Just What is Neurogenic Bladder?

Neurogenic bladder refers to a condition when this signal is interrupted or disabled, usually due to a disease of the nervous system, brain tumors or other…

Neurogenic bladder is a condition that affects both males and females and can result from disease, injury, or birth defects that affect the brain, spinal cord, or nerves leading to the bladder.  Neurogenic bladder is caused by problems with the nerves carrying messages between the bladder and the brain which resdults in the loss of the normal bladder function control.

Bladder function is normally automatic but is governed by the brain.  The final decision on whether or not to void is lost in patients with a neurogenic bladder and symptoms may vary depending upon the cause and other associated conditions.  The sensory nerves in the bladder sense the fullness of the bladder and then the brain allows the motor nerves to trigger the muscle contraction of the bladder wall muscles which forces urine out through the urethera.

Neurogenic bladder refers to a condition when this signal is interrupted or disabled, usually due to a disease of the nervous system, brain tumors or other diseases of the brain, injuries or disease of the spinal cord, and conditions such as spina bifida.  Sometimes neurogenic bladder happens after a surgery in the pelvic region.  Neurogenic bladder gives a person difficulty in passing urine without the use of a catheter or other external method.

There are two types of neurogenic bladder; overactive which means a spastic or hyper-reflexive bladder and under active or hypotonic bladder.  With overactive bladder there is frequent and uncontrolled leaking or expulsion of urine from the bladder and typically reduced bladder capacity.  Involuntary release of large volumes of urine or continuous dribbling of small amounts are ongoing health issues and a cause of social embarsament.

With under active neurogenic bladder has a very large capacity for urine because it has a tendency to overfill.  This is because it does not have the normal contractions that a bladder should when it is full.

Treatment options for neurogenic bladder usually consist of intermittent or continuous catheterization.  Intermittent catheterization is done four to six times per day and avoids the complications that typically arise with continuous catheterization, such as infection due to a buildup of bacteria in the pelvic region.  Many patients who have use of their arms can learn to catheterize themselves, otherwise this procedure must be done by a healthcare professional.

Long-term management for neurogenic bladder includes controlling one’s fluid intake, not just by the amount taken in but also according to how often one takes in fluids.  This way a patient can be more aware of when they need to empty their bladder and there are less occurrences of spontaneous emptying of the bladder and urine spillage.  A patient may also be taught how to use external pressure on the muscles or by stretching so as to empty their bladder on command.  Surgery is another treatment option for neurogenic bladder.  Doctors may implant what is known as an inflatable sphincter in the area of the bladder.

It is also important for patients with neurogenic bladder to continue the use of antibiotics so as to reduce the occurrences of infection in the area of the bladder, especially if he or she is using an external catheter.  Regular checkups are also needed so as to be sure that there are no such infections occurring.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.