A teenager who has a problem with an overactive bladder may find herself investigating the locations of all of the bathrooms at school, work or in public places. Frequent urination is not only an inconvenience, but it can also be the symptom of a more serious medical problem in teenagers.
Urinary Tract Infections
An overactive bladder is one of the key symptoms of a urinary tract infection, in which teenagers may experience frequent, painful urination, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Sexually transmitted diseases could also cause problems with the bladder. Seek a doctor's help if you suspect your teenager has a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics can typically clear up the infection within a few days. Afterward, teens can prevent another infection by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day and urinating on a regular basis.
If your teenager has to use the bathroom frequently, look no further than his can of soda for answers. Caffeine can stimulate the bladder and lead to frequent urination, says KidsHealth.org, a child development site. Alcohol can also play a role in overactive bladder, suggests MayoClinic.com. Limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol altogether may improve the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Diabetes and Kidney Function
If your child is frequently thirsty, heals slowly from injury or feels fatigued or irritable along with an overactive bladder, it could be a sign of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Adjustments to diet and exercise, along with medication, may be necessary to manage your child's diabetes symptoms. Poor kidney function could also be an explanation for an overactive bladder. Like diabetes, poor kidney function may involve high urine production. A doctor should evaluate your teenager to rule out these possible causes for an overactive bladder.
In some cases, a doctor may not know why a teenager has an overactive bladder, or the problem may be caused by a combination of factors. Doctors may suggest that teenagers schedule bathroom visits, lose weight (if applicable) or reduce fluid intake if overactive bladder continues to be a problem. Medications and surgery may be recommended in severe cases.