Solutions For A Leaky Bladder
Research has found that at least half of people with urinary incontinence dont discuss the condition with a health care provider. But theres no need to feel embarrassed. If you have a leaky bladder, youre definitely not alone. Bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence, affects women and men of all ages, though it becomes more common later in life.
And its definitely worth discussing, because of the many ways it can interfere with enjoying daily lifefrom exercise and travel to social outings and romance, says E. James Wright, M.D., director of urology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Aging Changes In The Kidneys And Bladder
The kidneys filter the blood and help remove wastes and extra fluid from the body. The kidneys also help control the body’s chemical balance.
The kidneys are part of the urinary system, which includes the ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Muscle changes and changes in the reproductive system can affect bladder control.
AGING CHANGES AND THEIR EFFECTS ON THE KIDNEYS AND BLADDER
As you age, your kidneys and bladder change. This can affect their function.
Changes in the kidneys that occur with age:
- Amount of kidney tissue decreases and kidney function diminishes.
- Number of filtering units decreases. Nephrons filter waste material from the blood.
- Blood vessels supplying the kidneys can become hardened. This causes the kidneys to filter blood more slowly.
Changes in the bladder:
- The bladder wall changes. The elastic tissue becomes stiffer and the bladder becomes less stretchy. The bladder cannot hold as much urine as before.
- The bladder muscles weaken.
- The urethra can become partially or totally blocked. In women, this can be due to weakened muscles that cause the bladder or vagina to fall out of position . In men, the urethra can become blocked by an enlarged prostate gland.
In a healthy aging person, kidney function declines very slowly. Illness, medicines, and other conditions can significantly degrade kidney function.
Aging increases the risk of kidney and bladder problems such as:
Sometimes Being Polite Is Bad For You
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How Can You Improve Postpartum Urinary Incontinence
Follow these tips to help with those leaks after childbirth:
- Do your Kegels. You’ve heard it before, but Kegel exercises are one of the best ways to strengthen your pelvic floor both during pregnancy and postpartum. Try to work up to three sets of 10 Kegel exercises a day, holding each squeeze for 10 seconds while standing.
- Train your bladder.Urinate every 30 minutes before you have the urge, in other words and then try to extend the time between bathroom trips each day. Over time, bladder training may help you work up to what’s considered more normal urination intervals, every three to four hours during the day and four to eight hours at night.
- Increase your fiber intake. This may help you avoid constipation after pregnancy, so full bowels don’t put added pressure on your bladder.
- Drink enough fluids. Although you should continue drinking at least eight glasses of fluids every day , you may find it helpful to limit fluid intake around bedtime if you experience incontinence during the night.
- Avoid coffee, citrus, tomatoes, soft drinks and alcohol. These beverages can irritate your bladder and make urine harder to control.
- Invest in postpartum pads. Pads can help absorb leaking urine .
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds can put added pressure on your bladder.
How Can I Manage Incontinence At Home
Incontinence can be uncomfortable and disruptive. It can cause sleeping problems, make you feel ashamed or angry, or affect your daily life in other ways. In addition to working with your health care team to find the best treatment, there are things you can do at home to help make incontinence better or more comfortable.
Limit how much you drink, especially coffee and alcohol. Avoid foods that can irritate the bladder, including dairy products, citrus fruits, sugar, chocolate, soda, tea, and vinegar.
Go to the bathroom right before bedtime and any vigorous activity.
Wear an absorbent pad inside your underwear or disposable incontinence underwear.
Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can put pressure on the bladder and muscles that support it.
Go to the bathroom regularly each day. Do not wait too long or put off going.
Quit smoking. Nicotine can irritate the bladder. It can also make you cough and leak urine.
Do Kegel exercises. Ask your health care team about doing Kegel exercises at home. They can make your bladder stronger. To do Kegel exercises, first tighten the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Then, relax those muscles. Repeat the exercise several times. During this exercise, relax the muscles in your belly, buttocks, and thigh.
Finally, it can help to find support. Talk with your health care team or join a support group for people with bladder problems. It can help you feel better to know that other people are also dealing with incontinence.
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Forms Of Urinary Incontinence That Affect Men Only
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects about 50 percent of men over the age of 60, and 90 percent over the age of 85 an enlarged prostate can cause sudden and frequent urges to urinate.
- Peyronies disease is the result of injury or damage to penile tissue, causing an abnormal curvature.
- Painful inflammation of the prostate gland
Tips To Help You Hold Your Bladder
- Dont carry a water bottle or large container of fluid around with you, use a smaller glass or cup and take small sips of fluids instead of large gulps
- If your mouth is dry, try sugar free gum or candy
- Try spreading out fluids during the day instead of drinking large amounts at one time
- Freeze and Squeeze Technique: When you get the urge to urinate stop and stay still, sit down if you can, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles quickly three to five times repeat as needed, relax the rest of your body and take a deep breath, concentrate on suppressing the urge, distract yourself to get your mind on something else
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How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed
Urinary incontinence is easy to recognize. The primary symptom most people experience is an involuntary release of urine. But the type and cause of the incontinence can be more difficult to determine and may require a variety of exams and tests. Most physicians will use the following:
A bladder diary Your doctor may have you track your fluid intake and output over several days. This may include any episodes of incontinence or urgency issues. To help you measure the amount of urine you pass during an episode of incontinence, you may be asked to use a calibrated container that fits over your toilet to collect the urine.
Urinalysis A urine sample can be checked for infections, traces of blood, or other abnormalities, such as the presence of cancer cells. A urine culture can assess for infection urine cytology looks for cancer cells.
Blood tests Blood tests can look for chemicals and substances that may relate to conditions causing the incontinence.
Pelvic ultrasound In this imaging test, an ultrasound device is used to create an image of the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract to check for problems.
Postvoid residual measurement In this procedure, the patient empties the bladder completely and the physician uses a device to measure how much urine, if any, remains in the bladder. A large amount of residual urine in the bladder suggests overflow incontinence.
UI is usually curable, and if not, then controllable.
How Long Can You Leave A Puppy Alone
The number one rule to raise a healthy, happy dog is spending a lot of time with them because they require attention, exercise, and care frequently during their one to six-month-old phase. Thus, leaving them alone for too long is not only sad for the pup but could lead to a number of mental as well as physical health problems.
Just like humans, dogs, no matter adults or puppies, also need to eliminate waste products from their bodies, and making them hold it for too long can cause several issues. So, even if you will be out for long, you must ensure that your pup is comfortable at home and knows where it can poop or pee. You can do so by training your pup to stay in a crate, although for as little time as possible, and please don’t make this a regular habit because your dog needs exercise and interaction. You can also install potty pads and leave your dogs with many toys and treats to play with while you’re gone.
Urinary Incontinence: More Common Than You Think
How to Stop Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary and unintentional leaking of urine. Urinary incontinence can also be an embarrassing problem. As with many potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable symptoms, those affected may be hesitant to speak up or ask questions about their condition, even at the doctor’s office. Urinary incontinence occurs more often in women than in men, and it is a lot more common than you might expect. In fact, chances are that you know other people who have been affected by urinary incontinence.
Incontinence must not be a source of embarrassment when you speak with your physician. The fact is that this common condition is treatable by a variety of approaches, and not speaking up about the problem means that you won’t have access to effective treatments:
- dietary changes, /li>
Millions of women experience involuntary loss of urine called urinary incontinence . Some women may lose a few drops of urine while running or coughing. Others may feel a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine. Many women experience both symptoms. UI can be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating. For some women, the risk of public embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many activities with their family and friends. Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress.
- at night to urinate
When To See A Doctor
If youre having trouble peeing, you should see a doctor. This is not a symptom you should try to learn to live with.
If your bladder function has been compromised in any way, it could be a symptom of another underlying health problem. Dont wait a long time to address difficulty peeing. After 36 to 48 hours of symptoms, its time to seek a professional diagnosis.
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What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.
Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.
With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.
Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.
It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.
TRY IT: Keep Records
Your doctor will want to know as much as possible about your bladder leakswhen they occur, how much urine comes out, and what youre doing when leaks happen. Consider keeping a diary of when you urinate and when you have leaks, recommends Wright.
Bladder And Bowel Incontinence
Incontinence is a loss of control of a person’s bowels or bladder which can cause accidental leakage of body fluids and waste. Incontinence can be more than a physical problem. It can disrupt your quality of life if its not managed well.
Fear, anxiety, and anger are common feelings for people dealing with incontinence. You may avoid being intimate or having sex because you are afraid of urine, gas, or stool leakage. Fear of having an accident may keep you from being physically active, enjoying hobbies, or spending extended time outside your home.
Both men and women can have incontinence during and after surgery or some other treatments for cancer. Incontinence can also occur because of other non-cancer medical conditions. Be sure to talk to your health care team if you have difficulty controlling urination or bowels. Talking about incontinence can be embarrassing, but being open and honest with your health care team can help manage it.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have any type of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a common problem and you should not feel embarrassed talking to them about your symptoms.
This can also be the first step towards finding a way to effectively manage the problem.
Urinary incontinence can usually be diagnosed after a consultation with a GP, who will ask about your symptoms and may do a pelvic or rectal examination, depending on whether you have a vagina or a penis.
The GP may also suggest you keep a diary in which you note how much fluid you drink and how often you have to urinate.
Find out about diagnosing urinary incontinence.
It Could Be A Sign Of An Underlying Condition
Naturally, later in life, people can experience incontinence because of increased production of urine related to aging kidneys. Bladder function is also heavily impacted by changing bladder capacity and chronic medical conditions like diabetes, says Fairchild. Chronic straining, coughing and/or constipation can all put stress on the bladder, she explains.
But leakage can also be sign of a more serious, underlying health condition, according to a 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging.” For example, poor heart function could be the culprit behind frequent urination while sleeping.
If fluid is pooling in your legs during the day, when you lay down, that fluid redistributes and increases urine production, says Fairchild.
Although bladder leakage is common, discuss your particular symptoms with your doctor.
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A Pink Red Or Brown Hue
If your urine appears pink or reddish and you havent eaten a lot of beets, blackberries or rhubarb recently the color could indicate blood in your urine. This is a serious symptom, one you should see your doctor about as soon as possible.
Blood in your urine is never, ever normal, and requires immediate medical attention, Dr. Ferrando says. Bloody urine could be indicative of cancer.
Darker colors such as amber or brown usually indicate dehydration. Increase the amount of fluids that you drink and lay off the caffeine. If your urine remains dark, talk to your doctor.
What Your Treatment Will Involve
Your healthcare providers recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your incontinence. An underlying medical condition may require medication, surgery, or other treatments.
In certain situations, your healthcare provider may not be able to cure your bladder incontinence. In these cases, there are steps you can take to manage your condition.
For example, your healthcare provider may advise you to:
- adjust your diet or fluid intake
- maintain a clear and well-lit path to the bathroom
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Dangers Of Holding Your Pee
The dangers of holding your pee are mostly cumulative. Holding in your pee for six hours during that one memorable road trip probably wont hurt you long-term.
But if youre constantly ignoring the urge to pee, you may develop complications. In general, you should go when you feel the need to go!
Here are some of the dangers of holding your pee:
- If you dont empty your bladder often enough, or go a couple of days without emptying it all the way, it can result in a urinary tract infection .
- If you hold your pee as a matter of habit, your bladder can start to atrophy. Over time, you may develop incontinence.
- When you hold your pee for 10 hours or more, you may develop urinary retention, meaning the muscles in your bladder cant relax and let you relieve yourself, even when you want to.
- In very rare cases, holding your pee can cause your bladder to burst.
Treatment Through Lifestyle Changes
Making changes to your lifestyle is the first step in treating an overactive bladder. This method poses few risks and is often an effective means to alleviate symptoms.
Follow these tips:
- Its recommended that you drink enough to maintain proper hydration. Drink small quantities at a time in order not to overwork the bladder.
- Reduce your liquid intake after 6 p.m. if you have a tendency to urinate at night.
- Limit your intake of certain liquids, such as caffeine products, alcohol and citrus juices.
- Try bladder training by keeping a diary to track your urination and schedule your bathroom visits.
- Incorporate Kegel exercises into your daily routine.
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