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If you have experienced the urge feeling of urination that is difficult to control, even when you are in an important meeting, or on the car, it is possible that you get trouble with overactive bladder. Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition that your bladder cannot hold urine as normal, with the popular symptoms such as urinary continence and leaking urination. This disease is something that you should not suffer in silence because it can cause many serious results then. Risk factors of OAB include caffeine, obesity, and constipation. Besides, poorly controlled diabetes, chronic pelvic pain, and poor functional mobility may worsen the symptoms. We are here today to introduce you some time-tested natural home remedies for overactive bladder syndrome to partly help you with your conditions. Please keep on reading this article to know more what these home remedies are.
There is no science-based evidence for the following homemade recipes. The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult your doctor and check out your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.
- Top 9 effective tips to prevent bladder infections
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- 6 Best home remedies for frequent urination in women
- Top 22 Natural Home Remedies For UTI In Adults & Children. (This article was medically reviewed/fact checked by Millie Lytle, ND, MPH.)
10 Time-Tested Natural Home Remedies For Overactive Bladder Syndrome
I. Causes Of Overactive Bladder
There are some causes of OAB that can be determined, including:
Aging: OAB can happen in both men and women at any age, but it is more common in the old. The risk of OAB in people under the age of 50 is less than 10 percent, and as for people over 60, the prevalence is 20 to 30 percent.
Menopause: For women after menopause, the drastic change of the whole body, as well as the bladder, make OAB more likely because of the loss of estrogen that makes up bladder tissue.
Extra weight or obesity: Extra weight puts more pressure on the bladder; therefore, the more weight you have, the weaker your bladder is. Obesity, then, becomes the main cause of urine leaks.
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Nerve Damage: In a healthy bladder, urine is held until it gets full and prompted to empty by nerve signals. However, in some people with nerve damage (possibly caused by diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, pelvic surgery, stroke, etc.), the muscles surrounding the urethra (the tube that takes the urine out of your bladder) can be too loose, which leads to bladder leakage.
Weak pelvic muscles: Bladder control issues can happen when people have weak pelvic muscles. The pelvic floor muscles play the role to hold up the uterus and bladder. In women, pregnancy and childbirth are two reasons causing the stretching and weakening of the vital pelvic floor muscles. The opening of the urethra also stretches and urine easily leaks out.
Diuretic medications: Diuretics or water pills are common in the prescription for patients with high blood pressure. These medications cause your body to get rid of water and salt faster through the urine; consequently, it causes faster fill-up and possibly leaking bladder.
II. Natural Home Remedies For Overactive Bladder Syndrome
1. Kegel Exercises
The exercises were named after a famous gynecologist, Arnold Kegel in 1948. These muscular exercises were proposed to activate the pelvic floor (which holds up the uterus and bladder) as well as strengthen the muscle in the anal and sphincter areas. Many doctors suggest Kegel exercises for OAB because they help trigger a reflex mechanism to settle down the bladder spasm and hold it when you are on the way to the bathroom.
How to do Kegel exercises:
- Find the right muscles: If you manage to stop urination in midstream, it means that the muscles you have used are the right pelvic floor muscles and also what you need to focus when doing Kegel exercises.
- Perfect your technique: When your bladder is empty, tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Do 5 repetitions. When your muscles become stronger, increase the duration to 10 seconds, and repeat the exercise 10 times in a row.
- Maintain your focus: You need to focus when exercising to get the best result. Remember not to flex muscles in the abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Also, don’t forget to breathe normally.
- Repeat the exercises three times per day to get the strong pelvic floor muscles.
These exercises are good for both men and women’s health, and you can perform them at any time, even when you are sitting at your desk at work. However, Kegel exercises can increase the risk of urinary tract infection if you do them when you are emptying your bladder, be careful.
2. Other Exercises For Pelvic Muscles
As mentioned before, pelvic muscles have functions to hold up the uterus and bladder and weak pelvic muscles contribute to the overactive bladder. For that reason, enhance the strength of pelvic muscles are necessary to control this condition, especially for women. In addition to Kegel exercises, we would like to introduce some other exercises that can help you to treat with OAB effectively.
Exercise 1: Push up exercise
- Lie to let the face look to the ground then lift your body up to form a push-up.
- Keep your arms and shoulders straight so that your neck, hips, and legs form a straight line, avoiding your hips to touch beneath the floor.
- Then, tighten abdominal muscles.
- Keep in this position for 30 seconds to a minute.
- For best results, repeat 2-3 times.
Exercise 2: Lift your leg
- Lie on your back and straighten your legs together.
- Knit two arms together and place them under your back.
- Lift your feet off the floor, pausing.
- Then raise your feet up again until they form a square with the hips and hold for a few seconds, then return to the original posture.
- Do the repetition 2-3 times, each time 10 beats.
Exercise 3: Squats
- Plant your feet on the ground.
- Then, keep the feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, and straighten the back.
- Bend your knees (pretend you are going to sit in a chair)
- Lower yourself: Lower yourself until your hips sink beneath your knees and your heels are still on the ground.
- Repeat this exercise several times per day.
3. Avoid Dietary Triggers
There are some dietary triggers you need to void to take control of your overactive bladder symptoms. Such foods and drinks can irritate your bladder or urinary tract, make the frequent urge to urinate and urinary incontinence. Here is the list of them that you should know:
- Caffeinated drinks and foods
- Fruits and citrus juices
- Spicy foods
- Soda and other carbonated beverages
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sugar and high-sugar foods
- Milk products
- Tomatoes and tomato-based products, including ketchup, tomato sauce, and chili
- Raw onion
Besides, drinking enough water to get rid of dehydration is necessary, but if you drink too much water, especially before bedtime, you are more likely in need to empty your bladder. Many OAB sufferers have nocturia – the demand to urinate a few times per night, a disruption to have a good night's sleep. Therefore, remember to take care of your daily fluid intake.
4. Scheduled Urination
Scheduling bathroom visits is a good way to improve bladder control. First, you should figure out how often you're going to the bathroom based on your diary entries, and then you can start scheduling your trips. You should add about 15 minutes to the normal time. For instance, if you go to the bathroom every hour, you schedule your bathroom trips every hour and 15 minutes. This schedule should be strictly taken even if you don’t feel the urge to urinate. After a period of time, you can increase the time between bathroom breaks. This remedy helps you to control urination and prevent unexpected urination.
5. Delay Urination
Apart from Kegel exercises, delaying urination can be considered as another typical bladder retraining technique. This remedy may bring you an uncomfortable feeling, but holding out in few minutes after you feel the urge to urinate can help you retrain your bladder. Some relaxation techniques like deep breathing are appropriate for you when you hold it to reduce the discomfort, but if you can’t stand anymore, go to the bathroom immediately. By increasing the holding time gradually, you can lengthen the gap between bathroom visits to 3-4 hours.
6. Double-Void Technique
The double void is another natural way to deal with OAB, especially at night. Before you go to bed, you should try to urinate not once, but two times instead. You can go to the bathroom, empty your bladder, then take time to brush your teeth, then urinate one more time and go to sleep. This technique is helpful for those who feel like their bladder is not fully empty.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Apart from some bladder training techniques, we also would like to introduce you some natural remedies, foods that can help you with OAB, such as pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, scientists found some substance such as tryptophan, carotenoids, and liposoluble, which help prevent diseases, especially prostatic disease. Some studies show the great advantages of pumpkin seed oil in the improvement of abnormal urinary function and reduces symptoms of OAB.
You can use pumpkin seed in many ways, including:
- Method 1: Rinse 10 grams of pumpkin seeds, then roast for 3 minutes to ripen the pumpkin seeds. You can consume them at any time of the day, when you feel hungry, and don’t forget to peel them.
- Method 2: Prepare 20 grams of pumpkin seeds and 500 ml of boiling water. Rinse pumpkin seeds, soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Filter for the pumpkin seeds juice and drink it. This remedy should be taken 4 to 5 times per week for the best result.
- Method 3: Prepare 100 grams of pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons of honey. Rinse the pumpkin seeds, and remove the shell (we just use the green layer inside). Grind the pumpkin seed by the grinder, then mix with honey and sugar. Stir well and enjoy them when you feel hungry.
Horsetail or so-called equisetum is one of the most effective home remedies for overactive bladder, as it can slow the aging process of the bladder. Horsetail contains substances that have antispasmodic, antibacterial properties, helping to prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Therefore, it totally can help you with your overactive bladder. When you use horsetail, thiamin levels will decrease, so you must drink plenty of water.
How to do:
- Prepare a supplement of 900 mg of horsetail and divide it into 3 daily doses.
- Boil it with a big cup of water and drink.
- Be patient with this remedy in 4-5 days a week for the best results.
However, horsetail contains nicotine, so remember not to use horsehair for babies. Besides, you should ask your doctor’s advice before taking horsetail to treat urinary incontinence and/or an overactive bladder.
Vitamin D was proven to have great advantages in reducing the risk of pelvic floor disorders, especially bladder leaking in women and older people. Therefore, we highly recommend you consume foods rich in vitamin D as much as possible. Here we list mushroom in our list of natural home remedies for overactive bladder because of abundant vitamin D content in it. Additionally, mushroom contains few calories, so it is effective in promoting weight loss and lowering blood pressure. Therefore, it does a good job in the treatment of overactive bladder. You can implement this remedy in two main ways below:
- Prepare 2-3 mushrooms. Rinse and grind them by the grinder and then steam the mushrooms in water for 30 minutes. Consume the mixture before sleeping.
- Prepare 2-3 mushrooms and 3 teaspoons of wine (You may question about wine because it is a cause of overactive bladder, but proper use of alcohol can relieve OAB quickly). Rinse mushrooms, grind them and then mix with wine mentioned above. Steam the mixture in 30 minutes and also eat it before bedtime.
10. Coconut Water
Some people think that drinking too much water may make the OAB more serious, but in fact, coconut water have a good impact on OAB. It is used in any part of the world, especially in Asia, to treat urinary tract infections. Potassium and other minerals found in coconut water can help to regulate the internal fluid and replenish water for the body. For that reason, coconut water plays the role of a natural diuretic. Besides, people also drink coconut water when they get high temperature and dehydration because of plasma found in coconut water, which is similar to human blood.
The remedy can be easily taken; all you need to do is drinking a cup of coconut water (about 12 to 16 ounces) per day, and every day in a week.
III. Notices For Overactive Bladder Prevention
Such remedies above would bring greater results if you pay attention to two more notices below:
- Control your weight: As mentioned before, obesity is a reason for OAB because it puts too much stress on your bladder. Besides, it is the reason for many serious diseases, so if you want to have a healthy body, your weight must be under control.
- Talk to your doctor: Your OAB may stem from drug side effects such as diuretic or diabetes medications, or your menopause. So you should visit your doctor and ask for advice before taking any OAB drugs.
Above are the best home remedies for overactive bladder syndrome that you should keep in mind. If you know any other proven home remedies for overactive bladder, then feel free to share with us. However, all content provided is for informational and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.