The spiritual meaning of overactive bladder, what it means to dream about overactive bladder and the message behind your dream. The interpretation and definition of a dream about over active bladder.
Overactive bladder is the uncontrollable urge to urinate. It can strike at any time, often causing you to rush to the bathroom in an emergency. While this condition is not life-threatening nor a sign of a serious disease or disorder, it can have a major impact on your quality of life.
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Spiritual Meaning Of Overactive Bladder, Causes Of Overactive Bladder, Overactive Bladder Symptoms, Natural Ways To Treat An Overactive Bladder. Read on to learn more.
Spiritual Meaning Of Overactive Bladder
The spiritual meaning of overactive bladder is that you have a tendency to act before you think. This could manifest as a tendency to speak too quickly or make decisions without considering all the facts, both of which can be damaging to your relationships and your life in general.
It’s also important to note that overactivity in any part of your body is often connected to energy blockages in other parts. For example, if you’re feeling overactive in one part of your body—say, your bladder—it could be because there’s something else going on in another part of your body that needs more energy. You may want to consider getting help from a holistic practitioner or even just talking about how you feel with a friend who will listen without judgment or criticism.
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition that affects the bladder. It occurs when the bladder contracts or squeezes too often and/or too strongly, causing you to feel the urge to urinate even when your bladder is not full. The increased frequency of urination may lead to a feeling of always having to go or feeling a strong desire to go right away. The urge is often sudden, accompanied by an urgent need to empty your bladder as soon as possible.
There are two types of overactive bladder: urgency-frequency syndrome (increased urgency and frequency) and urge incontinence (sudden and uncontrollable urges). In both cases, you’ll find yourself needing to urinate more often than normal.
Overactive bladder can be caused by several conditions including:
- Medications such as antidepressants or opioids
- Bladder problems such as interstitial cystitis, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease and more
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a set of symptoms characterized by the frequent, urgent need to urinate.
It may be caused by a disruption in the nerve signals between your bladder and your brain, or by bladder muscles that are too active.
A number of health issues can contribute to overactive bladder, from neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) to diabetes and abnormalities of the bladder itself.
You’re at a higher risk for OAB as you grow older, but it’s possible to develop the condition at any age.
Women who have gone through menopause and men with prostate problems are at a higher risk for OAB.
Overactive bladder may involve these symptoms:
- Frequent, sudden urges to urinate
- Leakage of urine during bouts of urgency
- Getting up frequently during the night to urinate.
Causes Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder develops when the muscles of your bladder contract (squeeze) more often than they should. This can happen due to a number of factors.
Normally, when your bladder isn’t full of urine, its muscles are relaxed. As it fills up with urine, your bladder sends nerve signals to your brain, which responds by giving you the urge to urinate. In a normal urinary system, this urge builds up gradually.
When you’re ready to urinate, your bladder muscles push urine into your urethra (the tube that connects to the outside of your body). This happens at the same time that muscles in your urethra, called sphincters, relax and open up to allow urine to pass through.
Overactive bladder can happen when the nerve signals between your bladder and brain are abnormal, causing your bladder muscles to receive the signal that your bladder is full before it actually is.
It can also develop if your bladder muscles are overactive — contracting before they receive the signal that your bladder is full.
A number of health conditions and other factors can contribute to the processes that cause OAB:
Weakened Pelvic Muscles In women, pregnancy and childbirth can stretch out and weaken these muscles, causing the bladder to sag from its normal position and stretching the opening of the urethra.
Nerve Damage and Nervous System Disorders Disruption of nerve signals can cause your brain to tell your bladder to empty at the wrong time.
This disruption can be caused by these conditions:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Trauma from pelvic or back surgery, radiation, or a herniated disc
Drugs Alcohol, caffeine, and certain prescription medications, including diuretics to treat high blood pressure, can interfere with normal nerve signals or cause your bladder to fill rapidly. You may also need to take some medications with lots of fluids.
Urinary Tract Infections An infection of your urethra and bladder can irritate your bladder’s nerves, causing muscle contractions before your bladder is full.
Bladder Abnormalities Like an infection, a tumor or bladder stones can lead to irritation and early muscle contractions.
Bladder Outflow Obstructions An enlarged prostate, constipation, or certain surgical treatments for incontinence can block the flow of urine from your bladder and change the way your nerves signal.
Cognitive Decline Age-related loss of cognitive function can make it harder for your bladder to correctly interpret nerve signals from your brain.
Overweight and Obesity Excess body weight can put pressure on your bladder, causing nerves to signal that it’s full earlier and contributing to urine leakage.
Incomplete Bladder Emptying When your bladder doesn’t empty fully, it can quickly fill up again, causing frequent urges to urinate.
Hormonal Changes After Menopause Estrogen deficiency may change nerve signals in the bladder and contribute to urgency.
Who Is at Risk for Overactive Bladder?
Aside from health conditions that directly contribute to overactive bladder, your risk for the condition is affected by few factors.
Age As you get older, your risk of overactive bladder increases. This is due largely to an increased risk of developing diseases and conditions that contribute to overactive bladder, including stroke, diabetes, and cognitive decline.
Despite this increasing risk with age, overactive bladder isn’t a normal part of aging. It’s a medical condition that may respond to appropriate treatment.
Gender Women have a somewhat higher risk of overactive bladder, due to hormonal changes after menopause and the risk of weakened pelvic muscles from pregnancy and childbirth.
Overactive Bladder Symptoms
The main symptoms of OAB include these signs:
- Sudden, strong urges to urinate
- Frequent urination, often defined as eight or more times within 24 hours
- Urge incontinence, or leaking urine after getting the urge to urinate
- Nocturia, defined as waking up twice or more during the night to urinate
Urgency is considered the defining symptom of overactive bladder. You can have OAB without leaking urine or waking up at night to urinate.
Whether or not you leak urine may depend on how quickly you can get to a toilet when you develop the urge to urinate. Being close to a toilet most of the time can reduce this risk.
The benchmark of urinating eight or more times within 24 hours is meant as a starting point for evaluating urinary frequency, not as a defining trait of OAB.
How frequently you urinate can depend on many factors, including your intake of fluids throughout the day. For this reason, it may be normal for one person to urinate much more frequently than someone else, without a strong accompanying sense of urgency.
Similarly, it may be normal to wake up at night to urinate if you’ve consumed a large amount of fluid before bed, or consumed alcohol or caffeine late in the day.
But if waking up multiple times a night becomes a pattern, it may indicate that your lifestyle or a health condition is contributing to frequent urination.
What Does The Bladder Represent Emotionally
An overactive bladder may seem like a never-ending cycle of bathroom-related emotions. The sudden urge to pee or the risk of urinary incontinence (accidentally releasing urine) can cause major tension, anxiousness, isolation, and stress. So if you’re grappling with the emotional aspects of peeing a lot, know that you’re not alone. Research suggests that almost 50 percent of people with an overactive bladder experience anxiety symptoms, too.
Before we go into some of the overlooked stress-related factors of overactive bladders, let’s discuss what “peeing a lot” involves. Under normal circumstances, you’re likely peeing once every two to four hours during the day, says Rachel Gelman, PT, DPT, owner of Pelvic Wellness and Physical Therapy. Additionally, your peeing time can provide some insight. For the uninitiated, the average person should be peeing for around 20-seconds if their bladder is sufficiently full. If you’re peeing for less time or more, it can mean that you’re going to the bathroom a bit too frequently or not frequently enough. Many factors can impact your bladder: things like the amount of physical activity you’re doing, your overall fluid intake, and even the climate can impact how frequently you need to go, says the Cleveland Clinic.
“But here’s the thing you should keep in mind when you think about your bladder: anxiety, stress, and anything of the sort can contribute to bladder urges, too,” says Jenn Lormand, exercise physiologist and owner of Ascension Fitness.
Muscles and nerves work with your brain to tell your bladder when to release and hold urine, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. So “Anxiety and stress can contribute to frequent urination. This is partly because muscles around the bladder may tense up, which can make the brain think it’s time to pee,” says Gelman. Additionally, a 2015 study published in Urology aimed to explore the relationship between urinary incontinence and depression and anxiety. The researchers found that of the 16,263 women surveyed over ten years, those with depression and anxiety were 50 percent more likely to develop urinary incontinence.
There’s no clear reason why anxiousness, stress, and bladder issues are linked. But there are distinct overactive bladder emotions involved—even if you’re not dealing with anxiety. For instance, nervously shuffling off to the nearest restroom every time you have the urge to pee, you’re training your brain to pee more frequently. So when thinking through managing an overactive bladder, keep calming strategies in mind.
So if you’re someone who has a frequent urge to pee (and doesn’t always have a full bladder), then bladder training involves working with your provider to assess how frequently you pee. From there, you will follow a bathroom schedule and gradually increase the intervals between your bathroom breaks (typically by one minute each week). Essentially, over several weeks, you work with your brain to train yourself to hold and release pee at more appropriate times. But, as you can imagine, calming strategies and stress-reduction techniques will be instrumental.
Techniques to help with an overactive bladder
“A ‘Kegel’ is another name for doing a pelvic floor muscle contraction,” says Angela Fishman, PT, owner of My Pelvic Therapy. “Kegels are often prescribed/recommended for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.” Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles might help stop your bladder’s involuntary contractions, the Mayo Clinic says. You can work up to holding the contraction for 5 seconds and then 10 seconds at a time. Try doing three sets of 10 repetitions each day, the Mayo Clinic says.
Additionally, Fishman says that doing them when you’ve used the restroom and you’d like to hold your pee a little longer can help send a message to the brain that it’s not quite time to go yet, which, over time, can relieve some of the emotional distress. There’s also some evidence that doing Kegels can have impacts on your overall stress and anxiety too. You can learn how to do a Kegel by chatting with your provider about the best technique.
Try small yoga exercises
Kristin Longshore, ANP-BC, a board-certified nurse practitioner at Austin Urogynecology, says to try other exercises besides Kegels. “Often engaging and exercising the core will help strengthen the pelvic floor. Yoga poses like bird dog, plank, and a side-lying leg lift will engage the core/pelvic floor and, in turn, help to strengthen these areas.
Practice diaphragmatic breathing
If you’re dealing with the urge to go, and you’re trying to wait a bit, diaphragmatic breathwork might help. Why? Well, this induces your parasympathetic nervous system (or your rest and digest system), which can help when anxiousness strikes, but more than that, diaphragmatic breathing helps engage and strengthen your core, which might positively impact your bladder control overall. You start by breathing in deep for a count of four, Lormand says. “Try to expand the ribcage to the front, sides, and back (inflating the ribcage like a giant balloon),” Lormand says. “Then gently exhale, for a count of eight,” she explains.
Natural Ways To Treat An Overactive Bladder
1. Cut Back On These Bladder Irritants
Just this evening, I realized my bladder was feeling much more irritated than usual. Then, I thought back to what I’d just eaten: Thai curry and a smoothie containing orange juice. Curry, oranges, and juice are all on Urology San Antonio’s list of bladder irritants. “Studies show that spicy foods can sometimes be an irritant to the lining of the bladder,” says Ramin. “Fare like spicy chili, chili peppers, or horseradish are examples of foods that can cause such irritation. Likewise, highly acidic foods can trigger a similar response.”
It may not be realistic for you to give up all foods that could irritate your bladder, but you can start to take note of which foods are worst for you, and avoid those when you can (especially before bed).
And a word to the wise: People often say you should drink cranberry juice for bladder health, but that’s to ward off UTIs. When it comes to bladder irritation, cranberry juice — along with most kinds of juice — could have the opposite effect you want. “Due to its high acidity, it can actually worsen the condition,” says Ramin.
2. Cut Back On Diuretics Like Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are both double trouble, says Ramin. They’re diuretics (they make you pee) and they stimulate bladder function. “If you suffer from urinary incontinence, one of your worst enemies can be caffeinated beverages,” he says. “Though it can be much easier said than done, limiting or eliminating caffeine altogether has been known to be successful in diminishing and resolving issues of urinary incontinence in some women.”
Similarly, he adds, “alcoholic beverages act as bladder stimulants and diuretics in most people. So when you have a problem with urinary continence, consuming even slight amounts of alcohol can make matters worse.”
If you can’t function without your daily cup of coffee, try to keep it to the morning so you’re not getting up to pee at night. And if you like having a glass of wine to wind down, at least limit it to one and keep it as far from bedtime as possible. Or, just take a break from caffeine or alcohol for a week or two, and see if the benefits you notice are worth it.
3. Stay Hydrated
So what should you drink, then? When you’re already a peeing machine, drinking water may be the last thing you want to do. According to a 1,000-person survey by Poise, almost half of women believe that limiting water intake will limit their bladder leakage. The problem with this is, dehydration dilutes your urine, making it more concentrated and consequently more irritating to your bladder, Poise partner and OB/GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd tells Bustle.
However, you have to balance this information with the knowledge that drinking before bed will increase your chances of waking up to pee. So, Shepherd recommends drinking eight eight-ounce glasses during the day and then cutting off fluids four hours before bedtime.
4. Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises — when you repeatedly squeeze and relax your PC muscles (the ones you use to hold in pee) — have a ton of benefits, two of which are reducing urinary incontinence and urinary urgency, Brent Reider, an author and referee for medical and scientific peer review journals and designer of several FDA-cleared medical devices including the Yarlap, tells Bustle.
“Exercise therapy to tone and re-educate the pelvic floor muscles is an essential aspect of pelvic care and often recommended by physicians as the first line of overactive bladder treatment,” he says. “The muscle contractions that cause urge/OAB (and can be the cause of nocturia) are like spasms caused from inactivity and where the muscle needs respiration. Blood flow from the workout gets the muscle respirated.”
How do you do them, then? “One of the most promising techniques is for patients to trigger their pelvic floor muscles (kegels) as soon as they sense the urge to urinate and engage these muscles for around 10 seconds,” says Backe. “Alternatively, you can do five to seven rapid contractions until the urgency diminishes, and then go to the toilet.”
If you can’t find the energy to do Kegel exercises or want to make sure you’re doing them right, a device called the Yarlap will do them for you by delivering electric pulses to your vagina that cause it to contract. As an added bonus, many Yarlap users also find that they start having better sex, says Reider.
5. Try Physical Therapy
Regular sessions with a pelvic floor physical therapist can help retrain your bladder muscles and nerves through kegels and other exercises. “Although this modern form of physiotherapy can be extremely time-consuming and frustrating, it offers patients the best chance of regaining control of their bladder,” says Backe. “These bladder drills function to retrain the brain to retain the power of the bladder’s muscle contractions.”
The exercise program to help with overactive bladder is called “bladder retraining,” Rachel Gelman, DPT, PT, Branch Director at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center, tells Bustle. “Many people have developed habits over time, like going just in case, so then the bladder starts to send a signal that it is full when it really isn’t,” she says.
“Sometimes, the pelvic floor muscles can become restricted or hypertonic/spasmotic, which can lead to urinary urgency and frequency,” Gelman says. “Working on the myofascial restrictions with manual therapy and exercises to help relax the muscles may be beneficial can help address these symptoms as well. Many times, patients actually have poor bowel habits and suffer from constipation, which can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction and bladder issues, so working on bowel mechanics can actually improve bladder symptoms.” Since the problems are different for each person, the exercises will be, too, so a physical therapist can recommend the right ones for you.
6. Reduce Stress
When my bladder issues first started, a psychic and a spiritual intuitive both told me the main cause was anxiety. I didn’t listen until my urologist, a Yale Medical School graduate, said the same thing. The nerves in your brain connect to the nerves in your bladder, he explained, so anxiety can lead to hypersensitive bladder nerves.
After learning this, I think I figured out what happened to me. I was dealing with crippling insomnia when my bladder issues started, and I’d become obsessive about everything that could keep me up, my bladder included. I’d lie in bed for a few minutes then get up to pee again and again out of fear that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t sleep. By thinking about my bladder so much, I must have built up the connections between it and my brain, developing a hyper-awareness. That’s my theory, at least.
This is just one way that anxiety can lead to bladder issues. Whatever the mechanism, it’s pretty clear that it does. One 2016 study in Urology found that overactive bladder patients had more anxiety than controls. “Mental stress can cause increase autonomic nervous system activity,” says Ramin. “This leads to increased bowel and bladder activity. Increased bowel leads to irritable bowel syndrome (aka IBS). Increased bladder activity leads to overactive bladder.”
Stress reduction can mean many different things, from seeing a therapist to spending time doing things you enjoy. If you have issues with peeing at night, doing something relaxing before bed can be a huge help (taking a bath helps for me).
7. Get Acupuncture
Acupuncture — a Chinese healing technique where someone places tiny needles in your skin near pressure points — can help with all sorts of physical ailments, and research suggests overactive bladder is one of them.
One study by Whipps Cross University Hospital and University College of London Hospital found that 79 percent of overactive bladder patients saw significant improvement after 10 weeks of weekly 30-minute sessions. These patients had already tried typical treatments like behavioral changes and medications. An advantage to acupuncture is that unlike medications, it doesn’t tend to cause many side effects (though there are a few rare ones).
8. Get Visceral Manipulation
For a fairly new technique called Visceral Manipulation, an osteopath uses their hands to move around the nerves in your pelvis and abdomen. “Visceral manipulation refers to manual therapy techniques that work directly with organs and their surrounding connective tissues to restore normal motility, structure, and function,” OB/GYN Eden Fromberg, DO tells Bustle. Connective tissue is the scaffolding that connects different parts of the body, from the surface of the skin to the internal organs.
“Removing stuck stress from the tissues, literally hydrating and unsticking dry connective tissue, restores the sensitivity of the core and neurofascial system and kicks in repair and healing processes,” Fromberg says. Visceral manipulation can help alleviate overactive bladder by changing the way your bladder nerves communicate with the rest of your body.
Living with OAB is truly awful. I would know — with all the sleep mine has lost me, I don’t remember what it’s like to not be exhausted. But I try to think of it this way: Discomfort is your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. And maybe if you fix whatever’s wrong by making the changes needed for a healthier bladder, your whole body and mind will also become healthier in the process. At least that’s what I’m hoping.