Most people urinate during the normal intervals that they’re used to, rarely feeling too much pressure on their bladders, and usually only in unusual circumstances. But some people suffer from inordinate bladder pressure, a condition that can cause embarrassing situations and overall discomfort.
There are several possible causes of excessive bladder pressure, as well as ways that you can deal with it. If you begin experiencing symptoms, it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible.
Most people have bladders that fill with waste fluids (urine) until they become full. At that point, their brains fire neurotransmitters down to the lower body’s sphincter muscles to relax and let their bladder walls squeeze the urine out through their urethras (the long tube that expels urine out of your body).
If a person’s nerves are damaged in those areas, the muscles that surround the urethra may not be able to contract properly. This can result in their urethras being too weak to resist urinating, which, in turn, may lead to incontinence—a loss in bladder control that can range from leakage to the need to urinate frequently and/or suddenly.
Common causes of nerve damage include diabetes, herniated disc, radiation exposure, and Parkinson’s disease.
Excessive bladder pressure occurs with both men and women—young and old. But while you can have an overactive bladder at any point in your life, this unfortunate condition particularly affects the elderly. Indeed, while it may affect 10 percent of those who are less than 50 years old, for people who are over the age of 60, that percentage increases to 20 to 30 percent.
That’s because as bladder muscles age, they don’t have the same capacity to store urine as they once had. In addition, involuntary bladder contractions can also increase in frequency as people get older.
The prostate is located behind the bladder, above the rectum. This all-important gland is what produces the fluid that is crucial to combining with sperm in order to manufacture sperm.
The prostate grows gradually during male puberty. But as men get older, the prostate increases in size closer to where the urethra is located. As a result of this growth, the urethra can become overtaxed in its efforts to empty the bladder of urine. When this happens, overflow urinary incontinence can occur.
Urinary Tract Infection
As the American Urological Association points out, similar to when your throat becomes irritated due to coming down with the flu or a cold, so too can your bladder and urethra become inflamed if you have a urinary tract infection, or UTI.
A UTI can occur whenever this region becomes infected by an excessive amount of bacteria. Those afflicted may feel they constantly need to urinate but typically find it increasingly hard to do so. This condition can put excessive pressure on the bladder.
Dealing With Excessive Bladder Pressure
If you exhibit symptoms of excessive bladder pressure, you can seek help in the form of medical treatment. If you are diagnosed with either a simple or complicated UTI, or any other type of infection, a physician can prescribe an antibiotic prescription to treat it, and hopefully, make the problem go away permanently.
Drink a Proper Amount of Water
No, this doesn’t mean drinking too much or too little water throughout the day. You may assume that it’s a good idea to drink as little water as possible in order to alleviate excessive pressure on your bladder. However, a lack of water in your system can actually make it unable to flush waste and toxins out of your body. On the other hand, guzzling down water in excessive amounts at one time can overtax your bladder.
Therefore, it is suggested that you drink smaller portions of water frequently over the course of the day.
Monitor Dietary Triggers
Certain types of food and drink can increase your propensity for experiencing excessive bladder pressure. These include artificial sweeteners, sodas, and similar carbonated drinks, sugar (and sugary foods), caffeinated drinks, and alcohol.
Alcohol, caffeine, and certain types of tea in particular, as well as diuretic medications, can be the primary contributors to acute bladder pressure and therefore, may cause serious incontinence.
A weak pelvic floor could also be the main culprit behind excessive bladder pressure issues, and pelvic exercises can help to vanquish them. These can be performed by both men and women, and are convenient in that they can be performed anywhere at any time—without anyone noticing that you’re doing them.
Kegels simply involve contracting and then releasing the muscle that surrounds your urethra’s opening—such as what you naturally do when you urinate into a toilet or urinal. You can practice learning what Kegels feel like by beginning your urine stream and then suddenly cutting it off. Practicing this exercise multiple times every time you urinate can greatly strengthen those muscles over time.