Overactive Bladder (cont.)
Siamak T. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
Dennis Lee, MD
Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Overactive bladder facts
- What is an overactive bladder?
- What are the causes of overactive bladder?
- Are there any risk factors for overactive bladder?
- What are symptoms of an overactive bladder?
- How is overactive bladder diagnosed?
- What are treatments for an overactive bladder?
- What is the role of medications in treating overactive bladder?
- What are treatments for the chronically incontinent?
- What measures can be taken at home to prevent overactive bladder symptoms?
- What are some of the complications of overactive bladder?
- What is the prognosis for overactive bladder?
- Find a local Urologist in your town
What are treatments for the chronically incontinent?
Although many people will improve their continence through medications, pelvic-muscle exercises, and bladder training, some will never achieve complete dryness. Sometimes treatment failures are due to concurrent use of other necessary medications, such as diuretics (water pills that increase urination), that actually can cause incontinence. Others may have dementia or other physical impairments that keep them from being able to perform pelvic-muscle exercises or retrain their bladders. Many will be cared for in long-term care facilities or at home. The following recommendations can help keep the chronically incontinent drier and reduce their cost of care:
- Scheduled toileting: Take people to the toilet every two to four hours or according to their toilet habits.
- Prompted voiding: Check for dryness and encourage use of the toilet.
- Improved access to toilets: Use equipment such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and devices that raise the seating level of toilets to make toileting easier.
- Managing fluids and diet: Eliminate dietary caffeine (for those with urge incontinence) and encourage adequate fiber in the diet.
- Disposable absorbent garments: Use these to keep people dry.
What measures can be taken at home to prevent overactive bladder symptoms?
There are simple steps that can reduce symptoms of overactive bladder. For example, caffeine may exacerbate urinary urgency and it is potentially an irritant to the bladder. Eliminating caffeine intake can diminish some of the symptoms of overactive bladder.
Some experts suggest that avoidance of certain foods such as chocolate, spicy foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and nuts can be beneficial in preventing symptoms of overactive bladder. Others encourage increasing the amount of fiber in diet for people with overactive bladder. Limiting fluid intake can also help to reduce urinary frequency.
Excess weight can put more pressure on the bladder, causing urinary incontinence. Therefore, weight loss can also help with urinary incontinence in general.
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