Having a neurological condition, such as Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. But one thing many people may not realize is how it will affect their bladder. Luckily, there are treatments available that can help to minimize symptoms of neurogenic bladder and allow you to live without the fear of an accident. Today, we’re going to discuss what neurogenic bladder is, and 2 ways you can treat it.
What Is Neurogenic Bladder?
Neurogenic bladder affects many Americans and occurs when there is a problem with the way your brain communicates with your bladder. People who have a neurogenic bladder usually experience a bladder that is either overactive (spastic) or underactive (flaccid).
What are the symptoms of a neurogenic bladder?
There are many symptoms of a neurogenic bladder. These include:
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
An urgent need to use the empty the bladder immediately
The inability to completely empty the bladder
A weak urine stream
Nocturia, the need to empty the bladder more than once per night
What treatment options exist for Neurogenic Bladder?
Luckily, there are many treatment options for Neurogenic Bladder.
Certain foods and drinks are known bladder irritants and may contribute to an overactive bladder. Try keeping a bladder diary to identify any triggers that may be causing your bladder problems and then work to avoid them. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help ease pressure placed on the bladder and also strengthen the pelvic floor muscles used to control bladder function.
Many people with neurogenic bladders use a catheter to control their bladder. A catheter is a thin tube that is inserted into the urethra and then into the bladder to allow urine to drain from the bladder. While using a catheter may sound a little intimidating at first, most people are able to master the process quickly and it can provide a great deal of freedom for those struggling with bladder control.
There are a number of pharmaceutical options available – both prescription and over the counter. Always talk with your doctor before trying something new.
It’s not just for wrinkles! Botox is also approved for overactive bladder (spastic bladders). Your doctor will inject botox into the bladder muscle, where it helps to block the nerve signals that trigger OAB, or spastic bladder. Many people find this reduces leaks and the number of times you need to urinate each day. It also helps with that urgent feeling of needing to empty the bladder.
If all else fails, there are different surgeries available to treat neurogenic bladder. Bladder augmentation is a surgical procedure to make the bladder larger. This helps reduce the pressure in the bladder, and reduce leaks.
If you’re living with Neurogenic Bladder, talk with your doctor about treatment options. Need help finding a qualified specialist? Try our Doctor Finder!