Overactive Bladder Specialist Ann Arbor MI

What causes an overactive bladder? This can be something simple, like a bladder infection, or chronic, like interstitial cystitis (meaning chronic inflammation of the bladder wall), or even a sign of nerve damage as in multiple sclerosis. How to deal with it? Read on to find the answer.

David Christopher Miller, MD
(734) 477-9189
1934 Lindsay Ln
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Washington Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63110
Graduation Year: 1999

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Damon Earle Davis, MD
2201 S Huron Pkwy Apt 1
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mi Med Sch, Ann Arbor Mi 48109
Graduation Year: 2001

Data Provided by:
Edward Joseph Mc Guire, MD
(734) 615-3037
1500 E Medical Center Dr 2916 Taubman Center
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Wayne State Univ Sch Of Med, Detroit Mi 48201
Graduation Year: 1965

Data Provided by:
David P Wood
(734) 647-8903
1500 East Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialty
Urology

Data Provided by:
Jerilyn Marie LaTini
(734) 936-7030
1500 E Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialty
Urology

Data Provided by:
Leonard Harold Wolin, MD
(734) 971-7950
2216 Medford Rd
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Basel, Med Fak, Basel, Switzerland
Graduation Year: 1963

Data Provided by:
Jerilyn Marie Latini, MD
(734) 615-4884
1500 E Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Dartmouth Med, Hanover Nh 03755
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided by:
Cheryl T Lee, MD
(734) 615-6662
1500 E Medical Center Dr # 0330
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Albany Med Coll, Albany Ny 12208
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided by:
Gary J Faerber
(734) 936-7030
1500 East Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialty
Urology

Data Provided by:
James Stuart Wolf Jr, MD
(734) 764-8397
3875 Taubman Center 1500 E Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI
Specialties
Urology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Northwestern Univ Med Sch, Chicago Il 60611
Graduation Year: 1988

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Overactive Bladder

Provided by: 

By Mark Hyman, MD

Q I’m a healthy, athletic, middle-aged woman with a bathroom problem. I suddenly have the urge to “go” as many as a dozen times a day. What’s wrong with me?

Overactive bladders can be more than a nuisance because they can interfere with living a normal life. While medications like Detrol can calm an overactive bladder, you really want to find out the cause of the problem, address it directly, and hopefully resolve the issue rather than taking medications indefinitely.

So what causes an overactive bladder? This can be something simple, like a bladder infection, or chronic, like interstitial cystitis (meaning chronic inflammation of the bladder wall), or even a sign of nerve damage as in multiple sclerosis.

The most obvious is a bacterial bladder infection, and a simple urine test can determine if you have one. If you do, you can take a short course of antibiotics or use herbal remedies such as cranberry or uva ursi. Bladder infections often occur after sex. So empty your bladder right after intercourse for a modicum of protection.

Other causes often get overlooked. The most common are undiagnosed food sensitivities. A food elimination diet can help here. Try stopping gluten (wheat), dairy, yeast, eggs, corn, soy, and nuts for a week and then adding them back in your diet one food at a time so you can see if it’s the cause.

Food additives also pose potential problems. Aspartame and foods preservatives and additives rank high on the list of potential culprits. If there is an ingredient on a label you don’t recognize as a food don’t eat it.

Hidden yeast infections can also cause an irritable bladder. These are often overlooked and left untreated for years. If you’ve had numerous courses of antibiotics or take birth control pills or other forms of estrogen, taken steroids like prednisone, or if you currently eat a diet high in flour and sugar, you may have developed an overgrowth of yeast. It won’t show up on a urine test.


Herbal or prescription anti-fungals and probiotics can provide effective treatment. Useful herbs include berberine, garlic, oregano, and undecylenic acid and plant tannins. Common prescriptions include nystatin, Diflucan or Sporanox. These sometimes need to be taken for a month or more to get rid of the yeast. Cutting down on sugar and flour, staying away from antibiotics, and taking a good probiotic (healthy bacteria) daily can keep this problem from recurring.

Nutritional deficiencies can also cause an overactive bladder. Magnesium deficiency can cause any part of the body to cramp or spasm, including the bladder. Try taking 200 to 600 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate daily and see if it helps. Vitamin B12 deficiency can mimic symptoms of multiple sclerosis, one of which is bladder spasms. Have your doctor check the methylmalonic acid level in your blood—it’s a much more sensitive indicator of deficiency than your vitamin B12 level. You might need B12 under the tongue or even injections to...

Author: Mark Hyman, MD

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