There’s nothing worse than being out in public or in a meeting and suddenly, without warning, you have to pee! Having an overactive bladder can cause a person to use the bathroom more frequently than most and can cause urine to leak out.
This condition is normally caused by a miscommunication between the brain and the bladder, causing a strong urge to urinate. There are things you can do to alleviate your symptoms and live more of your life outside of the bathroom.
If you are unsure if you have an overactive bladder, here some signs to look for that are out of the ordinary. A person with the condition will urinate more than eight times per day and have unexpected, uncontrollable urges to urinate. Many people with the condition will also experience nocturia, which is waking up during their sleep at least one to two times per sleep period to pee.
Aside from urinating more frequently, when the urge to use the restroom hits, some people will leak urine, which is known as urge incontinence. Only about one-third of people with an overactive bladder experience urge incontinence.
Although a doctor can help you manage symptoms, there are also some things you can do at home. Simple lifestyle changes can reduce your frequency of urination and help you live life more comfortably. If you are carrying around excess weight, it can put more pressure on your bladder. By maintaining a healthy weight, you’ll have fewer urges.
Certain foods and drinks can also stimulate or decrease the bladder function. If you have an overactive bladder, limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Both of these substances stimulate the bladder, increasing your urge to urinate. You should also avoid excess fluids before bedtime to get a full night’s rest without waking up to use the bathroom.
Adding more fiber to your diet can also help. Fiber reduces the risk of constipation and also decreases overactive bladder symptoms. Last but not least, if you are a smoker, quitting can help. Smokers are more at risk for overactive bladder as the smoke irritates the bladder, causing them to urinate more frequently.