If you experience one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, there’s a pretty good chance you have an overactive bladder. Keep reading to learn more.
10. You Have to Go All the Time
Do you urinate eight or more times a day? If you do, there is a pretty good chance you have an overactive bladder.
There are two reasons you might have to go all the time, “Either the nerves that provide information about sensation [sensory nerves] receive, or think they receive, information about being full or irritated; or the nerves that send signals to the muscle of the bladder are too active and the muscle contracts.” Thomas Gregory, a urogynecologist at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, says.
9. You Wake Up Often to Go
It’s perfectly normal to wake up at night to go to the bathroom, but if you find yourself waking up two or more times a night, you could have an overactive bladder. Using the restroom often at night could also be indicative of a more serious condition, like diabetes, poor kidney function, congestive heart failure, or sleep apnea. With that said, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a visit with a urologist if you find yourself waking up often at night to urinate.
8. You Feel the Need to Go Even Though You Just Went
Do you ever get up to use the bathroom, and then return to whatever activity you were doing, and not more than five minutes later, you feel like you have to go again? If so, it could mean that you suffer from an overactive bladder. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help this problem. You can use your brain and emotions to retrain your bladder to delay urination when you feel the urge to go. You could also perform pelvic floor exercises to help control your bladder muscles.
7. Not Much Comes Out When You Do Go
If you frequently find yourself going but not much comes out, you might have an overactive bladder.
“The sudden urge to urinate occurs because the muscles of the bladder start to contract involuntarily, even when the amount of urine in the bladder is low,” Aisha Khalali Taylor, a urologist at Magee-Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), told TheHealthy.com. “This involuntary contraction makes women feel an urgent need to urinate, which signals OAB, as the bladder lining becomes ‘hypersensitive’ to the smallest volumes of urine.”
6. You Have Accidents
If you have “accidents” often or even if it’s only a few drops, an overactive bladder may be to blame. And, get this: specific triggers can bring on these accidents. They include touching or hearing running water, being in a cold environment, or drinking a small amount of liquid. To help cut down on your accidents, keep track of those triggers by writing them down in a journal or diary. Then you can take your journal entries with you the next time you go to the doctor to give your physician a better understanding of your condition.
5. You Get Sudden Urges to Go
We’ve all had to do the “pee-pee dance” when we’ve had to go bad and couldn’t get to a restroom quick enough. But, if you’re doing this dance regularly, even though several empty bathrooms are available, it might be due to overactive bladder. This is especially true in older women, whose bladders experience spasms at inconvenient times. The same is true for women who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
4. You’re Not Experiencing Any Blood, Pain, or Burning Sensations During Urination
One way to tell that you’re experiencing overactive bladder and not something more serious is the absence of blood, pain, or a burning sensation during urination. If you are experiencing any of these things, it could be due to a urinary tract infection (UTI), sexually transmitted infection (STI), bladder stones, or kidney stones. If this is the case, you need to seek medical attention right away. If these symptoms are absent, then it is likely nothing more than an overactive bladder.
3. Certain Foods and Drinks Make Symptoms Worse
Did you know that consuming sugar, caffeine, alcohol and spicy or acidic foods can make overactive bladder symptoms much worse? Yep, it’s true. For example, caffeine and alcohol both act as a diuretic. Alcohol causes more urine to be filtered through the kidneys, thereby increasing urine production and the feeling of overactive bladder. Not only does caffeine produce this same effect, but it also makes the bladder more sensitive by lowering the threshold at which a bladder contraction will occur.
Here are some trigger foods and drinks to look out for:
FYI, some drugs used to treat other conditions can also make your symptoms worse. These include diuretics or water pills, sedatives, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, estrogen pills, NSAID pain relievers, and over-the-counter cold medicines.
2. You’re Constipated
Have you ever noticed an increased need to urinate whenever you’re constipated? Well, there might be something to that. According to DuPage Medical Group, constipation may contribute to overactive bladder. In fact, several studies have shown that an overactive bladder is closely associated with constipation. When that is the case, the only way to improve your symptoms is to treat constipation. “Thus, at the time of diagnosis, constipation should always be considered,” an article published a few years ago in International Neurourology Journal reads.
1. You’re Always Looking for a Bathroom
If you suffer from overactive bladder, you will always be on the hunt for the nearest restroom.
According to TheHealthy.com, “you may become reluctant to be in public situations where you’re unsure if there will be a bathroom readily available.”
This, unfortunately, can affect your quality of life. You may want to consider talking with your doctor if you feel that your quality of life is being affected. And, while many people who suffer from the overactive bladder are often embarrassed to talk about it, doing so with their healthcare provider can help a lot. Luckily, there are many treatments available. Not only that, but the sooner you address your condition, the sooner you can get back to enjoying your life. Do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with your doctor today. You won’t regret it!