What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition marked by frequent and sudden urges to urinate. The National Association for Continence states that approximately 33 million American adults experience symptoms of OAB.
What are the Symptoms of OAB?
Do you feel like you’re always rushing to the bathroom? Do you find yourself waking up multiple times a night to urinate? There are many indications of an overactive bladder. Here are some of the most common:
- An intense urge to urinate
- Constantly visiting the bathroom for only a small amount of urine
- Waking up regularly during the night to use the bathroom
- Accidental leakage due to the inability to hold urine
Discussing your symptoms with a specialized physician will help determine your best treatment option. Several options exist, ranging from medications and surgical procedures to traditional and alternative methods.
Popular Overactive Bladder Treatment Options
- Bladder control medicine, such as antispasmodics, can help calm an overactive bladder and reduce symptoms. These drugs work by blocking the nerve impulses that cause bladder contractions.
- Surgery, such as bladder enlargement, can be an option for those with severe cases of OAB. This procedure entails creating a larger bladder capacity to reduce the urgency and frequency of urination.
- InterStim therapy is a form of sacral nerve stimulation. It involves the placement of a small device under the skin in the lower back that sends mild electrical impulses to the sacral nerves to regulate bladder function.
- Natural remedies for OAB include lifestyle changes, such as modifying your diet, practicing pelvic muscle exercises, and bladder training. Herbs like ginger and marshmallow root may also help reduce symptoms.
Whether it be medications, surgery, InterStim therapy, or natural remedies, each option has its pros and cons and level of efficacy.
Natural Treatment for Overactive Bladder
While medication and surgery are popular treatment options, some individuals prefer to try natural solutions to manage their symptoms. Here are some of the most common, natural remedies for overactive bladder:
- Diet and Hydration: Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods and drinking enough water can help improve bladder function.
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises: Kegel exercises can strengthen the muscles that manage urination and improve bladder control.
- Bladder Training: Scheduling bathroom visits can help retrain the bladder and reduce frequency and urgency.
- Antispasmodic properties to reduce bladder contractions
- Traditional Japanese remedy for incontinence and frequent urination
Buchu (Barosma betulina)
- Native to South Africa
- Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties to improve bladder control
- Found in hot peppers
- Blocks substance P to reduce bladder contractions
- Pain-relieving effect for bladder pain or discomfort
Note that the success of these natural remedies varies depending on the severity of an individual’s symptoms. Sometimes they may not provide enough relief, and other treatments may be necessary.
InterStim Therapy: A Technological Approach
You may have heard about InterStim as a treatment option. But what is InterStim, and how does it work?
InterStim is an innovative solution for those with urinary and bowel dysfunction. It harnesses the power of sacral nerve stimulation to bring relief. This treatment process involves the placement of a device, no larger than a stopwatch, in the lower back region, which then sends gentle electrical signals to the sacral nerves to control bladder function.
The advantages of InterStim therapy include its efficacy and that it’s less invasive than surgery. There are also disadvantages, such as the risk of infection and device malfunction.
According to a study, the success rate of InterStim for overactive bladder ranges from 50-80%. However, individual results may vary. Consult a physician to determine if InterStim is the best choice for your case.
Determining Your Best Options for Treating OAB
Tips to consider when choosing a treatment option:
- Understand the severity of symptoms: Knowing your signs can help you choose the right therapy. For example, if your symptoms are mild, natural remedies and bladder training may be sufficient. But if your symptoms are severe, InterStim therapy or medications may be more appropriate.
- Personal preferences and lifestyle: Your lifestyle should play a role in your treatment decision. Natural remedies may be a good fit if you want a non-invasive option, but if you’re looking for a quick solution, InterStim therapy may be more appropriate.
- Consulting your physician: Consult a physician before starting any treatment for OAB. They can help you understand your options and determine the best course based on your case.
Find Out More About Overactive Bladder and Consult with a Physician
Determining the best treatment option for OAB requires careful reflection and consultation with a physician. With so many choices, finding the right solution can be daunting.
Our network of healthcare providers is committed to helping you control your bladder and your life. Forget searching through endless websites and medical journals. We offer personalized support and guidance right at your fingertips. Contact us today and a medical concierge will reach out to you. You can also reach us by filling out a urinary incontinence self-assessment. Everyone deserves a confident, healthy life. Don’t let OAB control you any longer.