Troubled by Incontinence?
You are standing in this long line waiting for your turn to check out with the groceries for tonight’s dinner when it hits you! You have to go to the bathroom NOW! You have to just leave everything and run! It could be a little embarrassing!
Understanding this problem can give you a hand up on finding solutions. Urinary incontinence can be caused by a number of reasons which include:
- For women, thinning and drying of the urethra or the vaginal skin after menopause
- For men, prostate problems
- Weak muscles in the lower urinary tract
- Damage of the nerves that control urination
- It could be a side effect of some medications
- Being overweight, as it seems to increase the pressure on the bladder
- Urinary tract infections
- Some diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis
There are five types of incontinence:
Stress Incontinence: Caused when the urine leaks due to a sudden pressure on the lower stomach as in coughing or sneezing. It’s more common among young female athletes or after menopause.
Urge Incontinence (Overactive Bladder): Usually found in people who have diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. Healthy people can be affected.
Overflow incontinence: The uncontrollable leak of urine. It could happen if the urine flow from the bladder is blocked or narrowed. A common cause for this blockage may be the enlargement of the prostate gland. Diabetes could also cause overflow incontinence.
Reflex Incontinence: Related to problems in the central nervous system. It happens to patients with Parkinson’s disease or stroke; brain tumor or a spinal cord injury can also cause this.
Functional Incontinence: Patients with Functional Incontinence have nothing wrong except reaching the bathroom on time due to a mental or a physical impairment.
Mixed Incontinence: As the name suggests it’s a “ mix” of both stress and urge incontinence, so the patient could have weak muscles and the bladder is overactive.
There are a few things that may help with certain types of incontinence:
Stress Incontinence could be treated with exercise. Pelvic Floor Exercise or Kegel Exercises may help strengthen the muscles to prevent urine leak. The trick is to make sure you are using the right muscles, if you use the abdomen muscles it could it make it worse. Just try to stop or even slow your urine flow without using your stomach or buttock muscles, squeeze your muscles and hold for a count of 10 then relax for a count of 10, then repeat it up to 20 minutes three times a day.
Bladder training may also be a solution: Schedule set intervals to attempt to urinate, whether you feel the urge or not. When you feel the urge to go before it’s time try to breath slowly and think of something else. Bladder training is not followed at night time.
Dietary control options:
- Avoid spicy food
- Avoid citrus fruits and juices
- Don’t each much chocolate
- Try to not consume much Caffeine
Sometimes , it’s a tougher case of incontinence than can be controlled by the mentioned measures; in this case the doctor will have to prescribe a medication or it might even require a surgical intervention.
Considering this concern is very private and urgent in nature. Please seek the help of a physician and stay consistent in your efforts to control the problem, don’t give up – there are likely drier days ahead!