Overactive Bladder (OAB) is a common condition that encompasses the sudden urge to urinate with or without the loss of urine. Other associated symptoms include urinary frequency and nighttime urination. In most instances, there is an absence of any identifiable disease state such as a bladder infection, neurologic disease, bladder malignancy, or diabetes.
Urinary frequency is usually defined as voiding more than 10 times within a 24-hour period. Nocturia is defined as waking up more than once per night to urinate.
The causes of Overactive Bladder may include:
- Medical disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, strokes (CVA)
- Excessive fluid intake
- Medication induced such as diuretics
- Outlet obstruction caused by blockage of urine flowing out of the bladder such as an enlarge prostate or stricture of the urethra
- Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake
Although many people live with symptoms of OAB, they tend to seek help when they begin to suffer from the loss of urinary control.
Besides a routine history and physical, we will commonly order laboratory studies including a urinalysis and culture as well as lab work screening for renal disease as well as diabetes.
Other studies that are also commonly order include a flow study and / or a urodynamic study.
Occasionally a cystoscopy may also be recommended as well.
The treatment of Overactive Bladder:
- Behavior modification
- Kegel or pelvic floor exercise
- Dietary changes
- Limiting fluid intake
- Neuro-modulation using devices such as posterior tibial nerve stimulator (PTNS or Urgent PC® or placement of an Interstim®
- Bladder augmentation