Your Bladder Health
Traci Qualls, ANP

You are what you eat! We’ve all heard it, and when it comes to your bladder health, the old saying rings true. The bladder lining can be very sensitive to diets high in acidic foods, caffeine or supplements that contain high levels of vitamin C. In addition, not drinking enough water can add to bladder lining irritation. Chronic constipation can and often does worsen bladder symptoms.

Bladder irritability symptoms can include urgency and frequency of urination, burning while urinating, and leakage of urine with a strong, sudden urge . These symptoms can be significantly improved with dietary and behavioral modification.

At the Pelvic Health and Wellness Center we counsel patients on lifestyle modification as the first line of treatment. Additional treatments are offered if conservative therapies do not provide relief of symptoms. We incorporate education at each visit because we believe that YOU can make the most significant, positive changes in your overall pelvic health.

Do You Know About Overactive Bladder?
Carol Meyer, RN
Urodynamics Specialist

Did you know that overactive bladder (OAB) affects over 33 million people in the U.S.?

What is OAB? The International Continence Society has defined OAB as urinary urgency, with or without urge incontinence. Urgency is described as a sudden desire to pass urine which is difficult to postpone. Incontinence is leakage of urine that cannot be controlled. Most patients with OAB will wear protective undergarments or pads. People with OAB also typically experience urinary frequency 8 or more times in a 24 hour period and awakening at night to urinate.

Did you know OAB can also have a significant and negative effect on quality of life? It can cause embarrassment and social withdrawal. Many people restrict their activities and their interpersonal relationships may suffer. Self-esteem can be impaired and depression can be an issue. Many patients self-manage with strategies like toilet mapping (do you know where all the bathrooms are in your community?), reducing fluid intake (not a healthy option), defensive voiding (do you urinate before you leave your home or anywhere even if you don’t have to?),and wearing pads or protective undergarments (how much do you spend?).

The following questions may help you in deciding if you have OAB:

1. Do you ever leak urine (when you have a strong urge) on the way to the bathroom?
2. Do you often get up after going to sleep? Is it the urge that wakes you?
3. Do you ever leak urine during sex?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions or meet the criteria for OAB, now is the time to make a change in your quality of life.

Treatments for OAB

Once your physician has ruled out other conditions and makes the diagnosis of OAB, treatment should begin. There are a growing number of therapeutic approaches for the care of patients with OAB. A treatment plan involving various combinations of therapies that would be unique to you which can include patient education, fluid intake control, behavior modifications, medications and physical therapy.

Here at the Pelvic Health & Wellness Center we have a great team of physicians and related health care professionals who are dedicated to maintaining your pelvic health and wellness. If you haven’t visited with us recently, or you are ready to make a change in your quality of life, our team will do our best to provide positive, non-invasive treatments specifically designed for you.