Posts Tagged ‘urinary frequency’

Mind Over Bladder-Stress Reduction Used To Treat Overactive Bladder*

June 28, 2014

Overactive bladder (OAB) or when you gotta go, you gotta go affects millions of American men and women. OAB is a condition that significantly impacts the quality of life of those who suffer from this problem.

Now there is evidence that relaxing the mind may be helpful when it comes to reducing bladder urge issues, according to a new study completed at the University of Utah. Thirty women participated in an eight-week study and were followed for one year comparing the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) with yoga on urinary urge incontinence, a challenge faced by as many as 26 percent of women in the United States.

Those affected may experience large, unpredictable leakage of urine which can be psychologically and socially devastating.

Older women are often the ones experiencing this incontinence, though it’s not clear why. Weaker muscles and neurological elements are likely the culprit. Medications are effective initially but not long-term and can have bothersome side effects.

Twelve months after participating in the study, the women who studied mindfulness-based stress reduction had 66.7 percent fewer urinary urge incontinence episodes compared with the control group, which saw only 16.7 percent reduction at that time. It may help to help calm the mind so the emotional area of the brain is not activated and thus allows the person to learn to reframe the normal urge sensations from their bladder.

More study is needed and the next step for researchers is to secure a National Institutes of Health grant to conduct the study on a larger group of women in the next several years.

Bottom Line: Learning techniques of stress reduction may be helpful for those who suffer from overactive bladder.

*this blog was inspired by an article in WebMD which appeared at: http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/news/20090508/mind-over-bladder-may-lessen-leaks

Urine Incontinence — It’s Nothing to Sneeze At

January 17, 2014

One of life’s most embarrassing experiences is not being able to control your urination and soiling your clothes forcing you to leave any situation where you are engaged with others. It is one of the last medical conditions to remain in the closet as many men and women fail to seek medical attention for this common problem.
This blog will discuss the 4 types of urinary incontinence and what treatment options are available for this common problem.

Urge Incontinence occurs in women with an overactive bladder who may not be able to get to the toilet in time to prevent leakage, even though they tighten up all of their pelvic muscles, because they can’t control the bladder and keep urine in. Overactive bladder that leads to urge incontinence affects about 17 percent of women, but it increases to over 50 percent after menopause. Overactive bladder isn’t a normal part of aging.

Stress incontinence is a much more common type of incontinence. Menopause contributes to this problem, but stretching and tearing of the pelvic muscles during childbirth definitely sets the stage. The reduced muscle tone causes the urethra to sag. When pressure builds up in the abdomen from a cough, sneeze, laugh, jump or lift, internal organs put pressure on the bladder and a small amount of urine may escape.

Overflow incontinence occurs when more urine collects in the bladder than the bladder can hold and the excess urine leaks out. It can be caused by blockage of the urinary tract or nerve damage caused by conditions such as diabetes, stroke, or injury.

Functional incontinence is not really a problem with the urinary tract. It happens to people who can’t move quickly, who have eye problems or who suffer from confusion or memory loss. They simply can’t get to the bathroom in time.

Certain prescription drugs such as diuretics and some tranquilizers, and smoking and eating spicy foods or artificial sweeteners, or drinking alcohol and caffeine can irritate the bladder and worsen incontinence.

Mixed incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence.

Today, there are many more options to consider, from medications, pelvic floor physical therapy, and surgery. The first step is to have a work up to diagnose the underlying problem so that an appropriate treatment plan can be put into place. Sometimes more than one treatment is needed.
Treatment options include:
1. Bladder training — This approach teaches you to urinate only at scheduled times and waiting longer between trips to the bathroom. Start by going to the bathroom every 30 to 60 minutes while you are awake, even if you don’t have to go. After about one week, slowly increase the time interval by 30 minutes every week.

2. Kegel exercises — Dr. Arnold Kegel, a gynecologist at the University of Southern California, developed the exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles in 1948. Kegel exercises are often the first line of treatment for the millions of women in the U.S. suffering from unexpected bladder leakage due to coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. This if defined as stress incontinence but many women experience frustration because they unknowingly don’t perform the Kegels effectively, which leads to no improvement in symptoms. Most men or women need to do the exercises for 3-6 months before any changes will occur.

3. Pelvic Floor Electrical Stimulation with Biofeedback Therapy — This treatment uses computer graphs and sounds you can hear to show you which muscles you are exercising so you can perfect the exercises. Physical therapists and other professionals specially trained in problems related to women’s health teach exercises for the pelvic floor, trunk, back and extremities that can help strengthen the pelvic muscles and improve bladder control. The physical therapist may use devices that use mild, comfortable, electrical stimulation to train the bladder muscles when and how to squeeze.

4. InTone is a new FDA listed Class II Medical Device for home use that has been shown to effectively strengthen the pelvic floormuscles and helps to prevent embarrassing leakage without surgery or medication and can be done in the privacy of home. InTone is like a personal trainer for Kegel exercises.

5. Medications — Estrogen can be very helpful in improving the symptoms of some cases of incontinence. Studies have demonstrated improvement in 40- 70 percent of women. I have found that estrogen cream (one fourth to half an applicator) works better than either tablets or patches for this particular problem. Medications called smooth muscle relaxants (examples are oxybutynin and tolterodine) can also help if the problem is caused by abnormal bladder contractions.

6. Pessaries — These donut-like plastic or rubber rings are similar to a diaphragm used for birth control. They are fit into the vagina to lift and offer added support for the bladder when the pelvic muscles are weak.

7. Surgery — There are many operations that have been developed to support the bladder and improve or correct incontinence. Women don’t need to have a hysterectomy in order to control urinary incontinence. Most of these operations for incontinence can be performed as one-day surgeries.

8. Botox– If you don’t respond to oral medications, you may be a candidate for Botox injections directly into the bladder muscle. This, too, can be done as a one-day stay procedure and usually produces relief of symptoms of frequency of urination and urgency of urination with urge incontinence

Bottom Line: Women don’t have to suffer in silence. Successful treatment options are available and most women can be helped and made more comfortable and reduce their embarrassment.

When Your Bladder Ruins a Good Night’s Sleep-Taming the Overactive Bladder

August 19, 2011

Nothing ruins a good night’s sleep more than getting up multiple times to empty your bladder. Often those millions of American men and women are exhausted in the morning because their sleep was interrupted to many times. Now there’s a few steps you can take to tame that overactive bladder.

For the approximately 16% of people over the age of 18 who have an overactive bladder (OAB), getting up two or more times a night can become a regular occurrence. Even if they make it to the bathroom in time, they wake up so often to urinate that they aren’t getting a good night’s sleep.
Generally, the amount of urine in our bodies decreases and becomes more concentrated at night, so we can sleep six or eight hours without having to get up to use the bathroom more than once. But many people with OAB have nocturia, the need to urinate several times a night, which interrupts their sleep cycles.
Even worse, there are some men and women who are particularly sound sleepers or can’t get out of bed fast enough can wind up with wet sheets.
Take these steps to prevent accidents from happening:
Limit your fluid intake before bedtime. Try not to drink any liquids after 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.
Avoid foods and beverages that can irritate your bladder. If you can’t cut them out entirely, skip them in the hours before bedtime to help prevent nocturia. That includes:
Caffeine, which is a diuretic, which increases urine output
Alcohol
Citrus juices
Cranberry juice — though it is touted as great for bladder health, it is actually an irritant if you have OAB
Spicy foods, like curries
Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and tomato sauces
Chocolate
Artificial sweeteners

Double-void before bed or urinate twice, right before bed. For example, you can go to the bathroom, then brush your teeth and go through the rest of your bedtime routine. Then, just before you’re about to lie down — even if you don’t feel like you have to go — try to urinate and see if you can squeeze out another tablespoon or so.

Do Kegel exercises. Done regularly, they help control an overactive bladder. They will trigger a reflex mechanism to relax the bladder. If you feel a tremendous urge to urinate, doing a Kegel before you run to the bathroom will help settle down the bladder spasm and help you hold it until you get there.
Kegels simply involve contracting and releasing the muscles around the opening of your urethra, just as you do when going to the bathroom. You can learn what a Kegel exercise feels like by starting, then stopping, your urine stream. Start with three sets of 8-12 contractions. Hold them for six to 10 seconds each and perform these three to four times per week.

OAB and Your Sex Life
OAB can interfere with sexual intimacy another important activity that takes place in the bed. There’s nothing that can shut down an intimate moment faster than realizing you’ve lost control of your bladder during sexual intimacy — something that happens for many people with OAB. About 15% of my patients report having incontinence during sex.

When you’re being intimate, you’re used to secretions and moistness, but the thought that it’s actually urine leakage is really upsetting and uncomfortable. Usually it’s the female patient who has the leakage, and it’s actually more bothersome for her than for her partner.

Tips for Getting Your Groove Back
There are some things you can do to ward off discomfort or embarrassment during sex.

Talk about it. First, know that your partner will probably be a lot more understanding than you expect. Then bring it up before you have intercourse. Plan and prepare for sex, just as you do for bedtime. Double-void, cut back on fluids, and avoid foods and beverages that are likely to irritate your bladder. This means passing up that romantic glass of wine to get you in the mood.

Keep up the Kegels. Doing these several times a day — and even during intercourse — will help prevent urine leakage during sex.
All of these approaches can help you manage your overactive bladder at night, letting you get a better night’s sleep and have a more active and satisfying sex life.
Bottom Line: An overactive bladder can wreck havoc with sleep, your sex life, and your entire life. I suggest you try these few self-help ideas. If they do not resolve the problem, then contact your doctor, urologist or gynecologist. Help is available. You don’t have to be embarrassed and tired because your overactive bladder is controlling your life.

This article has been modified from “Putting an Overactive Bladder to Bed-Insights for Good Sleep and Good Sex”
By Gina Shaw
http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/oab-11/sex-and-sleep

When You Gotta Go-Putting a Brake On The Overactive Bladder

August 18, 2011

You’ve seen the ads on T.V. and if you have an overactive bladder you can relate to those women who an intense urge to go to the restroom immediately and if you aren’t able to make it in time you will pee on yourself. This is a great source of embarrassment and can even make women social reclusive.
Urge incontinence occurs when an overactive bladder spasms or contracts at the wrong times. You may leak urine when you sleep or feel the need to pee after drinking a little water, even though you know your bladder isn’t full. This sensation can be a result of nerve damage or abnormal signals from the nerves to the brain. Medical conditions and certain medications — such as diuretics – can aggravate it.
Whatever the source, you don’t have to feel that your OAB symptoms are beyond your control or that they are controlling your life. In fact, you may be able to take control over them just by making some changes in your everyday behavior. Try these practical tips to get started.
Start by eliminating bladder irritants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. All of these irritate the bladder. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, meaning it causes you to urinate more. Cutting out the big three can be tough. Try these strategies:
Think about how much water you drink. This can be difficult in New Orleans where we lose so much water through sweating and we are thirsty and have to replenish the excess water loss. Drink plain water when you’re thirsty, from four to eight 8-ounce glasses a day. You’ll know you’re drinking enough if your urine is light yellow or almost colorless. Sip water throughout the day, instead of gulping down a lot at one time. If you take a diuretic, like Lasix or hydrochlorothiazide, try taking the diuretic in the morning. That way you should be able to empty your bladder by bedtime.

In addition to cutting down or eliminating alcohol and caffeine drinks, limiting other foods or beverages may help OAB. Try cutting back on:
Acidic foods and beverages, such as tomatoes, pineapple, and citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes
Salty foods, which can make you thirstier and make you drink more liquids
Spicy foods, such as chilies, which can irritate the bladder
Carbonated beverages, such as sodas or seltzer

It’s possible to retrain your bladder to hold more urine for longer periods of time. Better muscle control can also help. Ask your doctor for a specific plan and stick with it — it can take up to three months to see results. These strategies may be part of your plan:
Exercises that combat the overactive bladder. Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that hold up the bladder. They also help reconnect nerve impulse communication between the bladder and the brain. To do them, lie on your bed or the floor and squeeze the pelvic muscles as if you were trying to prevent passing gas from your rectum. Hold the contraction for a count of three; then relax for a count of three. Do Kegels three times a day for five minutes at a time.

Tension, diet, and being overweight can all contribute to urinary incontinence. The good news is that you can do something about all three:
Eat more vegetables and fiber. Fiber helps you avoid constipation, which may help reduce pressure on your bladder.
Reduce tension. Tense situations can make you to feel as if you need to pee Deep breathing exercises are one of the tools that can ease tension.
Exercise. If you’re overweight, losing weight will keep extra pounds from adding to the pressure on your bladder. Exercise may aggravate stress incontinence, though.
When you need to go, then go. Holding back too much can create other problems. For example, teachers and nurses may have bladder problems because they wait too long between bathroom breaks.

Bottom Line: Though urge incontinence is uncomfortable, it’s also very treatable. Changes in your lifestyle and habits can play a part in treating it.

This blog has been modified from: Urge Incontinence: Tips for Daily Life, By Louise Chang, MD

For the Golfer Who Has It All-His Bladder Will Also Say Thank You For The Uro-Club

June 29, 2011

This may sound like a joke, but it’s not. A Board Certified Urologist, practicing in Florida, a place where golf is played year round developed this novel solution that impacts so many men on the golf course.  Urinary frequency (a condition that can begin in men, as early as their mid 30’s, and usually due to prostate enlargement) is something that can change the quality of man’s life. Even if you don’t have this problem, let’s face it, there are not too many bathrooms on the golf course.

These are the very patients that inspired the urologist to create the UroClub™.  A camouflaged portable urinal, designed to be discrete, sanitary and create an air of privacy! It looks like an ordinary golf club and comes equipped with a unique removable golf towel clipped to the shaft that functions as a privacy shield!  Not even your closest partner will know for sure what you are doing!

Imagine, giving the appearance of taking a practice swing with your “putter”, while both privately and confidentially, you are able to relieve yourself and your bladder without any embarrassment! This can be accomplished easily while standing by the golf cart and even at the concession stand so you can buy another beer, as well. Have the confidence to drink whatever you wish during your game and not worry if you’ll make it to the clubhouse in time!

 

Bottom Line: I don’t play golf and I haven’t tried the UroClub but I think it sounds like a unique approach to a problem that affects so many middle age golfers.  This club could keep you out of the “woods”!  Fore!*

* a warning during a golf game when it appears possible that a golf ball may hit other players or spectators

Want To Tame That Overactive Bladder? Here’s 10 Food Groups to Avoid

June 20, 2011

1. Avoid citrus juices like oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple

These fruits are highly acidic and irritate the bladder.

2. Avoid Chocolate

Chocolate contains caffeine, a substance that irritates the bladder.

3. Avoid: Caffeine containing beverages such as Coffee and black tea

Caffeine is a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more often, and the caffeine stimulates the bladder. Even decaf versions have this effect. That’s because decaffeinated coffee and tea are seldom caffeine-free.  Herbal teas are without caffeine and are not bladder irritating.

4. Avoid: Hot sauce, chili peppers, wasabi

Spicy nachos, hot peppers, jambalaya, kabobs, and curries are significant bladder irritants.

5. Avoid: Sugar and honey

Sugars tend to stimulate the bladder. Know that for some people, even artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) are bladder irritants.  Good news: Stevia is a natural sweetener that does not irritate the bladder.

6. Avoid Tomatoes

Tomatoes, like citrus fruits, are acidic; hence their bladder-irritating quality.

7. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol interferes with brain signals that tell you when to “go.” It’s also a dehydrator and a diuretic that makes you need to go to the bathroom more.

8. Avoid milk and cheese

Different dairy products tend to affect people differently. For some, all dairy is a bladder-baddie. Others are bothered only by very rich and creamy milk products, such as cream cheese, sour cream, or aged cheeses.

9. Avoid Energy drinks

These drinks are very high in caffeine, which bothers the bladder.

10. Avoid Carbonated Drinks

Quenching your thirst with a carbonated beverage (colas, other flavors, fizzy water, seltzer) is counterproductive if you have an overactive bladder. The carbonation is a bladder trigger, an effect that’s intensified if the drink also contains caffeine. You may consider drinking straight water or one of the flavored vitamin waters.

Now I’ve told you what to avoid.  How about what to add to your diet?  Numero Uno is good, ol’ water.   If you drink too little (fewer than about eight cups a day), urine becomes concentrated, which can cause even more bladder irritation.

Bottom Line: There are so many foods and fluids that cause bladder irritability.  I suggest you look at your diet and see if you are consuming too many of these foods and fluids that exacerbate your condition.  Your bladder will thank you!