Living with an overactive bladder can be one of the most frustrating experiences. It does not only affect your daily routine but also your overall quality of life.
While medical interventions can cure overactive bladder, exploring natural remedies can be promising. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best natural solutions that work for an overactive bladder.
We’ll also explain when to see a doctor and, most specifically, the right specialist doctor for overactive bladder in Singapore. Keep reading.
How do you fix an Overactive Bladder Naturally?
To begin, an overactive bladder can be defined as a group of symptoms that may affect the urgency of how you pee and how you pee. It can be caused by several factors, including abdominal trauma, infection, certain medications, never damage, and specific fluids.
Usually, the first line of treatment for an overactive bladder is a combination of lifestyle and behavioural changes to manage the symptoms. To fix an overactive bladder naturally, you may want to try these remedies;
I. Bladder Control Techniques
Bladder control techniques involve retraining the bladder to reduce bladder leaking and effectively regain control over urination patterns. Here are some that may help:
- Scheduled Urination: Keeping a urinary diary can help identify patterns and symptoms of urgency. Based on this information, you can create a schedule by adding 15 minutes to your usual urination times. For instance, if urination typically occurs every 60 minutes, you should schedule bathroom breaks every 75 minutes. It is important to adhere to the schedule, even if there is no immediate urge to urinate. Gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits can help train the bladder.
- Delayed Urination: When the urge to urinate arises, it is beneficial to try and delay it by 5 minutes. Utilising relaxation techniques like deep breathing can aid in this process. Individuals should gradually increase the duration of time they can hold their urine until there are 3 to 4-hour gaps between bathroom visits.
- Double-Void Technique: This technique is especially useful for individuals who feel that their bladder does not empty completely. It is also recommended to double-void before bedtime. The steps involved in double-voiding are as follows:
- Sit on the toilet, leaning slightly forward.
- Rest the hands on the knees or thighs.
- Urinate as normal.
- Remain seated for 30 seconds.
- Lean slightly further forward and urinate once more.
- Kegel Contractions: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through Kegel contractions can enhance urinary control. To identify the location of the pelvic floor muscles, try to stop urinating midstream. After locating the right muscles, squeeze and hold for 10 seconds, and then relax for about 3 seconds. This sequence should be repeated ten times. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions daily. Deep breathing techniques can facilitate the process.
II. Lifestyle Changes
Making specific lifestyle changes can significantly help improve symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB). Consider the following strategies to manage OAB symptoms better:
- Quitting smoking: Smoking can worsen OAB symptoms, and coughing fits caused by smoking may increase episodes of leaking. Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on OAB symptoms.
- Discussing medications with a doctor: Some medications, like alpha-adrenergic antagonists, antihistamines, diuretics, muscle relaxants and sedatives, and certain narcotics that can contribute to bladder leaking. If you have an overactive bladder, should consult your doctor about possible alternative medications.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can exert pressure on the bladder and pelvic muscles, potentially affecting bladder control. Staying within a healthy weight range may help alleviate OAB symptoms.
III. Fluid Management and Dietary Adjustments
Making certain changes to your diet and managing fluid intake can also be effective in treating an overactive bladder. The idea here is basically to avoid certain food irritants and adjust your fluid consumption, to alleviate the symptoms of OAB and improve your bladder control. Here are some fluid management and dietary adjustment recommendations to consider:
- Foods to Avoid:
- Alcohol: Alcohol can act as a diuretic, increasing urine production and exacerbating OAB symptoms.
- Artificial sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, have been linked to bladder irritation and increased urgency.
- Caffeine: Found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate, caffeine can stimulate the bladder and lead to frequent urination.
- Citrus fruits and juices: The acidity of citrus fruits and juices may irritate the bladder and worsen OAB symptoms.
- Corn syrup: High-fructose corn syrup, commonly found in processed foods, may contribute to bladder irritation.
- Cranberry juice: While often associated with urinary tract health, cranberry juice can irritate the bladder in some individuals.
- Dairy: Some dairy products, such as milk and cheese, have been reported to worsen OAB symptoms in certain individuals.
- Sodas and fizzy drinks: Carbonated beverages can irritate the bladder and increase urinary frequency.
- Spicy foods: Spices and hot peppers may trigger OAB symptoms, including urgency and frequency.
- Sugar and honey: Excessive sugar consumption can lead to increased urine production and irritation of the bladder.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain acids that may irritate the bladder, so limiting their consumption can be beneficial.
- Vinegar: The acidic nature of vinegar can potentially worsen OAB symptoms.
- Fluid Intake Management:
- Keep a diary: Maintain a diary to track your food intake and bladder symptoms. This can help identify specific foods or drinks that trigger or worsen your OAB symptoms.
- Optimal fluid intake: It is important to drink enough water for overall health. Too much or too little can impact OAB symptoms, though. Concentrated urine from insufficient water intake can irritate the bladder, while excessive fluid consumption can worsen frequency symptoms.
- Recommended fluid intake: Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, as suggested by this 2016 paper published in Research and Reports in Urology.
- Avoiding liquids before bedtime: To reduce night-time urination, avoid consuming fluids for 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
We get it, natural remedies and supplements may work and they may be really appealing especially if they’re easily accessible. However, it is wise to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes especially if those natural remedies involve dietary adjustments or lifestyle changes. With a professional, you can rest assured of an individualised treatment plan that’s custom-tailored to your specific needs.
If you’re concerned about your bladder health and seeking personalised guidance in Singapore, consider scheduling a consultation with DR. NG KAI LYN, our experienced urogynecologist. Take the first step towards better bladder control by reaching out to DR. NG KAI LYN for expert evaluation and tailored treatment options. Contact details:
Dr Ng Kai Lyn | Female Gynaecologist | Women’s Health Specialist | Fertility Specialist Singapore
38 Irrawaddy Rd,
#05-34/35 Mt Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre,
+65 6011 1531