As we continue to learn about strokes and the issues it can present, we’ve found that the risk of suffering from an overactive bladder (OAB) is increased for those who have had a stroke. While many would never associate blood flow and strokes with bladder control, the reality is that a healthy lifestyle combines many areas of the body working together.
Many people assume that as we age our bladders become weaker and can hold less or even leak. This assumption simply is not true and may actually be putting seniors at risk for falling.
A recent study¹ found the following statistics regarding an overactive bladder:
- OAB often goes undiagnosed & therefore untreated
- Seniors who have OAB are at increased risk of falling
- OAB means an increased need for night time bathroom visits
- There are treatments for OAB, which could help decrease the risk of falling
Increased night time bathroom visits can definitely be one reason why seniors become higher risks for falls. Waking up in the middle of the night, half asleep and with balance being compromised, easily increases fall risk.
Increased Risk of Overactive Bladder
There are some things that can increase you risk of OAB, including:
- Excess Weight
- Multiple Pregnancies
- Impaired Mobility
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Back/Spine Injury
Before you can treat a problem you should fully understand the problem. Often referred to as OAB or urge incontinence, this problem is actually caused by spasms of the urinary muscle.
There are many avenues of treatment for OAB & Incontinence:
- Pelvic Floor Exercises – also known as kegel exercises, these are often helpful for women who have OAB & incontinence due to pregnancy
- Dietary Changes – this includes removing certain items that can aggravate your condition (alcohol, spicy foods, coffee, tea & more)
- Quit Smoking – smoke irritates the bladder muscle and can also aggravate coughing, which can cause your bladder muscle to spasm & leak
- Retrain Your Bladder – the Cleveland Clinic offers a very good step by step description of how retrain your bladder
- Prescription Treatment – there are a number of prescription treatments available if you are suffering from OAB or any issues with incontinence (Please consult your physician to see what treatments would be best for you)
The resources we’ve provided via the clickable links throughout our blog will help guide you to gaining control over your OAB and hopefully give you the answers that will work for you. Don’t forget that it comes down to a healthy lifestyle in the end and the healthier you live the happier you live!
Don’t let overactive bladder ( OAB ) take over your life and limit your adventures.
¹Primary Source: American Urological Association Source Reference: Jayadevappa R, et al “Association between overactive bladder and risk of falls among Medicare elderly fee-for-service patients” AUA 2015; Abstract PD24-09.
Photo by Mr.TinDC