Tips for coping with an overactive bladder

Feb 24, 2012, 8:13 a.m.

Drip. Drip. Drip. That's the sound of an overactive bladder. If you have an overactive bladder, you are not alone. According to the National Association for Continence, roughly 17 percent of women and 16 percent of men over the age of 18 have an overactive bladder. Unfortunately, it's also a sign that you're getting older.

Overactive bladder causes include high urine production, high fluid intake, diabetes, poor kidney function, tumors in the bladder, bladder stones, enlarged prostate, excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, certain medications, neurological conditions, and an acute urinary tract infection. Feeling a sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate, involuntary loss of urine, frequent urination, and waking up at night two or more times to urinate are all overactive bladder symptoms.

Tips for coping with an overactive bladder

Because an overactive bladder can impact the quality of life for those who suffer from it (not to mention it helps support the toilet paper industry), it behooves you to learn as many tips for coping with an overactive bladder as possible.

1) Monitor fluid intake. Do you think a GPS system for restrooms would be the greatest thing since sliced bread? If so, watch you're fluid intake, so you don't have to be obsessed with the nearest bathroom.

2) Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol may help you temporarily forget about your overactive bladder, but it's a diuretic, which will increase your urination frequency and urge to urinate. Yep, caffeine works the same way.

3) Wear overactive absorbent pads and underwear. No one has to know your wearing Depends. Today's absorbent pads are less bulky and more discreet.

4) Perform Kegel exercises. These exercise can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and are believed to help individuals who have mild to moderate overactive bladder symptoms. Just don't do them in public!

5) Keep yourself regular. When your bowels are full, it can press on your bladder making your overactive bladder symptoms seem worse. Add fiber to your diet to ensure that you avoid being constipated.

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