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9 Natural Remedies For Overactive Bladder + Causes, Symptoms, And Diet Tips

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9 Natural Remedies For Overactive Bladder + Causes, Symptoms, And Diet Tips Hyderabd040-395603080 May 20, 2019

Has a sudden urge to pee disrupted your day-to-day life on multiple occasions? That uncontrollable and frequent urge to pee where you feel like your bladder is practically controlling your life – does it sound familiar? If yes, you could be dealing with a condition called overactive bladder. Overactive bladder affects 16.6% or 33 million of the US population in some form (1). If you would like to know more about this condition and the available treatment options, keep reading.

What Is Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder is a common condition that causes the affected individuals to develop a sudden urge to urinate. This urge is often difficult to control and may even result in the involuntary loss of urine. In such a situation, this condition may also be termed as urinary incontinence.

The sudden urge to urinate can occur at any time of the day. The frequency of the unpredictable urge to urinate can also have a negative effect on a person’s life.

An overactive bladder isn’t a disease in itself, but it represents a group of urinary symptoms. The common symptoms associated with this condition are discussed below.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Overactive Bladder?

The symptoms of an overactive bladder may include:

  • A sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control
  • Urinary incontinence – Involuntary loss of urine following a sudden urge to urinate.
  • Frequent urination, usually 8 or more times in a day
  • Nocturia – Awakening 2 or more times during the night to pee.

While the specific cause of an overactive bladder is unknown, it is usually a result of the involuntary muscle contractions of the bladder. What could probably be causing this condition? Let’s find out in the next section.

What Causes An Overactive Bladder?

Your kidneys produce urine, and the urine later drains into your bladder. As you urinate, the urine further passes through an opening at the bottom of your bladder and then flows out of your body through the urethra. In women, the urethra is located right above the vagina, whereas, in men, the urethra opens at the tip of the penis.

This entire process of urination is controlled by nerve signals. When your bladder is filled, your brain receives signals to trigger the urge to urinate. As you urinate, your brain again receives signals to relax the muscles of your pelvic floor as well as the urethra to help pass the urine. Simultaneously, your bladder tightens to push the urine out.

In the case of an overactive bladder, the contraction of the bladder occurs involuntarily, even when the volume of urine inside is relatively low. This action causes a sudden urge to pee.

While the exact cause of this occurrence is yet to be found, the following are some factors that could be contributing to the symptoms of an overactive bladder:

  • Neurological disorders
  • Certain medications like diuretics
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bladder abnormalities like tumors and/or bladder stones
  • Medical conditions that may affect or obstruct bladder flow like enlarged prostate or constipation
  • A history of surgery to treat incontinence
  • Consuming caffeine or alcohol in excess
  • A decline in cognitive function, mostly due to aging
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder

An overactive bladder can take a toll on the affected individual’s life in more ways than you can imagine. Here are some wonderful home remedies that can help in managing the symptoms of an overactive bladder.

Home Remedies To Manage An Overactive Bladder

1. Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin Seed Oil Pinit

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You Will Need

Pumpkin seed oil supplement

What You Have To Do

Take pumpkin seed oil supplement daily. Talk to your doctor for the right dosage.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily or as advised by your doctor.

Why This Works

Daily intake of pumpkin seed oil extracted from both Cucurbita pepo and Cucurbita maxima can help in reducing the symptoms of an overactive bladder (2).

2. Chinese Herbs

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You Will Need

Chinese herbal supplements like Gosha-jinki-gan (GJG) and Hachi-mi-jio-gan (HE)

What You Have To Do

Consume any of the above Chinese herbal supplements daily after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily or as suggested by your physician.

Why This Works

Hachi-mi-jio-gan (HE) and Gosha-jinki-gan (GJG) are Chinese herbal supplements that are known to alleviate overactive bladder symptoms. They do so by inhibiting bladder sensation and contractions due to their relaxant effects (3).

3. Vitamin D

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You Will Need

Vitamin D supplement

What You Have To Do

Consume vitamin D supplement daily after consulting with your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

You can take this supplement daily.

Why This Works

Symptoms of overactive bladder and other pelvic floor disorders have been associated with vitamin D deficiency (4). Hence, restoring this deficiency may help in alleviating the condition.

4. Capsaicin

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You Will Need

Capsaicin injections

What You Have To Do

Consult your doctor and talk about intravesical therapy using capsaicin. This procedure includes injecting liquid capsaicin directly into the bladder under medical supervision.

How Often You Should Do This

Do as directed by your doctor.

Why This Works

Intravesical instillation of capsaicin, which is the active component in hot peppers, can help reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder by desensitizing the neurons that are responsible for overactivity of the bladder (5).

5. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep the green tea bag in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the used tea bag and enjoy your cup of green tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this two times daily.

Why This Works

Daily consumption of green tea is inversely associated with the symptoms of urinary continence (6). This could be due to the presence of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in it (7).

6. Cranberry Juice

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You Will Need

400 mL of unsweetened cranberry juice

What You Have To Do

Drink around 400 mL of cranberry juice.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink this once daily.

Why This Works

One of the common causes of an overactive bladder is a urinary tract infection. Regular consumption of cranberry juice can help prevent such infections, thereby also preventing the symptoms associated with an overactive bladder (8).

7. Ginseng

Ginseng Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of dried ginseng
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of ginseng tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5-10 minutes and strain.
  3. Allow the tea to cool a bit before drinking it.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink this 1-2 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

An overactive bladder can turn complicated and lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BOH), which leads to the enlargement of the prostate gland. Regular consumption of ginseng tea has a therapeutic effect on the symptoms of BPH as it helps nerve growth factor activation (9).

8. Baking Soda

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do

1. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water.
2. Mix well and drink the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this two times daily.

Why This Works

Drinking sodium bicarbonate solution leads to alkalinization of urine, thereby reducing lower urinary tract symptoms, including overactive bladder (10).

9. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of chamomile tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of chamomile tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5-10 minutes and strain.
  3. Drink the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink this 1-2 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile, along with its sedative action, are great for alleviating the symptoms of an overactive bladder, especially if you experience them at night (11), (12).

These remedies work best when used to assist ongoing medical intervention for an overactive bladder. The best medical treatments that are often suggested for severe cases of overactive bladder are as follows.

Medical Treatments

Treatments for an overactive bladder may include:

  • Medications to relax the bladder, such as Tolterodine, Oxybutynin, and Trospium.
  • Bladder injections like OnabotulinumtoxinA to help with incontinence.
  • Nerve stimulation therapy.
  • Surgery to increase the capacity of the bladder or to remove it altogether.

Your diet may also have a significant role to play in treating an overactive bladder and alleviating the symptoms.

What Foods Are Good For An Overactive Bladder?

Some foods may be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of an overactive bladder. They are (13):

  • Vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks.
  • Potassium-rich foods like bananas, oranges, cantaloupes, cucumber, and apricots.
  • Fiber-rich foods like lentils, beans, raspberries, and barley to prevent constipation that may further worsen your symptoms.
  • Protein-rich foods like fish, chicken, and tofu.

You must also avoid the following trigger foods as they can aggravate your symptoms.

What Foods And Drinks To Avoid For An Overactive Bladder?

If you are dealing with an overactive bladder, avoid these foods (14):

  • Carbonated beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolates
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spicy foods
  • Artificial flavorings and preservatives
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Raw onion

You may not have to eliminate all the above foods from your diet. Find out which of the above can be tolerated in small amounts by your body and make changes to your diet accordingly.

Listed below are some helpful tips to manage an overactive bladder and prevent recurrence of symptoms.

How To Manage An Overactive Bladder

  • Do pelvic floor or Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Set a schedule for your toilet trips and follow it regularly.
  • Train your bladder to hold in the urge to urinate every now and then. Gradually work your way to pee every 3-4 hours instead of every 20-30 minutes.
  • Practice yoga.

It is highly recommended that you avail immediate treatment for severe symptoms of an overactive bladder to rule out the possibility of any serious underlying condition. Use the remedies discussed here to assist the prescribed medical treatment in dealing with an overactive bladder and its symptoms successfully.

Do you know of any other remedies or tips that can help in managing an overactive bladder? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the best medicine for overactive bladder?

Medications often prescribed for overactive bladder include tolterodine (Detrol) and oxybutynin (Ditropan).

When to see a doctor for overactive bladder?

See a doctor immediately if:
• It affects your sleep quality.
• You pee more than 8 times daily.
• You rarely make it to the washroom due to the sudden urge to pee.

Can fluid pills harm an overactive bladder?

Using fluid pills or diuretics can worsen the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Hence, it is better to avoid them.

References

  1. The overactive bladder and quality of life.” International Journal of Fertility and Women’s Medicine, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Pumpkin Seed Oil Extracted From Cucurbita maxima Improves Urinary Disorder in Human Overactive Bladder” Journal Of Traditional And Complementary Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine.
  3. Use of Herbal Supplements for Overactive Bladder” Urology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  4. Vitamin D Status – A Clinical Review with Implications for the Pelvic Floor” International Urogynecology Journal, US National Library Of Medicine.
  5. Intravesical neuromodulatory drugs: capsaicin and resiniferatoxin to treat the overactive bladder.” Journal of Endourology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  6. Green tea drinking is inversely associated with urinary incontinence in middle-aged and older women.” Neurourology and Urodynamics, US National Library Of Medicine.
  7. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate alleviates bladder overactivity in a rat model with metabolic syndrome and ovarian hormone deficiency through mitochondria apoptosis pathways” Scientific Reports.
  8. The role of cranberry juice in the treatment of urinary tract infections.” British Journal of Community Nursing, US National Library Of Medicine.
  9. Effects of Panax ginseng on the nerve growth factor expression in testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia” Saudi Journal Of Biological Sciences, US National Library Of Medicine.
  10. Effects of urine alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate orally on lower urinary tract symptoms in female patients: a pilot study.” International Urogynecology Journal, US National Library Of Medicine.
  11. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of Advanced Nursing, US National Library Of Medicine.
  12. Chamomile, an anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity” International Journal Of Molecular Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine.
  13. Nutrient composition of the diet and the development of overactive bladder: a longitudinal study in women.” Neurourology and Urodynamics, US National Library Of Medicine.
  14. Evaluation and management of overactive bladder: strategies for optimizing care” Research And Reports In Urology, US National Library Of Medicine.