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09.09.2016 Feature Article

Overactive Bladder Often Mistaken For Prostate Conditions: What To Know

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You prostate troubles could also be Overactive bladder. The condition remains one of the mostly commonly undiagnosed conditions in amongst the general population. According to an oft research paper from BJU Int estimates 4 out of 10 patients with symptoms of overactive bladder may not actually seek medical help.

Overactive bladder, or OAB, is a condition where the bladder can no longer hold urine normally. This is further accompanied by urinary urgency and is often accompanied by frequency and nocturia. Indeed the most common symptom of OAB is the sudden, difficult to control, urge to urinate. This may result in some urine leakage.

Leakage of urine is called “incontinence” and because the two are linked, a common question often hears is: What is the difference between having an overactive bladder and urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence isn’t itself a condition like OAB is, it’s a symptom which could be a result of a number of issues. For instance, incontinence could be a sign of something simple like excessive fluid consumption. But, it also can signal a more serious problem, like a urinary tract infection (UTI).

OAB itself is triggered by premature, uncontrolled contractions of the detrusor muscle (the bladder muscle) which results in the feeling to urinate.

Nevertheless, these contractions and subsequent ‘feeling’ or urinate does not always trigger actual urination. A person can also have ‘dry’ OAB as the mind registers these contractions as an urgent need to urinate. This will force you to the bathroom on time but it can cause a lot of frustration, worry and anxiety.

‘Wet’ OAB on the other hand means you may not always make it to the bathroom without leaking urine.

In terms of the lifestyle causes of OAB, these vary from person to person and it is best to speak to your Mainstream urologist or Holistic Urologist to diagnose your particular situation.

Common causes of OAB include (but are not limited to):

Nerve damage caused by injury, disease or surgery
Diabetes
Urinary tract infection
Side effects from certain types of medication
Diuretics with caffeine
Pregnancy
Inflammation of the prostate
MS or Parkinson’s disease
The Truth about Overactive Bladder (OAB)
Regrettably, there are a number of misconceptions and myths fluctuating around that don’t do any favors in assisting people understanding the facts about OAB.

I have listed some of the most common myth vs fact statements below: Overactive bladder is a normal part of ageing

MYTH. Although prevalence increases with age, OAB should not be considered a normal part of ageing or something that can’t be helped.

Prevalence is similar in men and women but generally develops later in life in men

FACT. Prevalence is similar in men and women but generally develops later in life in men.

The key defining symptom of overactive bladder is ‘urgency’FACT.

Urgency is the main defining symptom of overactive bladder.

Patients with overactive bladder should restrict their water intake

MYTH. This is a very common one the majority of OAB sufferers first believe. In fact restricting fluid intake concentrates the urine and acts as a bladder irritant.

Men & Women often present different symptoms of overactive bladder

Below is a handy graphic that summarizes the different symptoms men and women can often exhibit:

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Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD
Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD, © 2016

Prof Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is an honorary professor of holistic medicine-Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine and the President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, Tema Community 7, Post office. Column: RaphaelNyarkoteyObu

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