Assessing Overactive Bladder Symptoms with a Bladder Diary
A bladder diary, also known as a voiding diary, is indispensable to an overactive bladder evaluation. When a patient collects this information, it allows the healthcare provider to evaluate bladder function based on fluid intake and output. Over the course of three days, the bladder diary will capture how much fluid the patient is taking in during the day; how frequently the patient is urinating during both day and night; if they are leaking during the day, and exactly how much.
Completing a bladder diary is a simple process. The patient will begin their diary when they wake up each morning, and continue making notes throughout the day. Whenever a liquid is consumed, write down the serving size, the type of liquid, and how much liquid was consumed. Fortunately, most containers list the serving size, and how many ounces is in each serving.
Equally important is capturing information each time the patient urinates during the day and/or night. Oftentimes, the healthcare provider will recommend the use of a special collection container which can help to measure urine amounts. When urination interrupts an activity, the provider will want to know about this as well. Unfortunately, an overactive bladder can disrupt many daily and social activities that are important to the patient. Overactive bladder symptoms may also keep patients from participating in activities that they enjoy.
Finally, it’s extremely valuable for the healthcare provider to know if the patient had a wetting accident, during the day or night, over the course of these three days. Recording this information helps the provider determine if there is a pattern associated with the leakage. Also, the provider will want to learn if the wetting accident was associated with a specific activity, such as exercise, lifting, sneezing, coughing, or the like.
A bladder diary is recommended by healthcare providers for patients who experience overactive bladder symptoms, and as part of a Urodynamics evaluation.