Underactive Bladder (UAB)

elderly underactive bladder symptoms needed to be reported

As we age, it is important to report any symptoms of underactive bladder to your healthcare professional.

While you may have heard about Overactive Bladder (OAB) due to lots of media attention, many do not know about Underactive Bladder (UAB). UAB is a syndrome that includes the urinary symptoms of hesitancy, straining and incomplete bladder emptying in the absence of any blockage of the bladder or the urethra.

What Is Underactive Bladder?

UAB is a serious, ongoing, and difficult disease and it has serious consequences if not treated. Your healthcare professional may refer to underactive bladder as detrusor underactivity, hypotonic bladder, flaccid bladder, lazy bladder, and detrusor hypoactivity. A diagnosis of UAB is usually confirmed with pressure flow urodynamic tests and patient history. How many people have UAB is not known, and studies are needed to determine its prevalence.

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Nocturia – Nighttime Trips to the Bathroom

nocturia

If you find yourself having to wake up several times during the night to go to the bathroom, you have a condition that is called nocturia.

While most adults are able to sleep 6 – 8 hours a night, you may find yourself having to wake up several times during the night to go to the bathroom. This is a condition called nocturia.*

Nocturia can leave you feeling like you were up all night long, and you may feel extremely tired when morning arrives. Nocturia negatively affects a person’s quality of life by interrupting sleep, increasing the risk of nighttime falls, causing fatigue and/or depression, and decreasing work efficiency, among other possible problems. Men are much more frequently affected by nocturia than women are, and those who have difficulty walking are at increased risk of injury. Nocturia is also highly prevalent in individuals over 60 years of age.Continue reading

Bedwetting in Children (Nocturnal Enuresis)

mother child bedwetting

Mother checking her sleeping child who sometimes has bedwetting problems.

Nighttime bedwetting is called nocturnal enuresis or enuresis. Most children out grow bedwetting by the age of five, but many children at age seven (5% – 15%) continue to experience problems becoming continent – staying dry at night. Many of these children will stop bedwetting in their late childhood or teen years, but some will continue to experience enuresis into adulthood (0.5% – 1% in adults). Rarely, adults who did not previously experience enuresis will begin to experience bedwetting. A sudden onset of enuresis in adulthood can be a warning sign of serious health issues like diabetes, a urinary tract infection (UTI) or neurologic conditions and so a healthcare professional should be quickly consulted.Continue reading

Neurogenic Bowel

human digestive system

A neurogenic bowel includes both the small and large intestine.

A neurogenic bowel is when your bowel malfunctions (it does not do what it is supposed to do) because of a disease or an injury to the nervous system. The bowel includes both the small and large intestine (also called the colon).Continue reading

Man smoking a cigarette

Smoking and Incontinence

Smoking may lead to bladder leakage.

Current and previous cigarette smokers are at an increased risk of experiencing stress urinary incontinence (SUI), bladder cancer, and other major health problems.  Cigarette smoking causes chronic coughing. A constant cough can damage the muscles of the pelvic floor. When these muscles are damaged, this can cause urine to leak due to a loss of stability and strength of the pelvic floor. Smoking is also known to be a bladder irritant, which could cause overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms.Continue reading

Prostate Problems in Men

prostate

A man’s prostate can cause incontinence symptoms.

Although statistically men experience urinary incontinence less than women, about six million men in America do experience urinary incontinence. About 17% of men over the age of 60 experience some form of urinary incontinence. In many cases, urinary incontinence in men is caused by prostate problems, or the methods used to treat prostate problems.Continue reading

Clostridium difficile and Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea

clostridium difficile

A Clostridium difficile infection can cause sudden bowel incontinence.

Bowel incontinence and diarrhea are commonly found in critical care areas of hospitals and long-term care settings. Diarrhea and bowel incontinence are major contamination risks in medical and care facilities. About 10-15% of all hospital patients develop antibiotic associated diarrhea – also called nosocomial diarrhea. This is diarrhea that happens when antibiotic medicine that is being used to stop or prevent an infection in a patient (examples: penicillins, cephalosporins, clindamycin, flouroquinolones) also kills good bacteria in their intestines that usually keeps bad bacteria under control. When the good bacteria is killed, it allows strong, antibiotic-resistant bad bacteria, which the patient may come in contact with in a hospital or long-term care facility, to multiply and grow out of control. This causes antibiotic associated diarrhea. Some antibiotic associated diarrhea is caused by a seriously bad bacteria called Clostridium difficile.Continue reading

Pregnancy and Childbirth

pregnancy

Pregnancy can put extra strain on the bladder and bowels.

It is common knowledge that pregnant women urinate more often. This is partly due to the extra weight on their bladder, but many do not know that women can experience urinary incontinence during their pregnancy. For some, urinary incontinence continues or worsens after delivery of the baby, but for most, symptoms will go away after giving birth or shortly after the birth. Continue reading

Obesity and Being Overweight

exercise reduces obesity

Exercising regularly, like walking, can help reduce your risk of becoming obese.

Men, women and children who are obese are at a higher risk of developing urinary incontinence. They also may have other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).  The extra weight carried around a person’s middle puts undue stress and pressure on to the muscles of the pelvic floor. This leads to the pelvic floor muscles getting weak and sagging. This in turn can lead to accidental leakage of urine.  Obesity (and being overweight) may also lead to Type 2 diabetes, which causes damage to the nerves that control the bladder.Continue reading

Neurogenic Bladder

Drawing of a brain, spinal cord, and bladder

Damage to nerves may cause a neurogenic bladder.

Injuries, surgeries, diseases and birth defects may affect the how the body’s nerves work … or don’t work! Some medical conditions that commonly affect how our nerves work include Spina bifida, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, spinal cord injuries (SCIs), Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. And each of these conditions may create a neurogenic bladder.  A neurogenic bladder is a disorder of the lower urinary tract that is the result of damage to — or diseases of — the nervous system leading to a loss of voluntary control of your bladder.  Continue reading