Incontinence is a very painful and embarrassing result of bladder spasms. This article will deal with the causes and treatment of this condition. Have a look…
Urine in the human body is collected in the organ called the urinary bladder. It is a muscular and elastic organ that controls the excretion of urine from the body. A bladder spasm occurs when there is a sudden involuntary squeezing of the bladder muscles, thereby leading to severe pain, and in most cases, uncontrolled urination accompanied by a burning sensation while urinating. This is also known as an overactive bladder. The persons most likely to suffer from this condition are those who are elderly, who are pregnant or have recently had a baby, have had pelvic surgery, women undergoing menopause, those who have a urinary tract infection, or people suffering from nervous system diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
Bladder spasms can occur due to a variety of reasons. Many of its symptoms, such as cramping, may be misunderstood. However, once accompanied by the uncontrollable urge to urinate all the time, you can be sure that you are suffering from this condition.
- As mentioned before, those suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) are more likely to suffer from distension of the bladder. This condition may be accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, fever, chills, foul-smelling, and cloudy urine.
- In the process of pregnancy and childbirth, the bladder tends to stretch, and consequently become weak. In such a case, spasms are more likely to occur.
- Sometimes, the nerves in the body tend to become weak or disoriented. In such cases, the brain tends to send wrong signals about the urge to urinate. In other cases, it may not send signals at all. Therefore, one may not be aware that the bladder is full, thereby resulting in incontinence. Diseases that can cause nerve damage are diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, brain tumors, stroke leading to brain damage, and spinal cord injury.
- In case one has undergone any surgery that requires to be bedridden, a catheter is used to take care of the urination process. Prolonged use of a catheter, can result in involuntary urination and bladder spasms.
- Certain foods such as caffeine, spicy foods, citrus fruits, alcohol, pickled foods, and artificial sweeteners are irritants to the bladder. Excessive consumption of these foods can cause spasms of the bladder.
- These spasms are also caused by a condition known as interstitial cystitis. This condition causes bladder inflammation, leading to severe pain and discomfort.
Recognizing the condition is the first step toward treating it. Some treatment methods can be adhered to at home, while others may require professional consultation.
- It can be treated merely by modifying the diet one regularly follows. This means reducing the intake of foods that cause this condition such as caffeine, alcohol, etc. Including yogurt in the daily diet can also help treat these spasms. Maintaining a log of the food one consumes will help in identifying foods that aggravate the condition.
- Make it a habit to urinate at regular intervals, i.e. every 2 hours till the symptoms subside. This will gradually reduce the tendency of leakage and experience embarrassing situations.
- Pelvic floor exercises or bladder exercises help in controlling the issue. However, it is better to consult a doctor when performing these exercises, as sometimes controlling the wrong muscles may further induce the spasms.
- Medicines for this problem include antidepressants, anticholinergics and alpha-blockers. These medicines allow the bladder to relax and empty completely. Even BOTOX, that is injected directly on to the bladder muscles, is known to control bladder spasms.
- Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, have also been found to help and reduce this condition.
In case of prolonged symptoms, it is imperative to consult a urologist. Symptoms such as cramps in the lower abdomen, frequent urge to urinate, and a burning sensation while urinating should not be misunderstood or ignored under any circumstance. These symptoms can definitely be treated if diagnosed in time.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.