Irritable Bladder: What Is An Irritable Bladder?

Irritable Bladder: The feeling of constantly having to go to the bathroom – people with irritable bladder know it all too well. But the constant urge to urinate does not have to remain a constant companion. We’ll tell you how you can recognize irritable bladder and how you can quickly end the frequent “toilet run”.

Every sixth adult is affected by an irritable bladder (also overactive or hyperactive bladder). Those who suffer from irritable bladder go to the quiet place far too often.

How Many Toilet Lengths are Normal?

Anyone who suffers from irritable bladder and frequent urination has to go to the toilet ten times a day or more. In contrast, people without an overactive bladder only need to pee about 6 to 7 times a day. But why does the bladder react so sensitively in some people and make them run to the toilet again and again?

What is an Irritable Bladder?

Our bladder can hold between 250 and 400 ml of fluid. To do this, the muscles around them must be elastic and relaxed. If the muscles around the bladder are overactive , the organ sounds the alarm too early. The bladder muscles tighten and we notice: “I have to go!” – although the bladder itself is perhaps only half full. Sleep at night is also severely disturbed by an irritable bladder when the organ reports in the middle of the night: “I’m full to the brim” – even if this is not the case at all.

Doctors call the reason for frequent use of the toilet “imperative to urinate”: The urge to urinate comes suddenly and is difficult to control. Even so, only small amounts of urine are given off (pollakiuria) because the bladder is barely full. Sometimes it can also lead to unwanted urination (urge incontinence).

The Difference between Irritable Bladder, Bladder weakness and cystitis:

Unlike urge incontinence, many types of incontinence are caused by a weak bladder. In the case of stress incontinence, for example, the bladder sphincter is too weak and can no longer hold back the urine completely when the pressure in the abdomen is increased. This mainly happens after physical reactions such as coughing and sneezing or when laughing.

A bladder infection can also lead to a strong urge to urinate and incontinence. The reason for this is a bacterial infection, which is very irritating to the urinary tract.

What are the Causes of an Irritable Bladder?

According to the medical definition, an irritable bladder has no cause that can be determined by a doctor. For example, sometimes the bladder is only sensitive to internal tension and stress .

The frequent urge to urinate can also be caused by other diseases such as cystitis, enlarged prostates in men, bladder tumors or neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. These conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of an overactive bladder. It is therefore important to have a doctor clarify whether such diseases are present.

Although both sexes can be affected by an overactive bladder, it affects more women than men. One reason for this is the hormonal changes women go through during pregnancy or menopause.

How can an Irritable Bladder be Diagnosed?

The doctor (urologist) must first rule out other causes of frequent urination. To this end, he will conduct a series of investigations . For example:

  • Examination of the urine to rule out a urinary tract infection
  • Examination of the urinary tract with ultrasound
  • Measurement of the residual urine in the bladder
  • Cystoscopy to rule out bladder tumors or inflammation of the bladder lining

He also examines the capacity of the bladder, how high the bladder pressure is, or whether the bladder and sphincter muscles are functioning normally. If the above examinations can rule out a disease, the diagnosis is “irritable bladder”.

Irritable Bladder: What to do about the Sudden Urge to Urinate?

An overactive bladder should initially be treated without medication. If these measures show little or no success, home remedies and medication can help. However, some treatment methods take a few weeks to take effect.

Therapies Without Drugs:

One form of therapy without medication is targeted training of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor supports the urinary bladder in its normal function. The stronger it is, the better the bladder can relax and the urge to urinate can be controlled. The urologist can prescribe treatment from a physiotherapist who will practice pelvic floor exercises with the patient. If incontinence occurs, continence training can provide additional support.

Since the frequent urge to urinate is often linked to emotional causes, psychosomatic treatments or behavioral training guided by a doctor can help to alleviate the symptoms of irritable bladder. The aim is to learn to endure the urge to urinate and to delay going to the toilet.


What Cause Bad Breath?


Many urologists recommend that those affected keep a so-called micturition diary . All visits to the toilet and the amount of urine left are noted in it. The recordings help to document the success of therapy and to get the body used to fixed toilet times.

Natural helpers for Irritable Bladder:

Before medication for an overactive bladder, you can also try natural remedies, such as medicinal herbs. These foods and medicinal plants have a relaxing effect on the bladder muscles:

  • Goldenrod: The real goldenrod is a good medicinal plant for those who have an excessive urge to urinate, because it has an antispasmodic effect and can reduce the urge to urinate. Available as a tea or in tablet form.
  • Bearberry leaves: A tea made from the dried leaves of the bearberry can also help with bladder problems. In the pharmacy there are also drops and coated tablets made from bearberry leaves.
  • Valerian: The medicinal plant has a relaxing effect and can therefore also help against a nervous bladder.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: They not only help men with problems with the prostate, but also with irritable bladder.
  • Cranberry Juice: Many sufferers also take cranberry juice as a remedy for bladder problems, but the effect is controversial .

Therapy with Drugs:

In drug therapy of an irritable bladder, active ingredients from the group of anticholinergics or spasmolytics are usually given. They block muscle receptors and the signaling pathways of the bladder nerves. This means that the bladder muscle can no longer contract so forcefully – the frequent urge to urinate does not occur. In menopausal women, preparations containing estrogen can relieve irritable bladder symptoms.

Botox for an Overactive Bladder:

If the first choice of medication does not work, therapy with botulinum toxin A (colloquially: botox) can help. The active ingredient, which is actually a nerve poison, is usually injected into the urinary bladder during a cystoscopy. It inhibits the signal transmission from the bladder to the bladder muscle, which as a result no longer contracts as much.

Since botulinum toxin A is broken down by the body, the treatment must be repeated after a year at the latest. A negative consequence of this therapy can be what is known as urinary retention: the bladder is full but can no longer be emptied voluntarily.

Recommendations For Everyday Life:

Drinking little is no solution to the irritable bladder problem – the urge to urinate occurs regardless of how much fluid is actually in the bladder. On the contrary, the motto was: drink a lot! Because this trains the capacity of the bladder and reduces its overactivity.

Anyone who goes to the toilet as a preventive measure, although he doesn’t “have to”, is doing himself badly. This prevents the bladder regulation from being (re) learned. On the other hand, those who regularly exercise and maintain a normal weight support the bladder in its normal activity.

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