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Tips for Dealing With Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Here's help coping better with your overactive bladder.

12 Tips for OAB and Diet


  1. If you have OAB, it's important to enjoy a fiber-rich diet to avoid complications like constipation.
  2. Sometimes extra weight can lead to overactive bladder. Talk with your health care provider to learn if this might be the cause of your OAB.
  3. Some medications -- especially those with caffeine or diuretics in them -- can worsen OAB. Consult with your doctor to know for sure.
  4. Chocolate, coffee, tea, and cola -- food and drinks with caffeine -- can make your OAB symptoms worse. Try cutting back.
  5. OAB can be very stressful at times. Don't go it alone: Talk to your health care team, get treatment, and find support.
  6. Some medications, like prescription diuretics, sedatives, and antidepressants, can lead to OAB symptoms. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medication.
  7. Use waiting time to manage OAB: Kegel exercises can improve, and even prevent, overactive bladder symptoms. Perform them 30 to 80 times daily for four to six weeks.
  8. Pelvic muscle rehabilitation (there are several styles) can improve pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage. Talk to you doctor or look online to learn more.
  9. Did you know smoking can irritate your bladder? This may be the motivation you need to quit at last!
  10. Is your over-the-counter allergy medicine aggravating your OAB symptoms? Discuss the possibilities with your doctor.
  11. Never stop taking a medication because you think it might be aggravating your OAB. Talk with your doctor to know for sure -- there could be other causes.
  12. Don't let embarrassment keep you from talking to your doctor about OAB, a condition that affects millions of Americans -- of all ages.

Overactive bladder can be triggered, or irritated, by many things, from medications to a simple cola. It's a great idea to work with your health care provider to learn which diet and lifestyle changes will help you best manage your OAB symptoms.

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OAB Day to Day


  1. Some medications -- like high blood pressure drugs and antihistamines -- may aggravate a woman's OAB. Talk to your doctor to know for sure.
  2. Discussing OAB with your partner isn't simple, but it may offer a big boost to your relationship. Start the conversation today.
  3. Kegel exercises take just five minutes and can be done anywhere, anytime. Keep them up for at least four to six weeks to see improvement. Don't give up!
  4. OAB can lead to depression in some men and women. Millions of Americans cope with bladder control problems -- reach out, find support.
  5. Taking OAB medication? Ask your doctor about possible side effects, such as becoming overheated more easily or more sensitive to light.
  6. Active women: If you need just a little OAB help during exercise, a tampon or pessary (like a diaphragm) can help support your pelvic tissues, controlling leaks.
  7. If your OAB medication is leaving you with dry mouth, try sugar-free hard candy or gum. Or talk to your doctor about modifying your medication.
  8. You're not alone! As many as 33 million other Americans have bladder control problems. Find support groups -- and lots of other resources -- online.
  9. Talk with your significant other about your OAB issues. Getting the problem into the open can lead to greater affection and trust.
  10. Waiting in line? Put on hold? Relaxation exercises can help suppress OAB urges.
  11. Heavily restricting your liquid consumption because of OAB? Stop! You may be making the problem worse, irritating your bladder.
  12. Don't ignore depression. Research shows that those with incontinence issues are more likely to suffer from major depression. Get help today.

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