Don't suffer in silence with an overactive bladder

It's a medical condition that affects 30 to 40 million Americans and yet you don't hear much about it. That's because the people who have an overactive bladder often choose to suffer in silence.

They're willing to change their life rather than talk to their doctor about it. And that's a shame.

"Virtually all the time we can get some relief," says Dr. Kathleen Kobashi, head of the Urology Department at Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Kobashi says there are all sorts of treatments available if you let your doctor know about the problem.

"We can start with behavioral and lifestyle changes and dietary changes, avoiding things that irritate your bladder like caffeine. Then we can go on to medications. In the more severe cases we can go on to something like surgery, but we never start with that."

Kobashi says anyone can have an overactive bladder: women and men, old and young, even people who are very athletic.

Again research indicates that in nearly every case, something can be done to eliminate or at least reduce the problems created by an overactive bladder.

For years, I suffered with an overactive bladder before I went to get help and today my condition is greatly improved.

I was recently interview by Discovery Channel for an hour-long documentary on the subject. The program, Silent Suffering: When Your Bladder Takes Control, airs this Saturday morning, March 16 at 8am Pacific or you can watch online.

For more information

Mayo Clinic: Overactive Bladder

MedlinePlus: Urinary Incontinence