Irritable Bladder

By | June 10, 2022

Millions of Germans know the problem with the bladder. But what leads to an overactive bladder, also known as an irritable bladder ? Can you do something to prevent it? An intimate but important topic. After all, more and more young people are affected.

What is an irritable bladder

One speaks of an overactive bladder (irritable bladder) when the function of the bladder is disturbed. It is not always necessary to be able to find physical causes for this. For what is the definition of duane syndrome, please visit

Those affected often have the feeling that their bladder is full. However, this is not the case biologically. Despite the strongest urge to urinate, there is often only a small amount of urine in the bladder. With an irritable bladder, the urge to urinate occurs very suddenly and urgently. More than eight times in 24 hours you feel like you have to go to the toilet.

Even in the middle of the night, patients are awakened by their apparently full bladder. Wetting (at night) is extremely unpleasant – but fortunately not always the case. Women are more likely than men to suffer from an irritable bladder.


The causes of an irritable bladder are varied. Pregnancy and other changes in hormone status ( menopause ) often lead to an irritable bladder. However, sitting on stones or other cold surfaces for a long time can also be the cause.

It is well known that women get cystitis very easily due to shortened urinary tract. As a result of this inflammation, an irritable bladder can also develop. If the symptoms are very severe, a tumor or a foreign body should also be considered when looking for the cause.

Certain medications can also trigger an irritable bladder. But the causes are not always physical. Stress at work or in private life can also lead to an irritable bladder in people who are predisposed accordingly. What leads to an irritated stomach in one person causes an upset stomach in another.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

A typical sign of an irritable bladder is an almost sudden urge to urinate, even if the bladder is often only partially full. Suddenly, without warning, those affected feel the need to quickly go to the nearest toilet. Some find it difficult to hold back this urge and may urinate before reaching the toilet, a few drops for some but large amounts for some.

Most sufferers also need to visit the bathroom several times during the night, which can disrupt sleep quality. Doctors speak of an irritable bladder or overactive bladder when the bladder has to be emptied more than eight times a day and twice a night.

In addition to the sudden urge to urinate, involuntary leakage of urine can also occur when sneezing or physical exertion such as lifting and carrying. Doctors refer to this form as stress incontinence. The symptoms of an irritable bladder severely limit those affected because they always have the feeling that they have to be near a toilet. The fear of involuntary loss of urine can worsen the symptoms due to the constant tension and severely impair the quality of life overall.

course of the disease

The course of an irritable bladder can rarely be improved without external intervention. The severity varies. However, many patients have two things in common:

They often only feel a little hungry. Stomach pain is also not uncommon. There is a burning pain when passing urine. Despite these signs, many sufferers remain alone with their illness.

But shame should not make you shy away from going to the doctor. As the disease progresses, many patients drink less and less. But this leads to an ever weaker bubble. In the end, the symptoms of an irritable bladder only get worse.


If an irritable bladder is treated promptly and adequately, serious complications are generally not to be expected. However, many of those affected are still embarrassed by this condition or are initially not taken seriously. In this case, the bladder irritation can be more severe than with timely therapy. On the one hand, the pain when urinating, which is usually only mild at first, can increase in intensity and become unbearable for the person concerned.

In response to this symptom, patients often drastically reduce their fluid intake, which only aggravates the underlying disease and can lead to circulatory problems and a number of secondary diseases. If the disorder is not treated professionally immediately, the risk of the disorder becoming chronic also increases. In the case of a chronic course, urinary incontinence often occurs. In addition, the risk of developing a functional shrinkage bladder increases.

In addition to physical symptoms, complications of a psychological or social nature are to be expected, especially with a chronic irritable bladder. Because people have lost control of their bladder, they avoid situations where they cannot go to the toilet at all times. Traveling on public transport, taking part in company or club outings and going to the theater or cinema are then perceived by those affected as stressful situations that they prefer to avoid. In the long term, this can lead to social isolation, which in turn can cause serious mental illness, especially depression.

When should you go to the doctor?

Changes and abnormalities when going to the toilet should always be observed further. If the symptoms persist for a long time or if they are increasing in intensity, it is advisable to have the symptoms clarified by a doctor. If the toilet is used unusually often and there is inner restlessness or irritability, there is a need for action. Frequent urination can be interpreted as a warning signal from the organism. If there is a feeling of pressure in the bladder even when ingesting small amounts of liquid, the observations should be discussed with a doctor.

If the need to urinate again develops shortly after going to the toilet, this is considered to be a cause for concern. A doctor’s visit is required for a diagnosis. In the case of persistent stress, a phase of emotional stress and general malaise, a doctor should be consulted. If there are sleep disorders, a decrease in physical performance or if everyday obligations cannot be carried out sufficiently due to the disorders, a doctor is needed. If you experience incontinence, feelings of shame or emotional irregularities, it is advisable to consult a doctor. If social problems develop or if the symptoms prevent you from doing leisure activities, you should consult a doctor.

Treatment & Therapy

Overactive bladder can be treated with medication. It is advisable to consult a doctor who is familiar with alternative treatment methods. An irritable bladder can be treated very well with herbal medicines. They often contain nettle or pumpkin components and are also very well tolerated by sensitive people.

Targeted training of the muscles in the pelvic floor can strengthen the bladder. Under no circumstances should you make the mistake of drinking less. That is a mistake. Because the irritable bladder shows up even with very small amounts of urine. And without enough liquid, there is a risk that other functions will fail. In the worst case, the body can become dehydrated.

If no physical causes can be found for the irritable bladder, the only thing that helps is to slow down in life and find the stress trigger. For larger problems, going to a psychologist can be helpful. Sometimes just a few conversations help. If possible, the following should be taboo in the case of an irritable bladder: coffee, alcohol and cigarettes.


Fearing an irritable bladder, many people ask themselves : What can I do to prevent it? The advice of our grandmothers still applies: don’t sit on cold floors! Bladder infections and later the irritable bladder can thus be avoided.

Of course, there is nothing to be done about hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy and menopause. But especially in our fast-paced times, it’s better to take a deep breath and not let (apparent) problems stress you out! Your own body (the bladder) will thank you. The irritable bladder does not appear (anymore).

You can do that yourself

There are several ways to help yourself with an overactive bladder. However, it should be noted that not all measures work equally well for all people. This is due to the fact that the causes of the irritable bladder can be so diverse.

Those affected can primarily carry out bladder and continence training. This essentially consists of drinking large amounts of water. The amount you drink should be increased bit by bit so that the bladder can expand. This alone can already reduce the urge to urinate. In addition, those affected should willingly increase the time between going to the toilet and thus practice holding urine. It is important that the urine is held until the person concerned really needs to go to the toilet. Accordingly, continence training should be carried out within reach of a toilet.

Diuretic foods and drinks should be avoided. This includes in particular coffee, black tea, alcoholic beverages and nettles. Reducing or quitting smoking can soothe an irritated bladder.

If the urge to urinate is primarily psychologically induced, those affected can develop distraction strategies in everyday life. If a situation arises that leads to a sudden urge to urinate, one can count internally or recite a poem, for example. Focusing on one thought can reduce stress and relax the bladder. With pain and cramps in this context, hot compresses, sharp ointments (e.g. with mint) and warm baths help.

Irritable Bladder