Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Overactive Bladder

The Good News: There Are Ways To Manage It

Traveling and Overactive Bladder

Needless to say, the last thing you want to be worried about when youre well, worried, is trying to find a toilet. Anxiety is disruptive and distracting enough without having to think about your bladder, too.

If it happens once in a while, for example before a job interview or going on a blind date, the level of disruption can be minimal. If it is happening more frequently, it may be worth thinking through your overall stress levels, said Jessy Warner-Cohen, a health psychologist at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.

The good news is that there are some strategies you can take up to try to tame your bladder. Many mental health professionals recommend practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to help manage anxiety and thus, your bladder on a more regular basis. CBT can also help people understand that frequent urination is simply a byproduct of their anxiety and also that they probably dont have to pee as much as they think they do, Nadkarni explained.

According to Warner-Cohen, practicing mindfulness techniques can also help. Recognize that the sensations you are feeling are typical and you are actually safe, Warner-Cohen said. Engage in belly breathing, slow breaths in and out, and focus on your breathing instead of whatever else is happening.

Talk With Others Who Understand

Dealing with OAB can make you feel isolated. Those around you probably dont really understand what youre going through.

Local support groups and online forums can provide assistance that will help you deal with feelings of loneliness. Ask your doctor for information on groups that meet near you, or find online communities at MD Junction and the National Association for Continence.

It may feel uncomfortable at first, but once you hear other peoples stories, youll realize youre not alone.

  • fatigue
  • crying spells

Depression symptoms usually last for weeks at a time. Talk to your doctor if you notice these symptoms. Getting treatment for depression can help you refocus your efforts on finding solutions to OAB.

You may have to get up to go to the bathroom a couple times a night if you have OAB. A lack of sleep can increase risk of stress, anxiety, and depression.

To increase your odds of getting a good nights sleep, try these steps:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Avoid drinking a lot of fluids before bedtime.
  • Keep the television, cell phone, computer, and other gadgets out of the bedroom.
  • Indulge in a relaxing presleep activity, such as reading with a dim light, taking a warm bath, and doing a few easy yoga poses.

How Does Stress Affect The Bladder

We live in stressful times normally, but now, it is especially stressful with the COVID-19 pandemic. How does stress affect the bladder? Symptoms such as urgency , frequency and discomfort just above the pubic bone or intravaginally can occur.

Stress enhances these symptoms for a variety of reasons, through our nervous system, muscles and lifestyle. The neurotransmitters or chemicals that work in our brains, are also found in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract and bladder. Stress can make these organs act up. Pelvic floor muscles are at the base of the pelvis, connecting the pubic bone to the tail bone and around the rectum and to the pelvic side wall. These are collectively termed the levator ani muscles.

One can store tension in these muscles much like a person who sits at a computer screen or hunched over a book can develop tightening of the neck and upper back muscles. When these muscles are contracted, they narrow the openings of the urethra, vagina and rectum where they cross these muscles. The closure contributes to the urinary symptoms.

Lifestyle can also impact our bladders. Stress eating, especially of highly processed foods, causes bladder irritation. Weight gain can cause post-void dribbling as the urine can get caught in the soft tissues of the genital tract. We know from the bariatric data, that weight loss helps to improve urinary symptoms. Poor quality sleep also affects many systems including the bladder.

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What Medications Can I Use For Overactive Bladder

Your doctor may suggest trying behavioral techniques before having you use a medication to treat overactive bladder. However, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of using the following commonly prescribed medications:

Anticholinergic medications

These medications control muscle spasms in the bladder:

  • Oxybutynin , oxybutynin XL , oxybutynin TDDS .
  • Tolterodine .
  • Mirabegron .

How Is Enuresis Diagnosed

Overactive Bladder

Your childs health care provider will ask about your childs medical history. Make sure to tell the health care provider:

  • If other members of the family have had enuresis

  • How often your child urinates during the day

  • How much your child drinks in the evening

  • If your child has symptoms such as pain or burning when urinating

  • If the urine is dark or cloudy or has blood in it

  • If your child is constipated

  • If your child has had recent stress in his or her life

The health care provider may give your child a physical exam. Your child may also need tests, such as urine tests or blood tests. These are done to look for a medical problem, such as an infection or diabetes.

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Increases The Severity Of Anxiety Symptoms

found that male and female OAB patients who have more severe symptoms such as urgency, urinary incontinence and nocturia had higher levels of anxiety as compared to patients with minimal or no symptoms. These patients also had low levels of health-related quality of life as well as low work productivity. Anxiety causes your muscles to tense up which puts pressure on your bladder and makes you urinate more often. Practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises reduces symptoms and helps improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from stress incontinence.

Overactive Bladder And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about one in five U.S. adults have IBS. Symptoms include cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Studies have found that anxiety also contributes to IBS. Over 33% of test subjects with OAB also had IBS . Anxiety and overactive bladder are not uncommon in those with IBS.

Why is this so? Well, it depends on who you ask. Traditional medicine has been unsure of the connection. Some theorize that muscles and nerves in both the urinary tract and colon are dysfunctional.

However, in recent years the medical world has gained an increased understanding of the brain-gut connection. According to Harvard Health Publishing, The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation all of these feelings can trigger symptoms in the gut. The gut refers to the digestive tract, and in the context of gut health, typically refers to the stomach, small intestine, and colon.

Your gut and brain send signals back and forth to each other, so when anxiety takes over, your gut knows it and reacts, disrupting digestion and causing intestinal distress.

This means that chronic anxiety can cause or exacerbate both bladder and intestinal problems like IBS at the same time.

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Seek Treatment For Oab Symptoms

Many people believe that bladder leaks are a normal and inevitable part of aging. However, although urinary incontinence and OAB are common, people do not just have to deal with them. Various treatment options are available to help manage or prevent the symptoms of OAB, including:

  • lifestyle and dietary changes
  • pelvic floor exercises
  • medications and surgery

A 2019 study found that women who received medical treatment for OAB symptoms also experienced improvements in their anxiety and depression symptom scores.

Can Anxiety Cause Urinary Incontinence

Dr. Yaser Bassel Discusses Hyperactive Bladder and Stress Incontinence – BayCare Health System

Incontinence. Just the word alone evokes feelings of anxiety. Those who suffer and their friends and family can attest to the mental stress associated with this uncomfortable and often embarrassing condition.That said, can anxiety be the cause of your incontinence? Or, does urinary incontinence simply cause stress? Honestly, this question is kind of like which came first, the chicken or the egg? At best, its confusing.First, it is important to point out that incontinence is often a symptom of another issue. Its causes are broad-based and can include, but are not limited to, obesity, smoking, weak muscles, and a variety of illnesses including prostate cancer, infections, and diabetes. It can also be the result of aging sometimes those who are elderly simply cannot move quickly enough to reach a restroom in a timely manner. If you suffer from incontinence, your first step should be a visit to your physician to help identify the underlying cause of your issue.Understanding this, anxiety and incontinence often go hand in hand. And, they aggravate each other. In some cases, anxiety can be the cause of your incontinence. In fact, some people actually suffer from uncontrollable urination and leaks when they become stressed. Its like their bodies lose the ability to control themselves.

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How Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder

There are several treatments that involve stimulating your nerves to help improve overactive bladder. Your nerves help communicate the message that your bladder needs to be emptied to your brain. By treating the nerves, your healthcare provider can improve your bladder control. Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment that is considered when conservative treatments have not worked or have not been tolerated. Conservative treatments include behavioral therapies and medications.

There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These can include:

Stress And Anxiety Effects On Overactive Bladder

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government.Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details.
Recruitment Status : Not yet recruitingFirst Posted : October 21, 2021Last Update Posted : October 21, 2021
  • Study Details
Condition or disease
Overactive BladderStress, PsychologicalAnxiety Behavioral: Psychological stress inductionOther: Accelerated oral hydration Not Applicable

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The Best Ways To Improve Bladder Health After The Holidays

While taking preventative action before and during the holidays will help you reduce the severity of bladder conditions, most people like to enjoy themselves and indulge a little. Theres nothing wrong with this. To help deal with post-holiday stress and your bladder, getting back to your healthy routines as quickly as possible is essential. Some ways to do this include the following.

Does Anxiety Cause An Overactive Bladder

What are the signs that I have an overactive bladder?

If you need to know can anxiety cause overactive bladder? The answer is yes. Many people experience it. Sometimes it happens only for a short period which is no cause for concern. But for those who experience it long term, it is a cause for worry.

Since there can be other causes too like UTI, there is a need to get an examination done by a physician to determine the cause. Waiting for long before consulting the doctor might do more harm.

Those feeling the need to pee before getting on to the stage to speak in front of 1000 people should take heart in the fact that they arent the only ones. If it happens on almost all occasions, get medical tests were done, and if all turns out negative, then anxiety could be the plausible reason.

Since no two lives are same, each person may have a different cause for anxiety and depression or worry. Hence, speak with someone knowledgeable in the matter and decide the best course of action. Since frequent urination is troublesome if you are a student or a working professional, seek professional help on time.

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Hyperstimulation Can Cause Over Active Bladder

While not a disease, Over Active Bladder is the name of a group of symptoms that affect urinary function, such as the sudden urge to urinate that seems difficult to control, incontinence, and frequent urination. OAB affects approximately 30 40 percent of North Americans.

Research has found that emotional problems, such as anxiety disorder, can cause and aggravate over active bladder. For instance:

OAB patients reported higher anxiety symptoms compared to controls. OAB patients with anxiety reported more severe OAB/incontinence symptoms, worse quality of life, and more psychosocial difficulties compared to OAB patients without anxiety. There are positive correlations between the severity of anxiety symptoms and OAB/incontinence symptoms.

While the exact science isnt settled about the reasons why emotional problems can contribute to OAB, two theories suggest:

  • The heightened autonomic nervous system activity can override normal nervous system communication between the bladder and brain causing the brain to generate a sense of urgency to urinate when the bladder isnt full, as we mentioned previously.

Any of the above reasons can cause a wide range of bladder and urination problems, including frequent urination.

Frequent urination during sleep hours is also common. Contributing factors include:

  • Hyperstimulation can cause an increase in resting metabolism even when sleeping. An increase in resting metabolism will cause the body to produce more urine than normal.

Ways Stress Can Impact Urologic Health

There is certainly no shortage of stress these days, and that nagging anxiety can affect us in multiple ways, including physically. At some point in your life you will be forced to deal with it, so along with heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney stones, here are 3 ways stress can impact urologic health.

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The Role Of Stress In Developing Utis

While stress doesnt directly cause an infection, stress can lower the effectiveness of your bodys natural resistance to infection and illness.

When you experience stress, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. If too much cortisol is present for too long, your body cant fight infection or lower inflammation as well as it usually does. A damaged immune system can lead to chronic infections.

Stress and urinary tract health have a two-way relationship. Stress can depress the immune system, leading to infection. Infection or disease can increase the stress you feel.

Depending on where your UTI is and what exactly is causing it, you could notice some of these symptoms:

  • pain, stinging, or burning when you urinate
  • sore lower back or abdomen
  • fever
  • urine thats cloudy, bloody, or dark
  • increase in the number of times you need to urinate
  • greater urgency in the need to urinate

Anxiety and stress can cause or worsen several other lower urinary tract symptoms, even when no infection is present.

For example, people who have overactive bladder , a condition that causes you to urinate more often, have significantly higher stress than people without the condition, according to one 2015 study .

When stress goes up, so does the sense of urgency you feel about having to urinate. Stress can also cause symptoms of a chronic urinary condition called interstitial cystitis to flare up.

If you have frequent UTIs, you may want to try some of these strategies for preventing them:

What Can You Do To Manage Urinary Frequency

What causes overactive bladder and what can be done about it?

First of all, it is extremely important to ensure there isnt a medical problem causing it, and your doctor will discuss any other symptoms with you and look at your medical history. Examples of conditions that can cause urinary frequency include diabetes, MS, Parkinsons, dementia, stroke, bladder tumours and bladder stones.

If your urinary frequency is determined to be secondary to your experience of anxiety, it can help to visit a licensed counsellor to look at both the underlying cause of your anxiety as well as getting cognitive behaviour tips for the management of secondary symptoms.

Other simple lifestyle changes can reduce your need to visit the bathroom so frequently, such as removing bladder irritants like caffeine and alcohol, reducing your weight if you are overweight, and stopping smoking.

Finally, since humans are able to learn new behaviours and responses, it is possible to train your bladder to not respond to your emotional nervous systems signals. Bladder training, for example, is a reliable technique that has been shown to improve symptoms,6,7 and involves bringing back your desire to pee into voluntary control. It is done in a stepwise fashion over time.

If you are finding you need to pee all the time, and believe it could be related to anxiety, then it is important to visit your GP, as there are plenty of solutions that can help. Incontinence is a very common condition, and there is no need to just put up with it.

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What Are Some Of The Most Common Reasons Why A Woman May Develop Incontinence

Its common for women to develop incontinence after childbirth and as they age after menopause.

During childbirth, the muscles can become weakened and injured. In particular, experiencing an operative vaginal delivery like a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery, can lead to muscle damage. This weakening can make it harder to contract the urethra and stop the flow of urine.

With menopause, its common for women to experience vaginal atrophy, or a thinning and weakening of the vaginal tissue, due to fluctuating hormone levels. A drop in estrogen can cause a shortening of the vaginal canal, a shortening of the urethra, and a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, making loss of bladder control more common.

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