The urinary bladder, or simply known as the bladder, is a muscular organ that holds and collects the urine produced by the kidneys (which flow down through the ureters) until it is ready to be eliminated from the body through the process of urination. It is located behind and just a little above the pubic bone. It can hold as much as 600 ml of urine, but the urge to urinate occurs when the urine reaches the amount of 150 ml inside the bladder.
What causes Bladder Problems?
An individual can suffer from symptoms of bladder problems caused by conditions like infection, inflammation, injury, abnormality in the nearby structures, abnormality in the nervous system, kidney or bladder stones, and tumors. Bladder problems can unfavorably affect a person's ability to hold and release urine which may lead to other health complications.
The 5 most common symptoms of bladder problems
Infection or inflammation in the bladder, tumors, and stones may be hard to distinguish from each other because they have the same presenting symptoms. All of them can have urinary frequency or urgency, pain or burning sensation upon urination (dysuria), difficulty in urination (may also be urinary retention), urinary incontinence, and pelvic or lower abdominal discomfort.
The most common symptom is the urinary urgency or frequency in urination. People with any of the bladder diseases may feel that their bladder isn't totally empty even after urination, thus, they have a sudden and compelling urge to urinate. A person who frequently goes to the bathroom to urinate and that his work or sleep is interfered by this may be experiencing a probable bladder disease.
Pain or burning sensation with urination is another common symptom of a bladder disease and may be caused by a variety of reasons. UTI (urinary tract infection) can cause this symptom due to unsterile urine. When bacteria, fungi or virus is present in the urine, pain is felt in the urethra.
Difficulty in urination is another symptom felt by an individual who suffers from a bladder disease. This happens when the bladder still holds the urine, despite the person's urge to release it. This is also known as urinary retention. It may be caused also by infections, or injuries, and sometimes by medications that the person is taking. Tumors and stones in the bladder may block the passage way of urine, thus, making it difficult to pass through. In men, enlargement of the prostate (located around the upper portion of the urethra) can also impede urination.
Urinary incontinence is felt as a leakage of urine due to uncontrolled bladder contraction or spasms. This occurs when the patient has an overactive or irritated bladder, and also due to nervous system problems. It can also be caused by infection or inflammation and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men.
Hints and Tips
In cases where there is urinary retention, dehydration might occur as a secondary problem. The best thing to do to resolve this is to increase the person's fluid intake.
For urinary incontinence, Kegel's exercise is helpful to strengthen the muscles in the bladder, bowel, and in women, the uterus. It is beneficial to help control or avoid bladder spasms. You can do Kegel's exercise by assuming you need to urinate and then holding it. You have to relax and tighten the muscles that control the flow of your urine. You can do this repeatedly and at any time of the day.
If your bladder symptoms persist, you have to visit a doctor to have your condition diagnosed and be given adequate treatment.
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