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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Chronic/Pain Conditions  >>    Overactive Bladder

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses if having symptoms is normal.  The answer is NO.  

Having Overactive Bladder is not fun and seems to be depicted as a normal part of aging.  This couldn't be farther from the truth.

When you are ready to solve this condition without all the medications and surgeries, Dr. Huntoon is here for you.

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Overactive Bladder

With overactive bladder, you have many strong, sudden urges to urinate during the day and night. You can get these urges even when you have only a little bit of urine in your bladder. You may not be able to hold your urine until you get to the bathroom. This can lead to urine leakage, called incontinence.

Overactive bladder is very common in older adults. Both men and women can have it, but it's more common in women.

Overactive bladder is a kind of urge incontinence. But not everyone with overactive bladder leaks urine.

Even without incontinence, overactive bladder can make it hard to do the things you enjoy. The need to drop everything and race to the bathroom can disrupt your life. And if you leak, even if it's only a little bit, it can be embarrassing.

Overactive bladder can cause other problems too. Hurrying to the bathroom can lead to falls and broken bones. Overactive bladder can also cause sleeping problems, depression, and urinary tract infections.

Many people are too shy to talk about their bladder problems. But overactive bladder can get better with treatment. Don't be afraid to talk with your doctor about how to control your overactive bladder.

Symptoms

An urgent need to urinate.

The need to urinate often.

Waking up to urinate 2 or more times a night.

The need to urinate even if you have just gone to the bathroom.

Taking many trips to the bathroom only to urinate just a little bit each time.

Leaking urine when you have the urge to urinate.

You may have some or all of these symptoms.

Causes

Overactive bladder is caused by an overactive muscle in the bladder that pushes urine out. There are many things that can make this muscle overactive. It can be caused by a bladder infection, stress, or another medical problem. Some brain problems, such as Parkinson's disease or a stroke, can also lead to overactive bladder. But in many cases, doctors don't know what causes it.

Some medicines can cause overactive bladder. Talk with your doctor about the medicines you're taking to find out if they could affect your bladder. But don't stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.

What Increases Your Risk

Sometimes several things combine to cause urinary incontinence. For example, a woman may have had multiple childbirths, be older, and have a severe cough because of chronic bronchitis or smoking. All of these might contribute to her incontinence problem.

Physical conditions that make urinary incontinence more likely include:

Pregnancy and vaginal delivery.

Having had a hysterectomy.

Obesity or being overweight.

Older age.

Bladder stones.

Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract.

Blockage of the bladder.

Chronic bladder infections.

Diseases and conditions that may cause urinary incontinence include:

Chronic cough due to smoking or bronchitis.

Pelvic organ prolapse.

Diabetes.

Parkinson's disease.

Alzheimer's disease.

Multiple sclerosis.

Bladder cancer.

Stroke.

Spinal cord injury.

Medicines and foods that may make urinary incontinence worse include:

Caffeinated and carbonated drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda pop.

Alcohol drinks.

Prescription medicines that increase urine production (such as diuretics) or relax the bladder (such as anticholinergics and antidepressants).

Smoking.

Traditional Medical Treatment Options and Diagnosis

How is overactive bladder diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a physical exam. He or she will ask what kinds of fluids you drink and how much. Your doctor will also want to know how often you urinate, how much, and if you leak. It may help to write down these things in a bladder diary for 3 or 4 days before you see your doctor.

Your doctor probably will also do a few tests, such as:

A pelvic exam if you are a woman.

A rectal exam if you are a man.

A urine test.

A blood test.

You may have more tests if your doctor thinks your symptoms could be caused by other problems, such as diabetes or prostate disease.

How is it treated?

The first step in treatment will be to try some things at home, such as urinating at scheduled times. This is called bladder retraining.

You can also do special exercises called Kegels to make your pelvic muscles stronger. These muscles control the flow of urine. Doing these exercises can improve some bladder problems. It may help to work with a physical therapist who has special training in pelvic muscle exercises.

There are other changes you can make that can help:

Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee, tea, and sodas.

If it bothers you to get up at night to urinate, cut down on fluids before bed. But don't cut down on fluids at other times of the day. You need them to stay healthy.

At night, if you have trouble getting to the toilet in time, clear a path from your bed to the bathroom. Or you could put a portable toilet by your bed.

Treatment Overview

Urinary incontinence isn't an inevitable result of aging. Most women who have it can be helped or cured.

The best treatment depends on the cause of your incontinence and your personal preferences. Treatments include:

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor, Acupuncturist or Naturopath who is well versed in treating this condition.

Behavioral training, such as bladder training and timed urination.

Lifestyle changes and pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises.

Medicines.

Medical devices.

Surgery.

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you address the underlying cause for your condition is the first and best way to treat this concern. Developing a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to address all the factors that contribute to your bladder condition is warranted.

Many have also benefited when working with an Acupuncturist, or Naturopath. Behavioral training, exercises and lifestyle changes, and medicines are usually tried second. If the problem does not get better, your doctor may try another treatment or do more tests.

When there is more than one cause for incontinence, the most significant cause is treated first, followed by treatment for the secondary cause, if needed.

Surgery

There are several different kinds of surgeries to correct stress incontinence, which occurs when weakened pelvic floor muscles allow the bladder neck and urethra to drop. These surgeries seek to lift the urethra, the bladder, or both into the normal position. This makes sneezing, coughing, and laughing less likely to make urine leak from the bladder.

Surgery works to cure stress incontinence better than any other treatment. If other treatments (like pelvic floor muscle exercises) haven't worked to control your incontinence, surgery may be your best option. What kind of surgery you have depends on your preference, your health, and your doctor's experience. Surgery is done much less often for urge incontinence, and the results are not as good.

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you address the underlying cause for your condition is the first and best way to treat this. Developing a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to address all the factors that contribute to your overactive bladder is warranted.

Dr. Huntoon has had lots of success treating this annoying and embarrassing condition.  Using a specific chiropractic technique to adjust the bladder and following up with a specific nutritional protocol unique to each individual patient has remedied the situation for all of his patients over the past 27 years.  Discussing the specifics and what are the expectations can only be done after a Consultation and Evaluation.  Please call to schedule yours with Dr. Huntoon.

Acupuncture may help with overactive bladder. It has been shown to help some women as much as medicine.

If your symptoms really bother you or affect your quality of life, your doctor may suggest that you try medicine along with bladder training and exercises. Medicines are used most often to help control overactive bladder. These medicines do have some annoying side effects like dry mouth and constipation. Because of this, a lot of people don't like to take them. You may decide that bladder training and exercises control your overactive bladder enough. Medicines used to treat overactive bladder are the same for men and women.

If you have severe overactive bladder or severe urge incontinence that hasn't been controlled by exercises or medicine, you may be able to try other treatments. These include Botox injections or electrical stimulation. But these treatments aren't usually tried unless other treatments haven't worked.

What to discuss with your doctor

Call your doctor if:

You have urinary incontinence that begins suddenly. This is called acute incontinence. It is often caused by urinary tract problems or medicines and can be easily corrected. The involuntary release of urine is enough of a problem that you need to wear an absorbent pad, or if incontinence interferes with your life in any way.

Don't be embarrassed to discuss urinary incontinence with your doctor. Urinary incontinence is not an inevitable result of aging. Most women with incontinence can be helped or cured.

Who to See

Health professionals who can diagnose and treat urinary incontinence include:

Holistic Chiropractors

Acupuncturists or Naturopaths

Family medicine doctors.

Physician assistants.

Nurse practitioners.

Obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYN).

Your health professional may want you to see a doctor who specializes in problems of the urinary tract (urologist) or who specializes in treating older people (geriatrician). If you need surgery, it is important to find a surgeon who is experienced in the types of surgical procedures used to treat incontinence.
Male Urinary Incontinence: 12 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

1. What’s causing my urinary incontinence?
2. Is male urinary incontinence related to getting older -- do all men eventually get it?
3. Is urinary incontinence in men a sign of prostate problems or another medical condition?
4. What medications would work best for my urinary incontinence?
5. What can I do to make medications work better -- for example, should I take them at a certain time of day; with food or without food?
6. How will I know if I need to change my urinary incontinence medication?
7. Are there any over-the-counter or alternative medicines that can help male urinary incontinence?
8. Can underwear or other urinary incontinence products help me manage leaks?
9. Are there exercises that can help my urinary incontinence?
10. Are there foods, drinks, or activities that make urinary incontinence worse?
11. Does stress make male urinary incontinence worse?
12. Do I need to see a urinary incontinence specialist?

Watchful Waiting

If you have urinary incontinence that develops slowly, you may be able to control the problem yourself. For more information, see Home Treatment. If home treatment is not effective, or if incontinence interferes with your lifestyle, ask your doctor about other treatments.

Prevention and Quick Tips

Home Treatment

If you have urinary incontinence, you can take some steps on your own that may stop or reduce the problem.

Set a schedule of urinating every 2 to 4 hours, regardless of whether you feel the need. Talk with your doctor about all prescription and nonprescription medicines you take. Find out if any of them may be making your incontinence worse.

Use a bladder diary to keep track of your symptoms and any leaking of urine. Your diary can help you and your doctor find the best treatment for you.

If you have trouble reaching the bathroom before you urinate, try making a clearer, quicker path to the bathroom and wearing clothes that are easily removed (such as those with elastic waistbands or Velcro closures). Or keep a bedpan close to your bed or chair.

Wear a tampon while doing activities such as jogging or dancing to put a little pressure on your urethra and to temporarily slow or stop leakage.

Avoid drinking too much or too little fluid. Too much can increase the need to urinate and increase incontinence. Too little can cause dehydration.

Exercises

Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises can help women who have any type of urinary incontinence.1 These exercises are especially useful for stress incontinence. But they may also help urge incontinence.

Lifestyle changes

Losing weight often helps stress incontinence. Remember that effective weight-loss programs depend on a combination of diet and exercise. For more information, see the topics:

Weight Management.
Fitness.
Healthy Eating.

Sometimes making lifestyle changes can help with urge incontinence. Try to identify any foods that might irritate your bladder-including citrus fruits, chocolate, tomatoes, vinegars, dairy products, aspartame, and spicy foods-and cut back on them. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine.

If you smoke, try to quit. This may reduce coughing, which may reduce your problem with incontinence. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

Take steps to avoid constipation:

Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fiber.

Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.

Get some exercise every day. Try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Take a fiber supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed. Start with a small dose and very slowly increase the dose over a month or more.

Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and don't strain when having a bowel movement.

You may reduce your chances for urinary incontinence by:

Doing pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles.

Staying at a healthy weight.

Quitting smoking. Smoking causes coughing, which can make it harder to control your urine. Quitting smoking relieves coughing.

Medicines Two Choices for You

Your Solution

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you address the underlying cause for your condition is the first and best way to treat this concern. Developing a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to address all the factors that contribute to your bladder condition is warranted.

Many have also benefited from seeing an Acupuncturist, Homeopath or Naturopath

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