When you have to go to much, you might have overactive bladder syndrome, the frequent and urgent need to urinate, unrelated to water intake and with a sense of immediacy. Dr. Ekene Enemchukwu provides some more information on the disorder’s symptoms and treatment for this week’s Get Well Wednesday.
WHAT IS OVERACTIVE BLADDER (OAB)?
Overactive bladder (OAB) is characterized by an urgent and frequent need to urinate1, which may be the difference between going to the bathroom and running to the bathroom frequently.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF OVERACTIVE BLADDER?
Major symptoms of OAB include sudden urges to pee that are difficult to control, a frequent need to go to the bathroom – usually eight or more times a day – and leakage or accidental wetting.1
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT OAB FROM DEVELOPING AS WE AGE?
The symptoms of OAB are not necessarily a normal part of aging. Several treatment options are available and patients should talk to their doctor about those and potential lifestyle and behavioral changes such as avoiding excess caffeine, losing weight, making dietary changes, exercising pelvic muscles, bladder training, etc.1
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS HAVE OAB?
Approximately 46 million U.S. adults 40 years of age and older have reported symptoms of overactive bladder at least sometimes. Forty-three percent of women experience OAB symptoms at least sometimes.2
IS THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY MORE SUSCEPTIBLE OR DISPROPORTIONATELY DIAGNOSED?
OAB does not discriminate. The condition affects everyone equally, regardless of ethnic background.3
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO TALK TO A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT OAB?
It’s time to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any OAB symptoms, such as: having difficulty controlling your sudden urges to pee, going to the bathroom eight or more times a day, or you’re experiencing leakage or accidental wetting.1
WHAT ACTUALLY CAUSES OAB?
Numerous factors can contribute to experiencing OAB symptoms, including neurologic conditions.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT OVERACTIVE BLADDER AND WHAT IS BEING DONE TO RAISE AWARENESS?
According to the Peehavior survey of 2,584 women, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Astellas Pharma US, 60 percent of women do not think about bladder health often or at all, including 55 percent of African-American and 51 percent of Hispanic women.4 It’s important to take care of one’s bladder health to avoid any serious health issues down the line.
To help raise awareness, Astellas launched Stop Stalling to educate and empower adults who may be experiencing the symptoms of an overactive bladder to talk to their healthcare professionals about their symptoms and how to manage them.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE GO FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OAB?
People can learn more by visiting StopStalling.com.
TEXT YOUR QUESTIONS TO 646464 AND DOCTOR E WILL ANSWER THEM ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM
- Gormley EA, Lightner DJ, Burgio KL, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of overactive bladder (non-neurogenic) in adults: AUA/SUFU guideline. American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. 2014.
- Coyne KS, Sexton CC, Vats V, Thompson C, Kopp ZS, Milsom I. National community prevalence of overactive bladder in the United States stratified by sex and age. Urology 2011;77(5):1081-7.
- Dessie SG, Adams SR, Modest AM, Hacker MR, Elkadry EA. Bladder symptoms and attitudes in an ethnically diverse population. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg 2016;22(1):37-42.
- Astellas and Ipsos Public Affairs. Data on File.
Ekene Enemchukwu, MD, MPH is a practicing Female Pelvic Medicine Urologist in Stanford, CA who attended Duke University and received a combined medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, General Surgery and Urology training from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and fellowship training from New York University Langone Medical Center. Ekene is also an OAB awareness advocate and health disparities researcher in Urologic conditions (Twitter: @DrEnemchukwu). She is partnering with Astellas as an unpaid consultant to raise awareness about the symptoms associated with overactive bladder as part of the Stop Stalling campaign.
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