When the word “Botox” is mentioned, people usually think of aging Hollywood actresses. These ladies tend to use the drug to help prevent the development and spreading of wrinkles by paralyzing facial muscles. Botox is a drug made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. It is a very common belief that Botox is only used for treating fine lines and wrinkles on the face. What most people don't know is that Botox is a lot more than just an injection for cosmetic purposes. It can be used to treat bladder issues along with a number of other medical conditions.
Botox and Bladder Problems
Botox (Botulinum toxin) is also used to treat urinary incontinence. There are about 14-15-million adults in the United States that have overactive bladder symptoms with urinary incontinence. People who suffer from an overactive bladder often experience urine leaks due to the bladder squeezing too often and without warning. Basically, they have a sudden and urgent need to urinate
In the past few years, research has been conducted on the use of Botox to treat bladder problems. Just a few years ago, a team of researchers, at the American Urological Association in New Orleans, revealed that a high percentage of patients that received Botox injections had better control of their urinary incontinence symptoms. The team of researchers from Canada, Europe and the United States revealed that after a few weeks of treatment, a high percentage of patients that receive Botox injections reported control of their urinary incontinence symptoms. These patients also showed control of their symptoms after one year of treatment.
The Botox treatment for overactive bladder symptoms was administered by injecting directly into the patient. Botox worked to block the muscles and nerves that cause a feeling of urgently needing to urinate. The patient study group consisted of 543 patients. The results of the study, of which more than half of the patients completed, showed:
Nearly 40 percent of the patients reported control of their symptoms for at least six months.
Nearly 30 percent had control of their symptoms for more than one year.
The most common side effect of the treatment was a urinary tract infection.
Other Medical Conditions Treated by Botox
Botox inhibits certain chemical signals released by nerves in the body. The majority of the signals are those that result in muscle contraction. The various conditions that Botox injections can also treat include:
Lazy Eye - This is a condition caused by the imbalance of the muscles that positions the eye. This is a very serious disorder that can impair the eye permanently if not treated.
Muscle Contractions - Involuntary contractions of muscles can cause various neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy. This is a very tricky condition that can be treated using Botox injections to relax the contracted muscles.
Cervical Dystonia- This is a very painful condition that involves the involuntary contraction of the neck muscles which causes the head to twist or turn in a discomforting way. Botox injections are used to treat this condition by inducing relaxation of the muscles.
Chronic Migraine - Migraines are considered to be chronic when they become too frequent and severe such as migraines experienced for more than 15 days in a month. Botox injections can be used to reduce the frequency of the headaches.
Eye Twitching - Botox helps relieve the contracture or twitching of muscles around the eye.
Hyperhidrosis - This is a condition characterized by excessive sweating even when the temperature isn't hot or there is not much exertion on the part of the patient.
The use of Botox for the treatment of overactive bladder symptoms in adults has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This approval by the FDA was a big step towards relief for patients who didn’t respond well to anticholinergics which are a medication that reduces the spasms of smooth muscles such as the muscles in the bladder. Instead of having to rely on anticholinergics, patients suffering from overactive bladder symptoms can use Botox to help relax the bladder. In turn, this helps the bladder to store larger amounts of urine resulting in less frequent episodes of the sudden and urgent need to urinate.
Botox Bladder Relief is on the Horizon
It’s estimated that 33-million men and women in the United States suffer from the symptoms caused by an overactive bladder. The additional medical option of using Botox to treat the symptoms of an overactive bladder is one of great relief to those suffering from the condition. Living life with an overactive bladder involves frequent trips to the bathroom. It also means people suffer from a lack of sleep, interruptions at work due to the sudden need to urinate and never making it through a movie without having to leave the theater. These are just a few of the daily routines in life that those who suffer from an overactive bladder are not able to enjoy. The use of Botox to prevent the symptoms of an overactive bladder promises relief and an increased appreciation of the simple things in life to those who suffer from this condition.