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Incontinence Support Blog

What is this OAB I keep hearing about?

Posted by Andy Orrell

Aug 5, 2016 9:16:08 AM


Over Active Bladder or OAB, as it is commonly referred to, is a term that you will usually hear or read about when the topic of discussion is urinary incontinence. Whenever you see a commercial on TV for a drug that is used to treat urinary incontinence, you will usually hear about an “over active bladder”.

But, what exactly is an "Over Active Bladder," and what does it mean to you?

OAB usually describe a group of urinary symptoms, the most common of which is a sudden urge to urinate. The urge usually comes on unexpectedly with little warning and is more or less uncontrollable. The reaction to such an urge is finding a restroom quickly. Another common symptom of an OAB is having to go to the bathroom several times during the day and at night. 

Most of the time, an OAB is the result of bladder muscles contracting more frequently than normal. Bladder muscle contraction can be caused by many factors amongst which are urinary tract infections (UTI), side effects from drugs, pregnancy, illnesses such as Parkinson’s, MS, MD, MS and other neurological diseases.

With men, an OAB is a common sign of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), which in non medical terms is an enlarged prostate gland. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, it exerts pressure on the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to exit…this pressure results in an urge to urinate  In addition to having an urge to go, an OAB can be accompanied by unavoidable urine leakage. When unavoidable leaking of urine occurs, an individual is considered to have “incontinence”. If your personal condition reaches the point of incontinence, it becomes necessary to take action. 

I strongly suggest that you quiz yourself to determine if there’s a possibility you have OAB. The five most relative questions to answer are given below. Be honest with yourself, when answering these five questions.

(To better clarify each question, I have offered further details below each question.)

Do you have to visit the bathroom more than 7-9 times during the day?
If you’re visiting the bathroom more frequently, and you’re noticing that some of those visits result in only several drops of urine, you may have OAB.

Are you having to rush to get to the bathroom for fear of an accident?
If rushing to the bathroom to urinate and finding that the result is a small amount of leakage, there’s a good possibility that you have an OAB accompanied by urge incontinence.

Do you have to go to the bathroom more than 3 to 4 times during the night?
This is a symptom of nocturia and is another sign of an OAB especially for men. When men have to get up several times during the night, it usually relates to an enlarged prostate gland or BPH as discussed above. Men can expect to see signs of BPH at age 50 and beyond.

When you’re away from home or at a social affair…for example, at a wedding or at the theater…do you find yourself scouting out the nearest restroom?
If you find yourself doing just that, you can be pretty certain that it’s another sign of an OAB or urge incontinence.

Are you avoiding to do things that you really enjoy doing for fear of having an accident?
If so…what’s happening is that you are actually changing your normal life style around the fear of a potential accident. Although this is likely another sign of an OAB, you should never succumb to a regression in lifestyle…that would be defeatism. which is absolutely unnecessary.

For those who find that they are, indeed, confronted with an OAB syndrome and/or urge incontinence, don’t fret, because there are several first-steps you can take that might work well for you. First and most important is that you learn how to recognize the symptoms of your personal incontinence condition. Once you understand your personal symptoms, you will be in a position to know whether or not what you are trying is working…remember…helping yourself is a trial-and-error process.

Most everyone who encounters OAB symptoms initially opt to trying absorption products such as liners or pads.  These products can cost hundreds of dollars a month and often cause sores. There is a better option. Men's Liberty is discreet, safer than adult diapers and condom catheters and can be purchased at little to no cost through Medicare and a secondary insurance.

Topics: external catheter for men, prostate cancer, insurance, incontinence, compassion, adult diapers

What to Expect When You Talk to Your Doctor About Incontinence

Posted by Andy Orrell

Jun 23, 2016 3:10:29 PM

Don't let the fear of bladder accidents ever keep you from an active life filled with work, friends, and family. Incontinence isn't a normal part of aging, or something you just have to live with. There are plenty of things you can do. The sooner you call your doctor, the faster you can get treated.

It's not easy to talk about incontinence. That's why men wait, on average, three years before they get help. Take the first step and call your doctor. He might refer you to a specialist who treats urinary conditions. At your first visit, ask if your diet, health problems, or medicine could be causing the problem.

Before your doctors can treat your incontinence, they need to know what kind it is. If you release urine when you cough, laugh, or sneeze, that's likely stress incontinence. If you have a sudden need to go before leakage happens, that's probably urge incontinence. Some people have a combination of the two.

Your doctor will examine you and ask about your health, symptoms, medicines you take, and the type of accidents you have. He or she might suggest you keep a diary to record every time you go to the bathroom or have wetness.

Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and rule out any medical conditions and may order tests to check for infections or other problems, as well as a bladder stress test.

There are things you can do to try and control your incontinence. These include scheduling your bathroom visits at regular intervals -- for instance, every 2 hours. If you have to go before the time is up, use Kegels or relaxation techniques to hold it in until the urge passes. After a while, hopefully you'll train yourself to go less often, with longer and longer periods between restroom breaks.

These few routine changes can help prevent leaks and get you back to your favorite activities. However, don't stop drinking fluids -- you'll get dehydrated. Limit each drink to 6 to 8 ounces, and don't have them within 2 to 4 hours of bedtime.

Also, avoid caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners, which increase the urge to go. If you're overweight, drop a few pounds to ease pressure on your bladder. And don't smoke. It's bad for your bladder, too.

What if after all of this you’re still experiencing incontinence?

Where women may not yet have the choice and must resort to absorbents, men have a choice: absorbents or catheters (both internal and external). For ease of use and the freedom it provides, we of course suggest Men’s Liberty. BioDerm provides an excellent training program for application and use of the product. Another benefit is that Medicare helps pay for the Men’s Liberty external catheters; Medicare does not pay for diapers or absorbents that you purchase from your local drugstore.

Topics: CathGrip, incontinence, BioDerm, adult diapers