Overactive bladder that reduces quality of life, manage it this wayㅣDr. Esther

Esther Essay
If you go to the bathroom often, be suspicious of 'this'

 

Have you ever woken up frequently at night to urinate, or felt embarrassed by a sudden, intolerable urge to urinate? In this case, an 'overactive bladder may be suspected.

What is an overactive bladder?

If you do not have a urinary tract infection or other diseases, and you want to urinate, you are accompanied by symptoms such as the urge to urinate and urinate more than 8 times a day, it is called 'overactive bladder. Overactive bladder can interfere with daily life in various forms, including frequent urination and poor quality of life due to lack of sleep and psychologically causing depression and shame.

What Causes Overactive Bladder? 

Although the cause of overactive bladder is not known, it is known that it can be caused by excessive water intake, drug side effects, hormone deficiency, constipation, diabetes, etc.

What is the difference between cystitis and an overactive bladder? 

This overactive bladder is often confused with cystitis because its symptoms are similar. However, cystitis differs from the overactive bladder in that the bladder becomes inflamed due to a bacterial infection. Therefore, an overactive bladder is diagnosed through urinalysis, etc. after confirming whether there is a urinary tract infection if there is no urinary tract infection, a urination diary, a urodynamics test that measures the amount of urine and the rate of urine flow, etc.

How to treat an overactive bladder? 

When an overactive bladder is diagnosed, behavioral therapy and drug therapy are first performedFirst, in the case of behavioral therapy, 'Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles or intentionally hold back urine are used to go to the bathroom. For drug treatment, anticholinergic agents that inhibit the action of parasympathetic nerves are used most often, and drugs are injected directly into the bladder.

 

When behavioral therapy and drug therapy do not respond, surgical treatment such as 'sacral nerve manipulation', which applies electrical stimulation to the urethral nerve that controls the bladder, and 'bladder volume enlargement' to increase bladder capacity, may be considered.

How to prevent an overactive bladder? 

In fact, there is no specific way to prevent overactive bladder, but you can reduce the risk with lifestyle changes. For example, avoiding drinks that stimulate the bladder or cause diuresis in daily life, such as alcohol, coffee, and soda, can help prevent an overactive bladder.

 

People with overactive bladder may also find it helpful to reduce fluid intake after dinner and eat foods that are known to support bladder health, such as pumpkin seeds and beans. 

Today, I introduced what is overactive bladder, its causes, and its treatment. Bladder disease can be treated in urology, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and family medicine departments and can be resolved through steady management.

 

This concludes this week's demand clinic. thank you

Esther Yeo, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University