A Quick Guide to Home Remedies for Overactive Bladder

Your Guide to Home Remedies for Overactive Bladder Relief 

If you’re feeling that sudden, strong urge to use the bathroom on a regular basis, then you may be suffering from overactive bladder (OAB), also known as urgency incontinence. Although it’s a pestering problem, there are many solutions and ways to manage and treat OAB. Learn several strategies, techniques (like activating the pelvic floor muscles), and tools to try at home so you’ll feel better and experience fewer leaks in the future. 

Understanding Overactive Bladder 

Individuals with OAB are unable to hold their urine due to involuntary bladder muscle contractions. This leads to the sudden need to urinate, sometimes resulting in leakage. OAB is typically defined as someone who passes urine eight or more times a day in the course of 24 hours, and about one-third of people with OAB experience urinary incontinence, according to Yale Medicine.

There are many factors that cause overactive bladder, including:

Many people suffer from OAB (an estimated 30% of men and 40% of women), yet a big group of that population never seeks treatment — they assume it’s a normal part of aging. Because of this, sufferers may avoid socializing. They feel frustrated or ashamed about any urinary incontinence issues, and it can affect their sleep due to going to the bathroom multiple times each night. Luckily, there are many solutions and ways to greatly minimize the issue as well as find proper treatment.

Home Remedies to Consider 

You don’t necessarily need medication, invasive treatment, or expensive options to help your OAB. Here are the best ways to help your urology issue at home:

Make Lifestyle and Diet Modifications 

Eliminating certain bladder irritants will significantly improve your OAB. Smoking, drinking too much caffeine, and taking certain medications, such as: diuretics, antihistamines, sedatives, muscle relaxants, narcotics, and alpha-blockers all contribute to an inflamed bladder with a greater chance of leakage. Alcohol, citrus fruits and juices, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages, and spicy foods are also common offenders, so it’s best to cut down on these foods or avoid them all together. Managing a healthy weight and getting plenty of exercise is also helpful, as extra weight will put pressure on the bladder, causing you to go more often. Be sure to speak with your doctor before stopping or switching any medication or before beginning an exercise regimen.

Related article: Top 10 Fitness and Nutrition Tips For Older Adults

Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises 

Kegels are a powerfully effective exercise that strengthens your pelvic floor muscles, which helps control the flow of urine. The way to locate your pelvic floor muscles is to act like you’re stopping the flow of urine — the muscles that tense are your pelvic floor muscles. Squeeze these muscles for 10 seconds and relax for three seconds, completing this pattern 10 times. Work up to doing three sets of 10 repetitions daily. 

Related article: Urinary Incontinence and Kegel Exercises

Try Herbal Supplements

There are many natural remedies, vitamins and herbal supplements you can take at home that will help improve your OAB. This includes: 

  • Vitamin D
  • Saw palmetto
  • Magnesium
  • Pumpkin seed extract
  • Gosha-jinki-gan
  • Capsaicin
  • Bromelain
  • Cleavers
  • Resiniferatoxin
  • Cornsilk

Many of these herbal supplements help reduce bladder irritation and inflammation, protect the bladder wall, and help reduce leakage. Be sure to do your research and talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements or incorporating natural remedies. 

Practice Bladder Training 

Also known as bladder control techniques, you can schedule your urination so that you experience fewer surprises. Start by keeping a diary of urinary habits, including any leaks that happen or when your urgency to go arises. From here, you can schedule your pee breaks to be 15 minutes later than your normal times to help train the bladder. Delayed urination means that anytime you feel the urge to go, you wait at least five minutes. The goal is to eventually wait 3-4 hours in between bathroom breaks. Double voiding is also another technique, where you make yourself go to the bathroom right after you just went, to ensure your bladder is empty (a great technique to do before bedtime). 

Practical Tips for Daily Management 

Aside from bladder training and planning your bathroom breaks, purchasing protective underwear, pads or liners can significantly help you feel more confident and secure so you can live your life normally. Be sure to watch your fluid intake — stay hydrated throughout the day, but limit liquids before bed so you can sleep soundly through the night. 

When to Seek Professional Help 

Home remedies for OAB can be powerful allies, however, it’s still important to seek medical help to address your medical history, medications, and the specific symptoms you’re experiencing. If your symptoms of overactive bladder do not improve after making several lifestyle adjustments and trying several of the home remedy solutions above, it’s time to meet with your healthcare provider to discuss options, which may include medication, 1-1 physical therapy or other treatments that are only available at the doctor’s office. You want to feel secure, confident, and like yourself. If the OAB issue is significantly affecting your daily life, it’s also a strong indicator to get help. 

How Parentgiving Can Help 

While on the journey to improving your OAB symptoms, it’s important to feel confident and secure in your day-to-day life. Parentgiving provides hundreds of incontinence products, as well as educational articles to help you navigate your urology health.