An overactive bladder (OAB) causes the need to urinate frequently and sometimes urgently. It is one of the leading causes of urinary incontinence. More than 30 million Americans experience overactive bladder.
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Causes of OAB include:
Also, signals sent from the sacral nerves (at the base of the spine) to the bladder may cause the muscle surrounding the bladder to contract, even if the bladder isn’t full.
Most symptoms of OAB involve an uncontrollable need to urinate:
A urologist will perform a detailed history and physical exam, so it is helpful if the patient keeps a diary for a few days beforehand to record times of urination, the amount of urine, leakage, and foods and beverages consumed. The physician may also perform one of several tests:
A patient can adopt lifestyle changes to help control OAB. Cutting down on caffeinated drinks, alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes, citrus and spicy foods may help. Also, a high-fiber diet can prevent constipation, which aggravates OAB. Other treatments may include:
Minimally invasive treatments: