Underactive Bladder-Also a Quality of Life Condition

No one can listen to T.V. or watch their Internet screen without hearing about overactive bladder or OAB. However, and equally serious and common bladder condition is underactive bladder or lazy bladder. This condition is characterized by urinary symptoms such as hesitancy of urination, straining to urinate, and incomplete bladder emptying.

An underactive bladder is a chronic disease where the bladder holds large amounts of urine, yet the individual cannot feel when the bladder is full, nor does the bladder muscle contrct sufficiently for the bladder to empty completely.

Risk factors for under active bladder are damage to the nerves that go from the back to the bladder, diabetes, pelvic surgery which may cause injury to the bladder nerves, changes caused by aging, diabetes, urinary tract infections, medications that cause the bladder muscle to relax. Examples of these medications include anti-depressants, antihistamines, and bladder muscle relaxants, and spinal cord injuries.

Underactive bladder has no known cure. The management focuses on reduction of the residual urine or the amount of of urine left in the bladder after voiding, avoidance of over distention of the bladder, and protecting the kidneys from damage.

At the present time the treatments for underactive bladder include medications, scheduled voiding by the clock, i.e., going to the restroom every 2-3 hours whether you feel that you have to empty the bladder or not, double voiding, and intermittent catherization where a small tube is inserted through the urethra into the bladder and drain the bladder and the tube is removed and discarded. This is usually done 3-4 times a day depending upon the amount of fluids consumed.

For more information go to http://www.underactivebladder.org

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