|Powder room blues||Mar. 15, 2008|
|Provided by: Sun Media|
|Written by: DOCTOR GIFFORD-JONES|
Whoever remarked "Timing is everything" was right. I recently wrote about simple ways to prevent urinary infections.
This triggered numerous requests from readers asking, "But what can be done when you're constantly rushing to 'you know where?' "
Their timing couldn't have been better. A new website, The Powder Room, now has a bilingual Course 101 on Overactive Bladder (OAB).
It contains "Everything you've always wanted to know about OAB and didn't know who to ask."
OAB can range from a terrible nuisance to a problem that has a dramatic effect on lifestyle. And, if you think you're the only one in town that suffers from this disorder, think again.
It's amazing that since so many people suffer from urinary urgency it remains a "closet disorder." Today, it's still more socially acceptable to discuss cholesterol levels, a broken bone or botox injections, than to admit you wet yourself from delaying urination.
As my grandmother used to say, "If you don't go when you've got to go, by the time you go you've already gone!"
But how do you know if you're suffering from an overactive bladder? Just a few simple questions suffice. Do you suffer from a sudden explosive feeling that you have to go? Is this urge followed by a loss of urine? Do you have to get up many times during the night to urinate? If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you have OAB. But remember, these symptoms may also mean a urinary infection, particularly if there's blood in the urine.
So what can you do to stop friends from singing "We know where you're going?" A quick visit to The Powder Room website is a good start. This will provide you with a brochure providing quick facts about OAB.
There's also a wallet-sized card showing how to ask for the Powder Room in nine different languages. Best of all, the Powder Room recently launched a Cross Canada Powder Room mapping system that locates the best bathrooms according to user-generated ratings of accessibility, lineups, location, decor and cleanliness.
One of the most important aspects is being able to sign up as a Powder Room member. By providing your e-mail address you will receive access to special features on the site. For example, members can share thoughts and experiences with others through a message board in "Your Stories Section."
Members can access "Your Stories Section" to see what other sufferers are saying about OAB.
Today 50% of patients suffering from OAB do not seek treatment. Unfortunately, many of these patients hide in the closet because they believe OAB is a part of aging and nothing can be done to correct the problem. But this is another myth.
Several types of medication, such as anticholinergic drugs, are available. They help to relax the muscular mechanism of the bladder.
Lifestyle changes are also part of the answer. For instance, changes in diet, limiting fluid intake, eliminating bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol, and stopping smoking, can decrease the need for frequent urination. So can relaxation techniques such as biofeedback and exercise to strengthen bladder muscles.
My advice is to come out of the closet and join The Powder Room at www.powderroom.ca. And be sure to ask your doctor about OAB.
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