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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I manage UTI symptoms that are caused by anxiety

    When out in social situations I experience frequency and urgency to urinate caused by anxiety. What are the options for managing or overcoming this problem quickly?
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    Alicja Weidner

    Hypnotherapist, Social Worker

    I am a qualified, AASW accredited Social Worker with qualifications in clinical hypnotherapy an over 20 years of clinical practice experience across a variety of ... View Profile

    Consulting a medical professional is always a good idea to determine if there are no other medical reasons behind a urinary urgency.  Gynecologists & Urologists can be especially well equipped to assist where urinary issues are concerned.  If however, the problem is anxiety related, hypnotherapy can also be very effective in addressing the symptoms you are describing - along with the anxiety issues.   If money is of concern,  there is always an option of accessing a bulked billed psychological services for people who have mental health plan with their GP.  You could talk to your doctor to find out if this is an option for you.  Many of the psychologists are also providing hypnotherapy services.  They can provide useful advice on cognitive behavioural strategies to deal with this particular issue.  One such a strategy is to modify bladder responses.  Many of us unknowingly tend to encourage our bladders to develop overreactive tendencies (especially in stressful situatiions when under pressure).  We do this by responding to even the slightest of urge to urinate.  For example, at the mere sign of the toilet, before leaving the house and after arriving in a new place, and after leaving that place.  The bladder gets used to being emptied when only half full and learns that this is when the 'I must urinate' signal needs to be send.  To rectify this so called 'nervous bladder behaviour' you may chose to ignore the initial urges and try to self-correct them by cognitivelly challenging them.  Therefore, you may distract yourself from wanting to go to the toilet by thinking of somethig else.  Fo examople, you could think 'It's okay, I dont need to do anything.  Its only a thought and it will pass.'   Or you could do some mathematical calculations to distract yourself from the urge. Or perhaps you have some better ideas of what sort of thinking may be working better for you?   Whatever you think would work -try it to distract yourself.  Sing a song, write an email, try on a new pair of earings.  You can chose to be creative in your approach.   If indeed the bladder is only half full, the urge, when ignored, would soon subside as it is only a mere thought.  The same when away from home, do not go to the toilet unless you really need to.  Avoid going only because you saw a toilet... or because you are leaving the house.  Go to the toilet only when you really must.  

    If this does not help, a good hypnotherapy can be very useful.  I am recommending hypnotherapy because that would also assist the underlining issue of social anxiety which I think you may be experiencing as well.  Also the dietetics advice may be worthwile because certain types of food or drinks (i.e coffee, cocoa, or alcohol) have the tendency to further upset bladder functions. 

    UTI is a slightly different issue and it is more of a medical profession domain but I believe that some naturopaths and dieticians could also potentially assist in this area along with your local doctor. 

    with warm regards

    Alicja

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