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All about Overactive Bladder

Dr. K.S Shiva Kumar 88% (387 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Urology
Urologist, Bangalore  •  22 years experience
All about Overactive Bladder

A problem pertaining to the storage function of the bladder that results in bouts of sudden, often uncontrollable urge to urinate is referred to as an overactive bladder. This condition which is marked by unconditioned or involuntary loss of urine can sometimes be quite difficult to stop. People who experience such a condition often feel humiliated and as such tend to limit their social and work life. Despite such, only a few are conscious that a brief evaluation can help them manage and overcome an overactive bladder.

Mechanism of Urination

During urination, the urine proceeds from the bladder and flows into the urethra which is located at the tip of the penis in men and above the vagina in women. As the bladder fills, the nerve signals in the brain prompts urination by coordinating the relaxation and contraction of the urinary sphincter muscles.

Causes and Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder

Primarily caused due to involuntary contraction and relaxation of sphincter muscles, several conditions can lead to overactive bladder. 

Some of them are: 
1. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders
2. Poor kidney function due to diabetes
3. Medications that lead to increased production of urine
4. Bladder abnormalities like tumors or stones

5. Constipation
6. Excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol

Some of the common signs of an overactive bladder are:
1. Bouts of sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate
2. Awakening at night frequently to urinate
3. Urinating more than eight times a day

Risks
The risk of an overactive bladder gradually increases with age. Conditions, such as diabetes and an enlarged prostate results in the increased likelihood of an overactive bladder. People who have previously faced strokes and heart attacks experience cognitive decline, which often times lead to the development of an overactive bladder.

Urinary incontinence as well as a host of associated factors can be detrimental to your life. Emotional distress, interrupted sleep cycles and depression are some of the observed complications of this condition.

Thus if you experience or entertain suspicion of an overactive bladder, you should consider visiting a general physician who might refer you to a specialist, if need be.

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