As we age, it's quite common to experience various changes in our bodies. One of these changes that affect a significant number of individuals is an overactive bladder (OAB). This condition, which is characterised by the sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate, can significantly impede daily activities and overall quality of life. Although it can seem challenging, taking control of an overactive bladder is possible. This article provides some methods to control an overactive bladder based on UK information.
Understanding Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder causes a sudden urge to urinate that might be hard to control. This urgency can lead to frequent visits to the loo, especially at night, impacting your sleep and overall well-being. In the UK, approximately 12-14% of adults suffer from an overactive bladder, making it a widespread condition.
Behavioural changes often serve as the first line of defence in managing an overactive bladder.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Also known as Kegel exercises, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help manage an overactive bladder. These muscles control your bladder, and by strengthening them, you could reduce urinary incontinence. To perform Kegels, tighten the muscles you'd use to stop urinating midstream, hold for a few seconds, and then relax.
Bladder training involves increasing the intervals between feeling the urge to urinate and going to the loo. You start with small intervals, like ten minutes, and gradually increase the time as you gain more control.
Medication and Other Treatments
Antimuscarinics are a group of medications used to treat an overactive bladder. These medications block specific nerve impulses in your bladder, relaxing the bladder muscles and increasing its capacity. Common antimuscarinics in the UK include tolterodine and oxybutynin.
Mirabegron is a beta-3 agonist available in the UK, offering an alternative for those who cannot take antimuscarinics. It works by relaxing the bladder muscles, increasing its ability to hold urine and reducing symptoms.
Lifestyle changes can significantly improve symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Watch Your Diet
Certain foods and drinks can irritate your bladder, such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and citrus fruits. Reducing the intake of these items can help control bladder urges.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Extra weight can put pressure on your bladder, making symptoms of an overactive bladder worse. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can alleviate some of these symptoms.
The Role of Private Urologists
Dealing with an overactive bladder can be challenging, but you don't have to face it alone. In the UK, the Urocare Private Urologist service offers professional help. They can guide you through various treatments, both non-invasive and surgical, and offer expert advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
Living with an overactive bladder can be challenging, but with the right help and techniques, you can take back control. Behavioural techniques, medications, lifestyle changes, and professional guidance, like that offered by the Urocare Private Urologist service, can pave the way towards a less intrusive and more manageable life with an overactive bladder. It's crucial to keep in mind that each individual is unique, and what may be effective for one person might not yield the same results for another. However, perseverance and professional help can make a world of difference in managing this common condition.