Manage an Overactive Bladder with the Following Behavioral Strategies
Overactive bladder (AOB) is not technically defined as a disease but as a term or name for a group of urinary symptoms. It is a common urologic condition affecting up to 33 million men and women in the United States, but the number may be higher since many people won’t get help because they are embarrassed. Overactive bladder is characterized by a frequent and sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control, leading to accidents. You may isolate yourself or limit your work and social life due to an overactive bladder. However, a brief evaluation by your urologist Mount Vernon can determine if your overactive bladder has a specific cause. Even better, you can manage symptoms of an overactive bladder with the following behavioral strategies.
Unfortunately, many people with an overactive bladder may resist drinking enough water due to the fear of an increased urge to urinate. However, it is best to drink enough fluids because dehydration can impact various urologic conditions and worsen them. For example, without enough fluids, your urine becomes concentrated, irritating the bladder lining and increasing the urge to urinate. It may seem counterintuitive, but dehydration also shrinks the size of your bladder, reducing the amount of urine you can hold. Over time, the severity of your overactive bladder increases, and you may experience more accidents. Drinking enough fluids also helps preserve the bladder and pelvic floor muscles.
Limit fluid intake
Although this may seem contradictory to the above statement, limiting your fluid intake helps reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t hydrate; make water your primary drink. Additionally, taking small sips throughout the day is best to avoid overstressing your bladder; this helps you avoid sudden bouts of urgency in undesirable circumstances. Other fluids such as alcohol, tea, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and citrus juice might irritate your bladder and worsen your symptoms.
Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Your pelvic muscles help support the bladder and control urine that flows through the urethra. Strengthening these muscles is one of the best overactive bladder management methods. Incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine can be helpful; Kegels are a great option since you can do them anywhere and anytime. Activities such as bridges and squats can also help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. A physical therapist may help, especially if you are unsure whether you are performing these exercises correctly. Biofeedback can help you learn how to target your pelvic floor muscles and get the most out of your efforts.
Give up smoking
Overactive bladder is among the many urologic conditions that are impacted by smoking. Smoking affects the health of your blood vessels and reduces the oxygen and nutrient supply in your bladder. Over time, the health of your bladder muscles declines due to oxygen deprivation. Quitting smoking can minimize some of the symptoms associated with overactive bladder, especially in younger individuals between 20 and 49 years.
If you need help managing an overactive bladder, visit your specialist at Bellingham Urology Group.