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Dr.Masarat Jilani

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Hey there, I’m Dr. Masarat. I'm passionate about smashing health taboos and tackling medical myths.

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8 Steps To Overcome Anxiety-Induced Urination

We've all been there... stepping to the front of the boardroom for your big presentation, standing at the half marathon race start, about to board the plane for your first solo trip abroad - when suddenly you have the urge to urinate.

Needing to suddenly wee when you feel nervous is just one of many anxiety symptoms you may experience, but we have all the advice you need on how to stop anxiety urination once and for all. Read on for 8 ways to reduce anxiety-induced urination, and discover the reasons why you're experiencing this affliction.

8 Ways To Stop Frequent Urination When Nervous

The best way to stop that urgent need to pee from an overactive bladder when you're feeling anxious is to address the anxiety symptoms. Here's how.

1. Exercise your pelvic floor

The pelvic floor muscles are at the base of your abdomen, keeping your bladder and urinary tract in check. After birth, or as you age, these muscles get weaker, affecting how you can hold in your wee.

And, although exercising these muscles won't stop the feeling of having to go to the bathroom when you're anxious, it will help you control your bladder and hold it just a while longer (perhaps until after the scary work presentation).

Practice doing your kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor (and it has some other benefits too, like helping you control your bowels). If things are bad, and you find yourself with nocturia (the need to urinate frequently at night), you should consider visiting a physical therapist. They can help create an exercise plan to tackle your overactive bladder.

If you don't feel like doing these exercises alone, why not get the man in your life to join? Pelvic exercises are not just good for us ladies; they can help men with urinary incontinence, depression, and anxiety too.

2. Take supplements

Do you feel like stress incontinence is ruining your life? We get you.

But, with our bladder control supplements,  many women no longer have to worry about that feeling of constantly having to run to the loo.

These supplements  contain natural ingredients,  including pumpkin seeds and soy germ  to help reduce  that urgency you always feel.

Pumpkin seeds are thought to help your  bladder muscles relax,  (which  contributes to that desperate urge), and also offer support for your pelvic muscles.

Soy phytoestrogen (soy germ) are compounds similar to oestrogen, and they are thought to support tissue health, , and can also help maintain your pelvic muscles.

Combined, these natural ingredients can help reduce frequent urination, especially when you're feeling a tad nervy.

3. Do yoga to relax

If you suffer from chronic anxiety and other depression symptoms, yoga  a great tool to help you relax. By taking the time to unwind and tune in to yourself, you're improving your life and getting rid of those constant butterflies in your stomach.

When you're able to deal with your anxiety symptoms better, you may find that you can keep your cool in stressful situations, and also forget about the constant need to wee.

4. Make lifestyle changes

Anxiety can affect almost every part of your day, but there are some (relatively) easy lifestyle changes you can make to stop the symptoms of urge incontinence in their tracks:

  •  caffeine  in your daily routine. Since caffeine can contribute to feeling jittery this can be a good move for your anxiety. However,  it may  be tough as it is in sodas, tea, and chocolate You may want to  start by just reducing coffee first, and thenover two weeks.

  • Stop smoking and vaping (just avoid nicotine as it can make you more anxious) and skip  alcohol when you can.

  • Eat more fibre and vegetables. Fibre helps ease constipation, which means there will be less pressure from your bowels on your bladder.

  • Exercise more. This helps you regulate your stress response and if needed can help you lose weight (meaning those extra pounds aren't pressing on your bladder).

  • Focus on your posture on the  when peeing. Avoid hovering or actively pushing as this can put more pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, rather slightly leaning forward can help you to empty your bladder fully. 

5. Consciously drink water

It can be tough to plan your day around when you can and should drink water.  The more you drink, the more you'll have to urinate. However, if you skip water altogether, your urine is more concentrated, which irritates the bladder.

Drink water whenever you are thirsty, aiming to get your urine light yellow (ignore the people who said your urine should be totally clear).

If you have a stressful event coming up that's making you anxious, but you are super thirsty, take small sips instead of gulping down your entire glass. This will prevent you from needing to urinate right before the event.

6. Seek medical treatment

Many people think having to wee each time you're nervous is normal, but it doesn't have to be. Although an overactive bladder is fairly common, it is not something you have to deal with.

If it is really bad (like waking up several times a night, having to go during meetings, as soon as you come home, and having leakages when you feel like you can't hold it any more), you may have to consider meds.

Here are some medications you can consider if you feel like you're running to the loo more than the average person (but always consult your doctor first):

  • Antimuscarinic meds: These drugs stop the chemical messenger that tells your brain that your bladder needs to contract. It is a great help for someone with an overactive bladder.

  • Mirabegron: This medication can help relax the bladder muscle without the side effects from antimuscarinic meds such as dry mouth.

  • SSRIs: These meds are usually prescribed to those with depression symptoms or severe anxiety, as they help to regulate your mood. Since urination can be a symptom of anxiety or depression, SSRIs can help to reduce the feeling of always having to go.

7. Consider behavioural therapy

Behavioural therapy can help you manage your stress symptoms and your urgency. It is like brain and bladder training in one.

This kind of therapy includes doing pelvic floor exercises, keeping a journal on your bathroom routines and your mood each time you have to go, and changing the way you think about your overactive bladder.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is especially worth it, as it  can also aid your anxiety  and give you the right tools to deal with stressful situations more effectively.

You can combine behavioural therapy with all the other methods listed here too, like using meds or doing yoga.

8. Find your community

You might find overactive bladder syndrome or the constant need to urinate really embarrassing, causing you to hold it until you're bursting at the seams. And it is all because you don't want people to notice how often you're dashing to the loo.

However, anecdotally, this is a very common occurrence. You might find it helpful to talk with other women (including those here in the Jude community) who are experiencing the exact same issues as you.

Not only will you receive advice on how they're dealing with it, but you'll also feel less isolated.

Why You Need To Urinate When You're Anxious

Mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders, are most often the underlying cause behind an overactive bladder. However, that is not the only cause behind anxiety urination. Let's look at some of the reasons you need to urinate when you're nervous.

You have an overactive bladder

This is one of the most common causes of stress-induced urination. An overactive bladder (OAB) is when your bladder muscles contract spontaneously, which makes you feel like you desperately need to pee. Anxiety tends to worsen the condition in different ways, for example it can lead to habits such as “just-in-case” peeing which can worsen the brain-bladder connection making you feel you need to empty the bladder even when it is not full. 

It’s a vicious cycle

Anxiety can often worsen our health conditions by producing a vicious cycle. For example, if you have an overactive bladder you naturally may start to worry about being caught short, but this can lead to behaviours such as focusing more on your bladder and peeing “just-in-case” although these can offer temporary relief, in the long-term they can actually worsen your urgency symptoms.

You have increased sensitivity

Research has shown that when we are more anxious, we may be more sensitive to signals within our body. This hypersensitivity can make us feel the urge to empty the bladder even when it is not full.

FAQs

Is shy bladder syndrome the same as having to urinate when anxious?

No, they're not the same. Shy bladder syndrome - or paruresis in medical terms - is a kind of social anxiety where you feel you can't pee in public bathrooms or with other people nearby.

Anxious urination is when you have to urinate when you feel nervous.

How can I prevent anxiety-induced urination from happening in the future?

Here are some quick tips to help you prevent anxiety-induced urination:

  • Bladder retraining can be helpful for some people. This involves  going to the bathroom regularly to urinate at set intervals, and then slowly increasing the time between intervals. This will help your bladder figure out that it needs to hold it for a longer period.

  • Practice reducing your stress by breathing deeply or writing down your thoughts.

  • Find a healthcare professional or therapist who can help you manage your anxiety disorder and learn how to cope when a stressful situation arises.

  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake as these substances irritate the bladder, causing you to have to pee more.

  • Don't drink excessively before a stressful event. If you know you're going to be tense or anxious about something specific, only drink when you're thirsty, and try sipping or drinking slowly. 

Can anxiety affect the bowel too?

Yes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is linked to stress and anxiety. Although IBS also occurs in people who don't have anxiety, it is usually worsened when someone has a bad case of the nerves.

IBS symptoms include constipation, nausea, stomach pain, or diarrhoea. There can be bouts of relief between IBS flare-ups, but it often shows up during a period of high stress.

What are some other reasons why I get the sudden urge to pee often?

Some reasons why you are peeing so often include:

  • You're not drinking enough, and the concentrated urine is aggravating your bladder.

  • You need to exercise your pelvic floor muscles.

  • You have a hormone imbalance.

  • You're drinking too much caffeine and synthetic sweeteners.

Final Thoughts

There aren't a lot of things as annoying as having urinary urgency, especially when you already feel super stressed. And having to wee often when you're feeling anxious is actually very common amongst both men and women.

But, with our top tips on how to stop anxiety urination - from taking Jude bladder support supplements to getting professional help - you will be on your way to a worry-free and pee-less day.

Sources

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/tips-for-easing-stress-and-anxiety-from-overactive-bladder#takeaway

https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/oab-tips

https://perks.optum.com/blog/how-to-stop-anxiety-urination

https://www.hartmanndirect.co.uk/advice-centre/incontinence/how-anxiety-affects-your-bladder-and-bowel


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