Overactive Bladder and Aging Have A Strong Connection

The connection with overactive bladder and aging is very strong, as it is considered to be the single largest cause of it.

While it is often confused with incontinence, it is actually much different for several reasons.

While we may experience some leakage and an occasional accident with this condition, we have not lost control in the same way we have if we have incontinence.

However, it can still be quite embarrassing as well as a major focus in our life, that can and will change how we live, but it does not need be this way.

Overactive Bladder and Aging

The reason for this is simple; we can control overactive bladder and aging and its possible connections, but it is very, very difficult to control incontinence.

Here are some of the facts concerning this condition.

  • There are 33 million older Americans who have it
  • It will cause us to urinate more than 8 times a day
  • It will wake us up at night at least 2 times to go
  • It is also referred to as “nocturia”

When you step back and think about the 33 million Americans affected, that is almost 10% of the entire population.

It is estimated that by the year 2020, the baby boomers, our generation of anyone 60 years and older, is about 45 million and growing.

When you look at these numbers, the connection with overactive bladder and aging becomes very real and very strong.

If you are 55 years or older, we can think of several times in the last few years where this condition may have affected us, or is affecting us right now.

What Is An Overactive Bladder?

Here is what is happening with this condition.

  • We have a very sudden and strong urge to urinate
  • The urge will not go away
  • When we were younger , we could control this urge naturally
  • We may experience a slight or moderate leakage of urine.

Again, unlike incontinence, this leakage will not be complete and uncontrollable, but none the less, it will be embarrassing and very frustrating.

However, the good news is that there are ways we can learn to control it naturally and very effectively.

There is something else that is totally different with this condition when compared to most all other control problems; it is not full.

When everything is normal, our kidneys will produce urine and send it to our bladder.

When men urinate, it goes through the end of our penis through a “urethral opening”, and in women, it goes through the same opening right above the vagina.

When our bladder begins to fill up, it will send messages to our brain that it is filling, and the brain then send messages back to our pelvic muscles.

It also sends messages to our muscles in our urethra, which allows our bladder to begin to become tighter, and this process pushes out our urine.

However, with this condition, these muscles tighten or contract “on their own”, even when our  urine is very low.

Five Friends Enjoying Time TogetherFive Friends Enjoying Time Together

There Will Be A Very Sudden Need To Urinate

Once this occurs, we have a sudden urge to urinate even though there may be very little urine to let out.

There are several medical opinions of what may be causing this connection with overactive bladder and aging.

However, in about 50% of all cases, your doctor may have no idea what the true underlying cause actually is.

Here is the first list of potential causes.

  • Diabetes, believed to be one of the major causes
  • A brain issues such as a recent small stroke or Parkinson’s disease
  • Certain medications, especially those that increase the production of urine
  • Drinking too much coffee, tea, or alcohol.
  • An enlarged prostate in men,

While any type of prostrate issue in a man will affect our bladder, there is one commonality with this condition and incontinence.

It affects women a lot more than men.

The ratio is not nearly as high as it is with incontinence, but women still have all the years of pressure with childbirth that has weakened their bladder walls.

The Second List

Here is the second list of potential causes with an overactive bladder and aging.

  • A very severe urinary tract infection
  • Severe constipation
  • A decline in brain functions as we get older in our 70’s and 80’s
  • Struggling with walking and not being able to make it to the restroom
  • Bladder stones

A severe urinary tract infection can and does affect this organ, as well as severe constipation.

If you take a minute and think about it, when we become constipated, we have the urge to go a lot more than normal.

As we all get older, our brain will not be nearly a sharp as it used to be for one simple reason; it is not sending signals like it used to.

Like a lot of the other signals that decline as we age, the signals to this key organ also begins to slow down.

There are, however, several things we can do and leading this list is what is referred to as “Kegel Exercises”.

The Kegel Exercises for Overactive Bladder and Aging

While most of us may have never heard about Kegel exercises, it is one of the best, if not the best ways to treat this condition

Here is what we can do with this technique.

  • While urinating, try to stop or slow down the urination
  • What you are doing is “finding” our pelvic muscles
  • Once the urination has been slowed, we need to “tense” these muscles

This is one of the leading techniques today and is exploding in popularity for one simple reason; it works.

The reason it works, is that it has been used for centuries, especially in Asian countries to treat several bladder issues.

However, there are more steps we will need to do with the connection with overactive bladder and aging.

  • Once we have located these muscles, tense only them—nothing else
  • DO NOT tense the muscles in the stomach, buttocks, or legs
  • This is very important as we need to isolate the pelvic muscles only
  • Once tensed, count to five very slowly
  • Do this 10 times at least 3 to 4 times a day

Why this may sound a bit silly, it is actually extremely effective and you will be shocked at the results.

There are medications we can take as well as surgery that can help, but this is a proven and natural way to slow and then stop this embarrassing condition.

References

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/overactive-bladder/home/ovc-20311819

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