Overactive bladder (OAB), also known as urge incontinence, can create awkward and uncomfortable moments. The condition occurs when the bladder spasms and contracts, and the urge to urinate can hit you when you least want or expect it. It can cause anxiety, discomfort, not to mention inconvenience.
OAB can be aggravated by diet, pregnancy, being overweight, diabetes, age, and diuretics, among other factors. Let’s look at some ways to minimize the effects of this condition:
1. What you eat and drink affects your bladder directly. If you drink a lot of water, cut down – but not too much. You still need some water intake, otherwise the urine becomes too concentrated and will irritate your bladder. You don’t want to become dehydrated either. Consult your doctor or urologist to figure out the right amount of daily water for you.
2. Caffeine and alcohol can be problematic too. Have coffee only in the morning, and limit your consumption of caffeinated or carbonated drinks as much as possible. If you can eliminate those altogether, so much the better! As for alcohol, it can wreak havoc on the neurological signals sent from the brain to the bladder. Best avoided.
3. Spicy or acidic foods can irritate the lining of the bladder in the same way caffeine does, so try to stay away from those as well.
4. There are some quick and fairly easy Kegel exercises you can do that will strengthen your pelvic muscles and help you control them more effectively.
5. Carl Capelouto, MD of Georgia Urologysuggests scheduling bathroom breaks before you actually need to go. “Urinate before you have the urge, so you don’t have an accident,” he says. “You can’t leak if your bladder is empty.”
A specialist at Georgia Urology can discuss with you how to treat and manage your condition. Call 888.503.1842 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Atlanta area locations.