What is an overactive bladder?
An overactive bladder (OAB) affects millions of people across the globe every year. It is caused by nerve damage that affects communication between the brain and the bladder. Normally, when the brain detects that the bladder is full it sends a message to the detrusor muscle which flexes and allows urination. With a person suffering from an overactive bladder, that muscle spasms at random.
The symptoms are varied and can prove debilitating, lessening a person’s quality of life. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- uncontrollable urges to urinate
- the need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night
How can you combat it?
These factors impair a person’s standard of living, preventing them from engaging in their regular day-to-day activities. As there are multiple causes for the syndrome, there are also many treatments available to combat it. The simplest options to reduce the likelihood of contracting it are lifestyle choices. Two of the most effective are:
- Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake
Drinking fewer liquids overall, particularly right before bed, is very helpful and restricting caffeine and alcohol is key as they’re both diuretics.
- Weight control
Obesity is another major factor. Controlling weight can lessen the pressure on a bladder, and therefore reduce symptoms.
What’s the treatment strategy?
SNRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) drugs are the only pharmaceutical option despite the fact they only produce mediocre results. If a person’s OAB reaches a critical point then surgery is the next option.
The latest development in treating OAB that’s seen excellent results is a technique very similar to acupuncture that involves nerve stimulation. This was developed as an alternative for those who do not benefit from existing OAB therapies, and so far it has proven effective.
By sending electrical currents to the affected areas of the body, the pelvis and lower back, it encourages nerve cells to regenerate. Two methods of nerve stimulation are currently being used:
- Posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) which involves the insertion of an electrode into the lower leg. Pulses are then sent through the electrode, stimulating nerves in the leg, which in turn stimulates ones in the bladder.
- Sacral nerve stimulation is the same process with the electrodes placed above the above the sacral region, above the buttocks.
According to a review published in Current Urology Reports, this technique is the only proven way to successfully treat an overactive bladder. It is cost-effective and clinically effective. It’s the only natural method that allows the body to regain control of the bladder – and it works in the exact same way as acupuncture.
Acupuncture treats overactive bladder the same way, and has done for years. It can completely get rid of symptoms and allow you to sleep through the night without worry, and live a full a varied life. Come and visit us at the clinic for an evaluation so you can get started treating your OAB today!
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