Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Treatments for Frequent Urination in Adults

Frequent urination in adults is the result of numerous conditions. For example, pressure of a fetus on the bladder of a pregnant woman will cause her to feel like she may constantly need to go to the bathroom. Diabetes or an enlarged prostate can also cause frequent urination. Urinary tract infections are suspect when an otherwise healthy patient reports frequent urination. In general, when a patient reports frequent urination to a doctor, the doctor will want to rule out possible conditions that may be causing the problem.
Most often, frequent urination is associated with a condition called overactive bladder. When other causes have been ruled out, patients can get treatment for overactive bladder in a number of forms. Most have probably seen ads for the medication Detrol®, which helps reduce the “urge to go.” Another effective medication for frequent urination due to overactive bladder is Ditropan®. Both medications are often first line treatments for this condition.
Sometimes frequent urination becomes a behavioral compulsion. People may have had accidents in the past or suffer from leakage of urine, called urinary incontinence. They have to carefully map trips so that they can use bathrooms along the way. Some people even feel reluctant to leave their homes because the compulsion or urge to use the bathroom is very strong or they fear embarrassment if they have an accident in public. Such people may also lose sleep at night and have to make multiple trips to the bathroom.
In addition to medication, doctors may employ cognitive behavioral therapy to help the person “train” his or her bladder to be less active. When frequent urination is part habitual and behavior related, therapy to change one’s behavior may help reduce trips to the bathroom. Occasionally, frequent urination does not cease through medication and behavioral therapy. Currently, urologists have two surgical options to offer patients who are not helped by less invasive therapies. These are augmentation cytoplasty, and the placing of a sacral nerve stimulator.
Placing a sacral nerve stimulator is similar to putting in a pacemaker. A small device is placed in a person’s abdomen that connects to the sacral nerves under the tailbone. This stimulator helps regulate nerve responses to the bladder, which can reduce frequent urination problems.
Augmentation cytoplasty resects part of the bowel, and uses this tissue to enlarge the bladder. This surgery tends to be less preferred, since many patients may need to remove urine with a urine catheter after the surgery. Urine catheterization tends to be linked to increased risk of bladder and kidney infections, and can be as inconvenient as the initial problem of frequent urination and overactive bladder.
Frequent urination is often thought of as a natural consequence of aging. In fact there are many who do not have this problem. Urologists suggest that exercise, and a diet rich in fiber may help prevent frequent urination. Additionally, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, which are both diuretics, can reduce the urge to go. Doctors also advise those experiencing frequent urination to seek medical attention to diagnose and treat overactive bladder, or other conditions that may be causing the problem.

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