A neurogenic bladder is a condition which is characterized by inability to control the bladder due to a nervous disorder. The problem may be in the local nerve plexus, spinal cord or the brain. The condition can be associated with severe complication like ulcers and sores on the skin due to constant leakage of urine, kidney damage due to back pressure of urine accumulated in the bladders and frequent urinary tract infections.
Neurogenic Bladder Causes
The urinary bladder is an organ which accumulates or holds urine, comprising of nitrogenous liquid waste products, till you are ready to empty it. The bladder comprises of different muscles which are connected to the brain by nerves, which coordinates the contraction of the muscles of the bladder. A disruption in the coordination of the muscular contractions of the bladder can lead to a neurogenic bladder disorder. There are certain central nervous disorders that have been found to be associated with this disorder,
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Brain tumors or spinal cord tumors.
- Birth defects which affect the spinal cord like spina bifida.
- Cerebral palsy or encephalitis.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Trauma leading to damage or injury to the spinal cord.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Attention deficient hyperactive disorder.
Other less frequent causes for neurogenic bladder include alcoholic neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage associated with a herniated disc.
Symptoms Of Neurogenic Bladder
In general the symptoms associated with neurogenic bladder can be classified into two basic categories- overactive bladder and underactive bladder. The symptoms include the following,
Overactive bladder symptoms include,
- The individual experiences trouble while attempting to empty the bladder completely.
- Passes small quantity of urine, frequently.
- Complete or partial loss of bladder control.
Underactive bladder symptoms include,
- Urinary retention leading to bladder becoming full.
- Inability to understand when the bladder is full.
- Leakage of urine.
- Difficulty in urinating.
While the symptoms of the condition may mimic other urinary tract conditions, it is important to perform certain tests like urine routine, cystoscopy and urine flow analysis to confirm the diagnosis.
How To Treat Neurogenic Bladder?
While there are a host of medications that are available to help improve the coordination and enhance nerve control, there are certain simple home based treatment options that can help in the management of the condition,
- Performing simple exercises of the pelvic floor muscles like the ‘Kegel Exercises’ can help in improving coordination and control.
- Treating the underlying disorder like diabetes, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease is imperative in order to treat the condition.
- Record your fluid intake and output using a diary. Note the amount of urine passed and the intake of urine in order to estimate when the bladder would be full and avoid urine leakage.
- Homeopathic drugs like Cantharis and Apis Mel are useful in treating symptoms associated with urinary tract infection. These medications need to be taken four times each day for at least a few weeks. Ideally low potency is recommended; however consult your physician if you suffer from underlying disorders like diabetes.
In some cases surgical intervention may be inevitable. There are certain surgical options that can help in the management of the condition which include,
- Introducing an artificial sphincter.
- Implanting an electric device near the bladder nerve complex to stimulate the muscles of the urinary bladder.
- Sling surgery or creation of a stoma (an opening) which can help divert the urine out through a special pouch. This surgery is performed in terminal cases.