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Overactive bladder is a common condition of the bladder in which there is a pressing, and/or rapid and urgent sensation of needing to urinate. This feeling of urgency may or may not occur frequently and can be difficult to control, resulting in urinary incontinence (the involuntary loss of control of the urine).
Overactive bladder can lead to frequent "accidents" that negatively affect a person's self esteem and ability to work, attend school, socialize, travel or complete other normal activities of daily living. A constant fear of incontinence can also lead to not drinking enough fluids, resulting in serious dehydration, especially in older adults. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of overactive bladder.
Overactive bladder is most common in older adults and women. About 25 million adult Americans experience transient or ongoing urinary incontinence and 75-80% of them are women. In addition, one in four women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily, according to the National Association for Continence.
The bladder is an organ in the lower abdomen that expands like a balloon to store liquid waste products in the form of urine. In healthy people, the kidneys continuously filter the bloodstream and create a constant flow of urine into the bladder. The "storage" capability of the bladder allows people to hold then eliminate urine waste when it is generally convenient and "on command".
This process happens when nerve signals in the brain tell the muscles around the bladder and the urethra to relax to allow urine to flow. There are many factors that can disrupt the intricate and interconnected processes of the organs, muscles, and nerves that is necessary to maintain urinary continence (voluntary flow of urine). These include excessive fluid intake, childbirth, urinary tract infection, spinal cord injury, bladder irritation, bladder cancer, and some neurological diseases.
Making a diagnosis of overactive bladder includes completing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination. Diagnostic testing can include a urine analysis, which evaluates a number of elements in the urine and can determine if a urinary tract infection is present. There are also a wide variety of radiological and ultrasound tests, usually ordered by an urologist, that are used to evaluate the functioning of the bladder.
It is possible that a diagnosis of overactive bladder can be missed or delayed because symptoms may be mild and not reported to the health care provider for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of overactive bladder.
With an individualized treatment plan that best fits the type and severity of overactive bladder and a person's life style, overactive bladder can often be successfully treated. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of overactive bladder....more »
A diagnosis of overactive bladder may be delayed or missed because some cases are mild and have minimal symptoms. Overactive bladder resulting in urinary incontinence is also often erroneously believed to be a normal part of the aging process or an expected result of childbearing. Because of this, overactive bladder is underreported, under diagnosed, and undertreated.
Additionally, ...more misdiagnosis »
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Current treatments can address a variety of causes of overactive bladder and incontinence, and symptoms can be successfully managed so people with overactive bladder can live a normal, active life.
Treatment plans are based on medical history, severity of the disease, coexisting conditions, and a patient's response to prior treatments. The most effect ...Overactive bladder Treatments
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Overactive bladder may include:
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Read more about causes and Overactive bladder deaths.
Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive bladder or other ...read more »
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Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:
Urgency to URINATION, with or without urge incontinence, usually with frequency and NOCTURIA.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
The list below shows some of the causes of Overactive bladder mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Overactive bladder. Of the 16 causes of Overactive bladder that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Overactive bladder' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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Medical Conditions associated with Overactive bladder:
Bladder symptoms (1010 causes), Urinary system symptoms (1228 causes), Urination symptoms (1228 causes), Lower abdominal symptoms (3048 causes), Urinary problems (1033 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Urinary difficulty (648 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Intercourse symptoms (258 causes)
Symptoms related to Overactive bladder:
Urgency, Urge incontinence (10 causes), Nocturia (33 causes), Frequency, Interstial cystitis (5 causes), Bladder tumours, Stress incontinence (10 causes), Pelvic floor exercises, Fluid restriction, Lifestyle modification, Antimuscarinic drugs
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