a result of several underlying factors.
Bladder function is triggered by nerve signals. If those nerves are damaged due to a stroke, diabetes, MS or other serious medical condition, they may tell your bladder to contract when it isn’t full and cause leaks.
Weak pelvic muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles are vital to maintaining urinary continence. Over your lifetime, they may become weakened as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, or even weight gain. This can lead to bladder leaks and other serious conditions.
Aging & menopause
Like the rest of your body, your bladder experiences significant changes after menopause. Since bladder tissue is made up of estrogen, a drop in its production combined with overall loss of muscle tone associated with aging leads to a weakened bladder.
Urinary tract infections
The symptoms of an overactive bladder are very similar to those involved with UTIs, so be sure to consult your healthcare professional before making any self diagnoses to ensure proper treatment.
What can I do about it?
If you are experiencing symptoms of an overactive bladder, the first thing you should do is consult your doctor. But in the meantime, don’t despair! There are some simple solutions you can try at home to help you improve bladder function and reduce urge incontinence.
Change your diet
Your bladder is part of your digestive system, so what you put in directly correlates to what you get out. Some small dietary changes can help keep leaks at bay. Of course, there’s the obvious tips like controlling liquid intake and avoiding diuretics like caffeine and alcohol. But carbonation, sugar and spicy foods can also contribute to bladder leaks.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.