Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Overactive bladder is very common, with approximately 33 million Americans suffering with this condition.  Three out of ten men and 4 out of 10 women admit to having OAB symptoms with more who may be too embarrassed to do so.

While overactive bladder is not a disease, its symptoms may greatly affect you by impeding your daily activities, from work, sleep, and social interactions.

OAB is a label that encompasses a group of urinary symptoms.


Signs of OAB include:

  • Sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate
  • Urine leakage after urge sensation may occur
  • Frequent urination- 8 times within 24 hours
  • Nocturia- waking to use the bathroom twice or more

Causes and Risks

Bladder muscles contracting involuntarily despite a low urine volume in the bladder can cause OAB symptoms.  The contraction initiates the need to urinate.

10 Conditions eliciting symptoms of overactive bladder include:

1) Nerve and muscle dysfunction or disorders such as:

  • Alcoholic neuropathy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Axillary nerve dysfunction
  • Becker’s muscular dystrophy
  • Brachial plexopathy
  • Cervical spondhylosis
  • Common peroneal nerve dysfunction
  • Denervation
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Distal median nerve dysfunction
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Familial periodic paralysis
  • Femoral nerve dysfunction
  • Friedreich’s ataxia
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Lambert-Eaton syndrome
  • Landouzy-Dejerine syndrome
  • Mononeuritis multiplex
  • Mononeuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myopathy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Polymositis
  • Sciatic nerve dysfunction
  • Sensorimotor polyneuropathy
  • Shy-Drager syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis

2) Obstruction to bladder outflow:

  • Constipation
  • Enlarged prostate

3) Diet

  • Excess in caffeine consumption
  • Excessive quantity of acidic foods
  • Excess in alcoholic beverage intake
  • Obesity

4) Drugs causing rapid boost to urine production

5) Pregnancy

6) Urinary tract infections/inflammation

7) Compromised cognitive functioning

  • Senility/Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke

8) Fluid intake greater than output

  • Diabetes
  • Poor functioning of kidneys

9) Abnormalities in the bladder

  • Tumors
  • Stones

10) Incomplete bladder emptying

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