Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments
Diagnosing the Cause of Frequent Urination continued...
Depending on the findings of the physical exam and medical history, your doctor may order tests, including:
Urinalysis. The microscopic examination of urine that also involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine
Cystometry. A test that measures the pressure inside of the bladder to see how well the bladder is working; cystometry is done to determine if a muscle or nerve problem may be causing problems with how well the bladder holds or releases urine.
Cystoscopy. A test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope
Neurological Tests. Diagnostic tests and procedures that help the doctor confirm or rule out the presence of a nerve disorder
Ultrasonography. A diagnostic imaging test used to visualize an internal body structure
Treatment for Frequent Urination
Treatment for frequent urination will address the underlying problem that is causing it. For example, if diabetes is the cause, treatment will involve keeping blood sugar levels under control.
The treatment for overactive bladder should begin with behavioral therapies, such as:
- Bladder retraining. This involves increasing the intervals between using the bathroom over the course of about 12 weeks. This helps retrain your bladder to hold urine longer and to urinate less frequently.
- Diet modification. You should avoid any food that appears to irritate your bladder or acts as a diuretic. These may include caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, tomato-based products, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. It's also important to eat high-fiber foods, because constipation may worsen the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome.
- Monitoring fluid intake. You should drink enough to prevent constipation and over-concentration of urine, but you should avoid drinking just before bedtime, which can lead to nighttime urination.
- Kegel exercises. These exercises help strengthen the muscles around the bladder and urethra to improve bladder control and reduce urinary urgency and frequency. Exercising pelvic muscles for five minutes three times a day can make a difference in bladder control.
Treatment may also include drugs such as Detrol LA, Ditropan, Enablex, Oxytrol, Myrbetriq, Sanctura XR, Tofranil, and Vesicare. Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter.
There are other options for those that do not respond to lifestyle changes and medication. The drug Botox can be injected into the bladder muscle causing the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity, and reducing episodes of leakage.
Several types of surgery are also available. The least invasive involve implanting small nerve stimulators just beneath the skin. The nerves they stimulate control the pelvic floor and the devices can manipulate contractions in the organs and muscles within the pelvic floor.