How are Overactive Bladder and Heart Conditions Connected?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women, accounting for one out of five deaths in the United States in 2021. It may come as a surprise to learn that an overactive bladder (OAB) is a common symptom of heart disease – a symptom that nearly 50% of heart failure patients experience.

OAB occurs when the bladder’s detrusor muscle contracts with irregular frequency. Even if the bladder isn’t full, it causes an overwhelming urge to urinate

Other symptoms of heart failure may include bloating, stomach pain, fatigue, swelling, shortness of breath, coughing, heart palpitations, weight gain and increased urination. For many patients, the increased urge to urinate occurs at night, a condition called nocturia. Nocturia can lead to greater levels of fatigue, daytime sleepiness and, in some cases, depression.

While there’s a correlation between increased levels of fluid in the body and frequent urination symptoms in heart disease patients,  it’s also common for doctor-prescribed medication to lead to OAB. 

Several types of medication used to treat heart failure and its symptoms affect the bladder’s ability to function properly, causing a side effect that many patients consider embarrassing. OAB, onset by heart disease or its medication, affects health-related quality of life for patients and can be crippling for their confidence at home and away. 

Medications that can cause or worsen OAB may include:

  • Diuretics
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Beta-Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
  • Antidepressants
  • Mood Stabilizers

Your health and quality of life are invaluable. If you’re experiencing heart disease or OAB symptoms, it’s imperative that you contact your doctor or urologist. Don’t waste time suffering in silence. 

Arkansas Urology strives to provide each and every patient with nondiscriminatory, life-changing care. For more information on access, visit our FAQ section

Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us today or book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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