What Is Overactive Bladder?
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a problem with storing urine in your bladder. You have a sudden urge to urinate. This urge may be difficult to stop as well as cause involuntary loss of urine and incontinence. Not only is OAB a physical problem, but it can cause embarrassment and limit your quality of life. There are numerous ways to treat your OAB, so don’t worry and don’t be embarrassed.
Many OAB strategies begin with behavioral and lifestyle changes. We will discuss a wide range of techniques on how to reduce your OAB.
Overactive Bladder Symptoms
If you suffer from overactive bladder, you may experience:
- A sudden urge to urinate that’s difficult to control
- Urge incontinence, which is an involuntary loss of urine that immediately follows your need to urinate
- Frequent urination that exceeds eight times in 24 hours
How Does the Bladder Function?
The kidneys produce urine, which moves into your bladder. When you urinate, your urine goes from your bladder into an opening at the bottom and flows out your urethra.
OAB occurs because the muscles of the bladder start to contract involuntarily. This even happens when the bladder is low and practically empty.
How to Treat an Overactive Bladder
Like we stated before, lifestyle and behavioral changes can greatly affect your body and overall health.
Your Brain Needs to Be Retrained
The sphincters are a ring of muscles that hold the bladder closed. While you urinate, the bladder squeezes and the sphincter relaxes. This process lets urine escape the bladder. Normally, your brain sends signals letting you know this is happening and how to control it. However, when you have OAB, this process doesn’t work so well. However, you can retrain your brain to once again control your bladder.
Healthgrades.com shared The National Assocation for Continence’s six-week retraining program. A lot of this program involves urinating on a schedule, lengthening the time between bathroom visits and if you do have to go in between scheduled visits, it’s important to have a mental distraction or relaxation technique.
Distraction Is a Useful Tool:
When you sense the urge to urinate at a bad time, try thinking about something else until the sensation to urinate passes. Try focusing on a complicated mental task that uses all of your attention.
Here are a few trick that demand all of your brain power:
- Count backward from 99.
- Recite all the words to your favorite poem or song. Bonus points if it’s your favorite song or story from childhood.
- Try to think of the first and last names of everyone at a large office or a friend’s party you attended.
- Try giving directions to your home or one of your favorite spots from various locations.
After Distraction Comes Relaxation:
Relaxing is another way to take your mind off the urge to urinate. Plus, relaxing eases anxiety and stress, regardless. Deep breathing can especially relax you when you’re thinking about an unexpected bathroom break.
Try taking several deep breaths to calm yourself down. Check out some of these deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and stress →
Give Yourself the Gift of Mindfulness:
Mindfulness is different than relaxing. Being mindful is about being in the present, and the conscious choice to experience your life in the present moment. Being mindful may be able to help you associate overactive bladder as just another function of the body.
Here are a few articles on how to practice mindfulness:
Call Urology Experts to Help You Retrain Your Bladder
At Urology Experts, we are passionate about not only solving your bladder problems, but we care about your overall health and wellness. Our lifestyle greatly affects our body and the same goes for urological conditions. If you have any questions or concerns about overactive bladder, please contact us today. We proudly serve the Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs, Fla. areas. Please schedule an appointment with us.