Overactive bladder or OAB is a health condition that causes a sudden and frequent urge to urinate. Some people also experience unintentional loss of urine, referred to as urinary incontinence. The condition is more common in women than in men. Overactive bladder can be an embarrassing health condition to deal with, as it can limit one’s social and professional life. Here are some natural remedies to manage overactive bladder effectively.
- Do not go overboard on hydration
While it is crucial to stay hydrated for proper body functioning, drinking beyond the standard requirement can worsen an overactive bladder. Doctors usually suggest drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. However, body fluids are processed based on diet and the surrounding environment. It is also not recommended to cut back on hydration as lack of fluids can make the urine more concentrated, thereby irritating the bladder, causing frequent urination. Hence, doctors suggest spacing out hydration to ensure that it does not aggravate the condition. Skipping to drink water before bedtime also helps better manage an overactive bladder without disrupting sleep.
- Maintain a diary to track symptoms
It’s one of the most basic natural remedies for managing an overactive bladder. Maintaining a diary to record overactive bladder symptoms helps track when the symptoms are aggravated. Sharing the same with a urologist can help them diagnose and prescribe treatments to manage an overactive bladder. Maintaining a diary to keep track of food triggers can also better manage the condition.
- Curb coffee and wine
Caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages, are bladder irritants. They can increase the urge to urinate. Hence, it’s recommended to steer clear or reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks if a person has an overactive bladder. People with an overactive bladder shouldn’t drink coffee in the morning before a long commute.
- Limit washing and wiping
While it is crucial to maintain sanitary hygiene, going overboard can be counterintuitive when one has an overactive bladder. Women with an overactive bladder experiencing menstruation might feel the constant need to clean themselves. However, excessive cleaning with soap makes the area dry and itchy and aggravates overactive bladder symptoms. Hence, it is recommended to avoid going overboard on washing and wiping or using hydrating cleaning products to retain the moisture.
- Exercises for bladder control
Changes in certain habits related to urination can ease symptoms or help retain bladder strength in the long run. For instance, double voiding, which involves urinating and then stopping for a few seconds before urinating again, can help fully empty the bladder. This can reduce the urgency to urinate frequently. Other bladder control exercises, such as Kegel exercises that involve pelvic floor muscles can strengthen the bladder and suppress the urge to urinate.