Overactive Bladder: 5 Things to know to Understand and Conquer the Condition

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Millions of people suffer from overactive bladder, but most don’t even know it.

Understanding Overactive Bladder and its Symptoms

Overactive bladder, abbreviated as OAB, is a condition that impacts people of all ages, causing difficulties in maintaining control over bladder functions. Incontinence, the inability to control the release of urine, is commonly associated with OAB. Severe cases of incontinence may result in unexpected or frequent urine leakage due to a lack of sphincter control. Symptoms include increased urination frequency, urge incontinence (an immediate need to urinate regardless of bladder fullness), leaks during activities like sneezing, exercising, traveling, or daily tasks, as well as nocturia (frequent nighttime bathroom visits).

Overactive Bladder

Identifying the Causes of Overactive Bladder

Various factors contribute to the development of overactive bladder, including age-related changes, underlying medical conditions, and dietary choices. As individuals age, bladder muscles may weaken, leading to a heightened sense of urgency when needing to urinate. Dietary factors, such as caffeine or acidic foods and changes in fluid intake, can increase bladder pressure and exacerbate symptoms. Conditions like diabetes, urinary tract infections, or multiple sclerosis can further impair bladder control. Overall, lifestyle choices and age-related factors play a significant role in overactive bladder. Diagnosis and treatment of underlying conditions can help alleviate symptoms and reduce discomfort.

Overactive Bladder Treatment

Treatment approaches for managing overactive bladder vary based on its severity. Common methods include medication, physical therapy, lifestyle adjustments, electrical stimulation, and in some cases, surgery. Medications such as anticholinergics, beta-3 adrenoreceptor agonists, and the antimuscarinic agent mirabegron aim to reduce urination frequency and sudden urges. Pelvic floor muscle training, known as incontinence exercises, helps strengthen muscles around the urethra, enhancing urinary control. Behavior modification therapy focuses on changing habits and reactions related to intermittent urination. Lifestyle changes, such as regular urination throughout the day instead of holding urine in large volumes, can also improve symptoms.

In more severe cases, electrical stimulation devices and surgeries like detrusor muscle injections or sacral neuromodulation offer relief by influencing bladder nerve signals to reduce overactivity. However, for a non-invasive and cost-effective solution, consider using ELITONE URGE—a unique urinary incontinence electrical stimulation device. Worn discreetly under clothing, ELITONE URGE automatically exercises your pelvic floor muscles. Just 20 minutes a day for 6 weeks can lead to a complete cessation of leaks and elimination of incontinence.

Overactive Bladder ICD 10 & Clinical diagnosis

The following Overactive Bladder ICD 10 code used for correct diagnosis and coding is: N32.81 (Oct 2022).  This is applicable to: Detrusor muscle hyperactivity. Clinical information is that the detrusor muscle (bladder muscles that surround the bladder) is overactive and contracts the bladder with abnormal high frequency and urgency. The end result is a feeling of needing to urinate urgently day or night or both. Interestingly, without incontinence it leads to just urgency, however if the pelvic floor muscles are weak as well and cannot keep the sphincter closed, this incontinence is urge incontinence.

Understanding the Risks of Overactive Bladder

An untreated overactive bladder can lead to a variety of issues, from physical pain and embarrassment to social anxiety and psychological distress. If left unchecked, these symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life. Health complications that may arise include urinary tract infections, kidney damage, or even an increased risk of falling due to the urge to frequently visit the bathroom at night. For these reasons, treatment is an important part of managing this condition. Whether your treatment plan consists of lifestyle changes or medications prescribed by your doctor, it is essential not to delay treatment for your overactive bladder. Taking action now can help prevent potential risks and keep you healthy and feeling secure in the long run.

Is Urge Incontinence the Same as Overactive Bladder?

Urge incontinence is a form of urinary incontinence often associated with overactive bladder. It manifests as a sudden, intense urge to urinate, even when the bladder is not full. Urge incontinence frequently leads to involuntary urine leakage before reaching a restroom

Here are some links to external sources that provide additional information on overactive bladder:

  1. International Continence Society (ICS)
  2. Mayo Clinic – Overactive bladder
  3. Urology Care Foundation – Overactive Bladder
  4. National Association for Continence (NAFC) – Overactive Bladder
  5. MedlinePlus – Overactive Bladder