I have an overactive bladder, now what?

If you find yourself constantly running to the restroom or always feeling like you “have to go” – you are not alone. About 33 million Americans have overactive bladder (OAB), a common condition that is characterized by symptoms, including:
• Urinating eight or more times per day or two or more times per night
• Sudden, strong urges to urinate immediately
• Leaking urine after a sudden, strong urge to urinate
Surprisingly enough, overactive bladder is not a normal part of aging. OAB can affect anyone, but the good news is that those who have it can seek appropriate treatment. Your health care provider can help you manage this treatable medical condition, including:
• Lifestyle changes
• Medical and surgical treatments
• Managing leakage with products and devices
Everyday choices and changes to your routine can help you manage overactive bladder. The lifestyle tips outlined below are often the first treatments used to manage OAB:
• Watch your fluid intake
Drinking too much water or other fluids can affect your bladder. Speak with your doctor before making any significant changes to your drinking habits.
• Strengthen your pelvic muscles
The pelvic floor is a series of muscles that help you hold urine in your bladder. Work to squeeze and hold these muscles, and then release for an equal amount of time.
• Make dietary changes
Certain foods can cause havoc to your bladder. Removing coffee, tea, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, soda, and other fizzy drinks, citrus fruit, food made with tomatoes, chocolate and spicy foods from your diet can also give your bladder relief.
Do not be embarrassed if you are experiencing the symptoms of overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is a treatable condition and doesn’t have to take over your life. If you think you have OAB, speak with your health care provider. To make an appointment with an LMG Urologist, call 505.727.2727.