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Heartland Health

Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder
By: Wendy Ray

You know it's happened to you at least once, you're in the car driving somewhere and you have to go to the bathroom. T he problem is there's not a restroom in sight. T his is a very real problem for some people called overactive bladder; it can having you frantically looking for a restroom. The good news is, a new book can help you figure out where to stop when you need to go if you plan on hitting the road soon for a summer vacation.

Do you find yourself doing this a lot? Taking every restroom exit because you just can't wait any longer? If you do, you're not alone. "Our next stop will be in 51 miles at the next rest stop," Gail Truhe of Conway, Arkansas says. Of course, needing to go to the bathroom every once in a while is perfectly normal, but if you're going all the time you could have overactive bladder. "Urgency, urinary frequency, sometimes having to urinate 15 to 20 times a day, loss of urine or incontinence," Urologist Greg Hallman says.

Dr. Hallman says this time of year can be hard for people who have those symptoms. "I hear from patients all the time, they say I can't go on a trip or I can't go to the mall. They have to plan their trips on where the bathrooms are," he says. If you have problems finding a restroom when you're on vacation, you're in luck. The book, Where to Stop and Where to Go outlines where you can go, for free, in the most traveled cities and national parks in the country.

Overactive bladder usually strikes people in their mid 50s. There are several prescription drugs on the market to treat it. "Most are once daily formulations. These medicines work on a receptor on the bladder wall which tends to inhibit signals to the nerves that tell your bladder to contract," Dr. Hallman says.

If you would like a free copy of Where to Stop and Where to Go, call 1-877-stop-go five.

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