Overactive Bladder in Adrenoleukodystrophy and How to Deal With It

Overactive Bladder in Adrenoleukodystrophy and How to Deal With It

Overactive bladder is a common problem in men with adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a type of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), and also women who are carriers of the disease.

What is overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder is a condition that causes bladder urgency. You may feel  as if you have to urinate frequently, even if you’ve done so recently. You may also experience urgency incontinence, which is the unintentional loss of urine resulting from the urgency you’re feeling.

How does ALD cause overactive bladder?

ALD leads to the loss of the myelin sheath that surrounds and insulates nerve fibers. In AMN, this demyelination often affects the nerve cells controlling the passage of urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body. This can lead to overactive bladder.

Overactive bladder is an under-reported symptom; many patients are embarrassed to discuss their bodily functions. However, if you are experiencing bladder or bowel symptoms, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor. A physician should be able to recommend strategies and treatments that may be effective for you. Some of these are summarized below.

Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises can help strengthen the muscles of the bladder, large intestine, and uterus, and help with overactive bladder.

Before starting a new exercise program, it’s a good idea to discuss with your doctor to make sure that you exercise safely.

Dietary changes

Some foods and drinks may lead to the worsening of overactive bladder symptoms. Eliminating these foods and drinks from your diet may help reduce these symptoms. Generally, you should avoid carbonated beverages, alcohol, chocolate, pineapples, and cranberries, among others.

Timed voiding

Keeping a voiding schedule can help you increase the amount of time between bathroom visits. It’s important to keep a diary or log of voiding times. By using a fixed schedule and trying to urinate at the specified time — even if you don’t feel the need — can increase the amount of time between urgent visits to the bathroom. Most voiding schedules start with 15- or 30-minute intervals, which gradually increase until there are three to four hours between bathroom visits.

Many people find they feel the need to urinate again immediately after they have just urinated. To avoid this, you may find it helpful to urinate, wait 15 to 30 seconds, and try to urinate again.


There are medications available for overactive bladder, but patients with AMN may respond differently to these medications. Talk to your doctor about the best approach to treat your symptoms.


Last updated: March 31, 2020.


Adrenoleukodystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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