Though not a life-threatening condition, bladder distention must be treated before it leads to complications. In this HealthHearty article, we give you the main causes along with the diagnosis of this condition.
The abnormal enlargement of the bladder is called bladder distention, and it occurs mainly due to the prolonged retention of urine in the bladder. The symptoms usually include an urgent and frequent need to urinate, pain in the bladder, and sleeplessness. There are numerous factors that may lead to this condition, that can be mechanical, anatomical, neuromuscular, or even side effects of certain drugs. Some diseases that involve distention of the bladder as one of their symptoms are described below.
The destruction of the myelin insulation covering the neurons in the brain and spinal cord alters movement, sensation, and various bodily functions. Such a condition is known as multiple sclerosis. When it affects the upper motor neuron controlling the bladder, it causes optic neuritis, paresthesia, diplopia, nystagmus, muscle weakness, and dizziness along with bladder distention.
Urethral stricture is described as a region of hardened tissue that narrows the urethra. A patient of this disorder finds difficulty urinating, which in turn causes bladder distention. Usually, surgery is conducted to treat the condition. If it returns even after surgery, it is referred to as recurrent urethral stricture. Some common signs and symptoms of urethral stricture are frequent urge to urinate, decreased pressure and diameter of urine stream and dysuria.
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
A condition in which the normal elements of the prostate gland increase in size and number is known as benign or non-cancerous prostate hyperplasia. This causes a compression on the urethra as it passes through the center of the prostate. This blocks the outward flow of urine through the urethra to some extent. As a result, retention of urine occurs that further leads to distention of bladder. Patients of benign prostate hyperplasia experience prostate enlargement, perineal pain, hematuria, constipation, and incomplete bladder.
A cancerous growth of bladder cells causes the blockage of urethral orifice and bladder distention. Some other noticeable symptoms of bladder cancer are increase in urinary frequency accompanied with urgency, vomiting, dysuria, diarrhea, restlessness, and pain in the bladder.
In order to determine the exact reason behind the condition, a medical professional takes help of various diagnostic tests. Some common tests are urine culture, voiding cystourethrogram and cystometrogram to assess bladder function. The doctor may conduct post-voiding residual measurements like filling the bladder to find out the urine holding capacity of the bladder, and leakage, if present.
In majority cases, there is a need to empty the bladder of the patient with the help of medical techniques. One such technique that is commonly used is catheterization. It involves the insertion of a catheter through the urethra and into the bladder to take the urine out. This is done whenever the need is felt. An important part of treatment is medication formulated to restore the normal state of the bladder.
Surgery is often considered as the last option, only when medication fails to treat bladder distention. Generally, the objective of surgery is to remove or replace the defective part of the bladder. Suppose the sphincter of bladder is not functioning well, doctors replace it with a ring-like muscle at the neck of the bladder. This stops the leaking out of urine.
Caffeinated drinks and alcohol may lead to urine retention, which further complicates the condition. Try to avoid their consumption or take them only within limits. Secondly, do not drink large amounts of water. Excess water may further complicate the matter. The problem needs to be taken with utmost seriousness. Pay a visit to a medical practitioner to determine the underlying factor and get effective treatment for the same.