The bladder is a hollow muscle that stores urine and then contracts to empty itself. Nerves in the bladder sense as it fills, sending signals to the brain. During normal function, the bladder alerts the brain before it gets full, giving a person time to get to the restroom. OAB occurs when signals between the bladder and the brain are disrupted, resulting in frequent and false warnings that the bladder is full or warnings that come too late for a person to reach the restroom in time.
What causes Overactive Bladder?
OAB happens when the signals between the bladder and the brain are disrupted in some way. There are a number of reasons why OAB may occur:
- medication side effects
- urinary tract infection or bladder irritation
- pregnancy or recent childbirth
- neurological disease, like Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis
- inflammation of the prostate in men
- nerve damage caused by surgery, injury or disease (like diabetes)
Beaumont doctors engage with patients in a thorough and evaluative manner to get to the reasons for overactive bladder. This process begins with an appointment with a Beaumont doctor, who will guide you through the diagnostic process in understanding the causes behind your overactive bladder.
What are the symptoms of Overactive Bladder?
The most common symptoms of OAB are:
- frequent and intense urge to urinate, even when your bladder is empty
- frequent urination (more than eight times a day)
- urinating only a few drops with a full-feeling bladder
- nocturia: frequent interruption of sleep to use the restroom
- urinal leakage before you reach the restroom
- involuntary bladder contractions that confuse the brain into thinking the bladder is full
- little to no warning when your bladder is full
- lifestyle changes due to anxiety about urination (fear of being seated in public, fear of taking car trips)
Symptoms of OAB may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Treatment of Overactive Bladder
There are many treatments available from lifestyle management to surgical procedures that can help manage symptoms and treat overactive bladder.