If you know where the bathroom is in every store you walk into, you probably have overactive bladder.
If you hate flying because you always need to get up to use the bathroom, you probably have overactive bladder.
If you try to drink less in order to reduce how often you go to the bathroom, you probably have overactive bladder.
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep because you keep getting urges to urinate, you probably have overactive bladder.
Many, a lot, an extreme amount, tons of people deal with overactive bladder. Did I make that clear? A lot of humans have overactive bladder. This is when you feel like you have to urinate often and/or your urges to urinate are strong day or night. This can make you feel like you might have a urinary tract infection, or it could be anywhere from a nuisance to a life-changing problem.
If you have overactive bladder, you’ve probably gone to your primary care doctor or a urologist. You’ve been given a medication, maybe even the same medication that your friend with the same symptoms is using. It works for them, but not for you. And now you are annoyed.
Does your doctor know what they are doing? Yes.
Is something wrong with you? No.
Overactive bladder is a cluster of symptoms that are a common denominator in many different diagnoses.
You can have overactive bladder because of the following reasons:
- Neurogenic bladder
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Hormone reduction
- Poor muscle function
- And more! (Am I selling you on this?!?)
The dilemma with overactive bladder is that it has a variety of root causes and therefore effective treatments will vary from patient to patient. The American Urological Association (AUA) has guidelines for how to assess, diagnose and treat overactive bladder. We use this guidance to treat patients.
So, when twenty things can cause the same symptoms, it takes some careful assessment to determine the best treatment approaches. Your friend might need a different treatment than you. That is why this is tricky. If a treatment doesn’t work, there is a high likelihood for patients to stop treatment or assume that there are few other options. What patients do not often know is that there is typically always a next option.
This is why Urology Austin has put a new program into place: The Overactive Bladder (OAB) Navigation Pathway.
We now provide you with an advocate to guide you through the, sometimes confusing, jungle that is overactive bladder treatments.
Think of the overactive bladder navigators as your personal advocates. You see your doctor. They assess you. Your physician determines the most appropriate treatment. Over the next few weeks or months you get a call from your navigator. The navigator asks how you’re responding to your treatment. Are you having any side effects, any questions, any requests? It’s a telephone check in about your overactive bladder. This feedback is relayed back to your doctor. Based on this information, your doctor can take action, if necessary.
The purpose of this program is to keep the patient satisfied, improve outcomes with overactive bladder treatment and to improve the way medicine is practiced.
Why is this better care?
- We check in with you.
- We have time on the phone.
- We want you to see positive results.
- You don’t have to wait to tell your doctor your results or changes.
- You get better faster.
Written by Sara Sauder, PT, DPT
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