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Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder?

30/09/2017 helen 0

Do your patients often have that sudden “gotta go” feeling that makes them nervous they’ll leak urine if they don’t get to a bathroom right away? If so, they may have overactive bladder (OAB).

What Is Overactive Bladder?

OAB is not a disease. It’s the name given to a group of troubling urinary symptoms. The most common is a sudden and unexpected urge to urinate that can’t be controlled. In some people, this “gotta go” feeling may result in urine leakage (incontinence). In others, it may not. 

Other OAB symptoms include frequent urination during the day and night. The number of times someone goes to the bathroom may vary from person to person. But many experts agree going to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours is “frequent urination.”

OAB affects millions of men and women. Some experts estimate as many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms. But the number of people suffering from OAB may be much larger. That’s because many people living with the condition don’t ask for help. 

“A lot of people don’t talk to their doctors because they’re embarrassed about their symptoms or because they don’t know there are treatment options,” says Kathleen Kobashi, MD, chief of urology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. “But there are plenty of things we can do to help. If you are having difficulty with OAB symptoms, talk to your health care provider today.”

Risks for OAB

The risk for OAB increases as one gets older. Women who have gone through menopause and men who have had prostate issues are also at higher risk. Conditions affecting the brain or spinal cord, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, also raise the risk for OAB. Food and drinks, such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and very spicy foods, can bother the bladder and make symptoms worse. 

How OAB Can Affect Your Patient’s Life

OAB can get in the way of your patient’s work, social life and sleep. Without treatment, symptoms may make it hard to get through the day without having to make many trips to the bathroom. Your patients may feel nervous about going out with friends or doing daily activities because they are afraid they may not be able to find a bathroom when they need one. OAB patients may shy away from social events and spending time with their spouse or family. 

This can result in feeling lonely and isolated and may affect their relationships with loved ones. OAB can also deprive people of a good night’s sleep, leaving them feeling tired and depressed.

Getting More Information From Your Patients 

When a patient tells you she has OAB symptoms, you should ask her to describe her symptoms. You may choose to refer her to a specialist, such as a urologist. Questions to consider asking are about medical history and symptoms—what they are, how long they’ve been having them and how they are affecting daily life. Gather information about past and current medical problems, as well as diet, including what they drink and how much they drink.

Many providers choose to give a physical exam to check for problems that may be causing OAB symptoms. 

Another useful tool is to ask your patients to keep a “bladder diary,” where they record how often they go to the bathroom and any time they leak urine. Other tests, such as a urine test, to look for infection or blood are also commonly used. In some cases, health care providers choose to do an ultrasound to see how much urine is still in the patient’s bladder after they go to the bathroom.

Taking Control

There are many treatment options for OAB. You may use just one treatment or several at the same time. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications and other therapies.

The Truth About OAB

Knowledge is power! Don’t let myths about OAB prevent your patients from getting the help they need. Learn the truth about OAB:

  •  OAB is not “just part of being a woman.”
  •  OAB is not “just having an enlarged (big) prostate.”
  •  OAB is not “just a normal part of getting older.”
  • OAB is not caused by something you did.
  • Surgery is not the only treatment for OAB.
  • There are treatments for OAB that can help people manage symptoms.
  • There are treatments that many people with OAB find helpful.

It’s Time to Talk About OAB, by the Urology Care Foundation, gives you the information you need to manage this problem. It costs nothing, is offered in English and Spanish, and is based on up-to-date clinical guidelines. It includes: 

  • A survey to help patients learn if they have OAB or something else
  • Information about OAB and how to treat it
  • Answers to common questions 
  • Videos with the stories of people whove learned to manage OAB
  • Print materials, if you prefer

Please take a look at It’s Time to Talk About OAB or any of our resources when you need help with urinary problems. Dont let OAB get in the way of your patients lives.

This resource is provided by the Urology Care Foundation, the official Foundation of the American Urological Association.

Short Description: 
If your patients have sudden and unexpected urges to urinate, then you may want to talk with them about overactive bladder, or OAB. 

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Long Description: 
If your patients have sudden and unexpected urges to urinate, then you may want to talk with them about overactive bladder, or OAB. 


Thousands march in Dublin calling for end to Ireland’s abortion ban

30/09/2017 Nicola Slawson 0

Appetite for change stirred after announcement of 2018 referendum on Ireland’s strict laws on terminations

Thousands of people have protested in Dublin, calling for an end to Ireland’s strict abortion laws.

Campaigners took part in the March for Choice in the capital’s city centre, chanting: “Hey, hey Leo, the eighth amendment has got to go” and carrying banners which read: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” and “Parent by choice for choice”.

Hands up who wants to #repealthe8th? @freesafelegal #ARCMarch17 pic.twitter.com/6ICjQ9wMMA

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30/09/2017 Damien Gayle 0

Critics fear checks will destroy relationship NHS staff have with patients and create climate of fear that stops people accessing care

Protesters gathered at St Thomas’ hospital in central London on Saturday to voice opposition to the introduction of ID checks at hospitals and up-front charges for patients not eligible for NHS care.

People from overseas are already liable for the cost of treatment, but new rules will require hospitals, community interest companies and charities receiving NHS funds to identify such patients before treatment in order to bill them.

#PatientsNotPassports protesters gather in front of the Mary Seacole statue at St Thomas Hospital pic.twitter.com/WE70AaTWUq

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The story of a mother wrongly charged £5k for her son’s meningitis treatment #patientsnotpassports pic.twitter.com/DfpWei64Pk

Why do we need the #patientsnotpassports demo? Organisers explain pic.twitter.com/r4FxkoTyFS

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Dementia is a terrible word. Why do people still use it?

30/09/2017 Jason Corner 0

It’s important to get an early diagnosis but the word is offensive and takes power away from people

Dementia is a word with a horrific impact.

I’m talking about the word and its origins, not the disease. I have observed people living well with dementia and this antiquated and negative term belittles the contribution to society that they can make. I am in my third year of a PhD and my research is based in care homes where I get to observe good care that challenges, includes and promotes a sense of purpose for residents with dementia. Before this I worked as a community nurse.

Related: Why words matter when it comes to mental health | Clare Allan

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