Managing Bladder And Bowel Incontinence
Some common treatments are:
Changes in food or drink. Increasing your fiber intake can help manage diarrhea and constipation. Drinking plenty of fluids can also ease constipation. Not drinking fluids at certain times can help manage overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.
Exercises. Kegel exercises can strengthen the sphincter muscles and pelvic floor. This can help you have better control.
Medicines. Some medicines can help control bowel incontinence. Antidiarrheal medicines can help manage diarrhea. And medicine can help bladder muscles relax to give you better control.
Keeping a bathroom schedule. Setting a regular schedule for using the toilet can give you better control. This includes attempting to urinate or move your bowels at the same time each day.
Electrical stimulation. This therapy can stimulate damaged nerves. This may give you better muscle control in your bladder or bowel.
Surgery. In rare cases, you may need surgery to repair damage to muscles or nerves.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to create a treatment plan.
Be Ready And Prepared
Despite your best efforts, accidents may still happen from time to time. There are many products that can help you feel confident being out and participating in the world. Adult diapers are one option to stay dry in the event of an accident if you tend to leak large amounts. Disposable pads worn in underwear may be enough protection if you are prone to smaller accidents. Waterproof underwear is another safeguard to help keep clothing from getting wet. If nighttime accidents are a concern, disposable pads can be placed on the bed to protect the mattress.
Loss of urine can be irritating to the skin. Keep skin clean and dry. Ask your doctor for recommendations about cleansers that are gentle enough to be non-irritating to the area around the urethra. Creams are also available to help block the urine from the skin. If strong urine smell is distressing, deodorizing tablets are available to help cut down on odor.
What Is Bladder Control
The body stores urine in the bladder. During urination, muscles in the bladder contract or tighten forcing urine out of the bladder and into a tube called the urethra that carries urine out of the body. At the same time, muscles surrounding the urethra relax and let the urine pass through. Spinal nerves control how these muscles move. Incontinence occurs if the bladder muscles contract or the muscles surrounding the urethra relax without warning or control.
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Additional Treatments For Urinary Incontinence
If behavioral and lifestyle interventions do not bring relief of urinary incontinence, electrical nerve stimulation may be an option to consider. Small devices implanted near the tibial nerve in the ankle or the sacral nerve in the lower back deliver impulses that help relieve urinary incontinence symptoms. Stimulation of the tibial nerve interrupts the impulses from the bladder that go to the brain. Stimulation of the sacral nerve may improve blood flow to the bladder and make pelvic muscles that control the bladder stronger. Nerve stimulation may also trigger the relief of chemicals that block pain.
In some cases of urinary incontinence unresponsive to other treatments, a physician may inject bulking agents near the urinary sphincter to help close the bladder opening. A mixture of collagen and carbon beads are injected under local anesthesia. About 40% of those who undergo the procedure have a successful outcome. If a neurological condition is contributing to the issue, Botox injections to the bladder may provide relief by decreasing bladder contractions. In cases where weak or prolapsed pelvic organs play a role, surgery may be required.
Living With Bowel Incontinence
You can help manage bowel incontinence by following a bowel care plan and using the toilet before you leave home. You can also make sure you carry your medications, supplies, fecal deodorants, and a change of clothes with you.
Anal discomfort, itching, and irritation can be common. Here are some ways to help manage these symptoms:
- Wash the anal area after a bowel movement or use baby wipes.
- Use a moisture-barrier cream in the anal area.
- Use wick pads or disposable underwear.
- Change soiled underwear frequently to keep the anal area clean and dry.
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Duration Of Urinary Incontinence
Most cases of UI are chronic, and will remain so until treated. Depending on the cause, however, not all UI cases are chronic. If the cause is temporary, such as a vaginal infection or a urinary tract infection, the UI will stop once the issue is addressed.
Urinary Incontinence In Women: What You Need To Know
Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine.
Over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence.
This condition can occur at any age, but it is more common in women over the age of 50.
There are four types of urinary incontinence: urgency, stress, functional and overflow incontinence.
Behavioral therapies, medications, nerve stimulation and surgery are some of the treatments available for managing urinary incontinence.
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What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the incontinence and the tests that may need to be done.
Doctors ask questions about the circumstances of urine loss, including amount, time of day, and any precipitating factors . People are asked whether they can sense the need to urinate and, if so, whether the sensation is normal or comes with sudden urgency. Doctors may also ask the person to estimate the amount of urine leakage. Doctors will also ask whether the person has any additional problems with urination, such as pain or burning during urination, a frequent need to urinate, difficulty starting urination, or a weak urine stream.
Sometimes doctors may ask people to keep a record of their urination habits over a day or two. This record is called a voiding diary. Each time the person urinates, the volume and time are recorded. After an episode of incontinence, the person also records any related activities, especially eating, drinking, drug use, or sleep.
Although urodynamic testing is important, results do not always predict response to drug treatment or assess the relative importance of multiple causes.
Kegel Exercises For Women
Strengthening pelvic floor muscles can reduce or even cure symptoms of stress incontinence. Kegel exercises target the muscles that control the flow of a stream of urine. You need to do the routine regularly to attain and maintain maximum benefit. Kegel exercises are easy to do it just takes a little practice to make sure you’re concentrating your efforts on the right area.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
To perform Kegel exercises, contract the muscles you use to stop a stream of urine. Hold for 3 seconds and then release. Relax for 3 seconds. Work up to 3 sets of 10 Kegels. You can start performing these workouts while lying down. As you get stronger, you can do them while sitting or standing. If you’re having trouble isolating the correct muscles, a doctor, nurse, or physical therapist can help you with your technique.
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What Does The Research Say
Researchers are studying how back pain or back issues may affect or cause incontinence. So far, the research isnt clear. But, a few studies have shed some light into possible connections.
A Brazilian study published in 2015, explored the correlation between lower back pain and UI. However, this study was conducted in a population with an average age of 80. The results werent conclusive, and its possible the advanced age of study participants affected their urinary health.
In a 2015 study of women one year after giving birth, researchers found that back pain and UI are common. This study showed back pain is more common and more likely to interfere with a womans day-to-day life than UI.
Women who were obese, were an advanced maternal age, or had vaginal delivery during childbirth were more likely to experience symptoms of UI. The study found no connection between women who experienced back pain and their episodes of UI.
More research is needed to determine whether there is a substantive link between the two symptoms.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated
You and your doctor or nurse will work together to create a treatment plan. You may start with steps you can take at home. If these steps do not improve your symptoms, your doctor or nurse may recommend other treatments depending on whether you have stress incontinence or urge incontinence or both.
Be patient as you work with your doctor or nurse on a treatment plan. It may take a month or longer for different treatments to begin working.
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Loss Of Bladder And Bowel Control
Bowel incontinence means you lose control over passing stool, whereas urinary incontinence refers to a condition that involves unwanted passage of urine. When you have bowel or bladder dysfunction, you are likely to experience other problems as well with voluntary urination and bowel movements. Not only can these problems cause pain and discomfort, they can be a source of embarrassment as well. While you may not feel comfortable with the idea of seeking medical help, you should not waste time and talk to your healthcare provider to find a treatment option to deal with loss of bladder or bowel control.
Alcohol And Carbonated Drinks
People who suffer from incontinence should limit their alcohol intake. It interrupts with your thinking. If you drink alcohol until you blackout you might also not feel micturition. Alcohol also aids urine production in the body, which can lead to more frequent urge of urination. Even carbonated drinks can be a major cause behind urinary incontinence.
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The Urinary Tract & How It Works
The urinary tract is the bodys drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
The NIDDK would like to thank:Joseph A. Costa, D.O., University of Florida Health, Jacksonville, and Behzad Jazayeri, M.D., University of Florida, Jacksonville College of Medicine
Other Types Of Urinary Incontinence
- Overflow incontinence This occurs when a person is unable to empty their bladder completely and it overflows as new urine is produced. It’s often found in people with diabetes or spinal cord injuries.
- Mixed incontinence You show evidence of more than one type.
- Functional incontinence This type of incontinence has less to do with a bladder disorder and more to do with the logistics of getting to a bathroom in time. It’s usually found in elderly or disabled people who have normal or near normal bladder control but cannot get to the toilet in time because of mobility limitations or confusion.
- Nocturia The need to urinate twice or more during the night, usually affecting men and women over the age of 60. In men, nocturia can be a symptom of an enlarged prostate.
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How The Bladder Works
To understand the different causes for bladder problems and the differences faced by between men and women, it is essential to understand how a healthy bladder functions. The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ a muscle in fact — that sits in the pelvis, supported and held in place, by the pelvic floor muscles. Its purpose is to store and release urine. A tube, called the urethra, connects the bladder to the genitals, from where the urine is passed. Ring-like muscles, called sphincters, control the urethra, keeping it closed so urine doesnt leak from the bladder before its ready to be released while hormones help keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. The bladder muscle relaxes when it fills with urine and contracts when its time to urinate. Nerves carry signals from the bladder to the brain to let the brain know when the bladder is full – and from the brain to the bladder to let the bladder know when its time to urinate. For the urinary system to do its job effectively, muscles and nerves must work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the right time. If either the muscles or the nerves are impaired, this could lead to incontinence.
Weak pelvic muscles cause most bladder control problems. If the bladder sags out of position, it can stretch the opening to the urethra.
As well as weak muscles and nerve damage, bladder control problems can be caused when medicines dull the nerves.
Incontinence And Emotional Health
Quality of Life Issue
Incontinence can take a serious toll on quality of life. Women who are affected by it report more depression and limitations in sexual and social functioning than those who do not have the condition. Those who suffer from this health concern are more likely to rely on caregivers. Incontinence also has a negative effect on self-esteem. In general, it negatively affects a woman’s quality of life, the more she should seek aggressive treatment.
An Honest Conversation
Many women feel embarrassed about suffering from incontinence, but they need not. This is a common problem and you are not alone. Effective treatments are available. Be honest with your doctor. Do you avoid certain activities because of your symptoms? Does incontinence impair your work, sleep, sex life, or social functioning? Different interventions are available depending on how it impacts you. Speaking candidly with your doctor is the best way to identify treatments that are most appropriate for your situation.
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Common Causes Of Urinary Incontinence In Men
Urinary incontinence in meninvoluntary leakage of urine is not an uncommon problem. As estimated 3.4 million men in the United States currently experience UI, making life difficult both physically and emotionally. While often related to prostate problems, urinary incontinence has a variety of causes and can also be brought on by medical conditions such as diabetes and Parkinsons disease, and by pelvic surgical procedures including prostatectomy.
However, like many conditions that were once thought to be an inevitable fact of aging, UI in men is often due to underlying conditions that are treatable. Urologists are experts in the evaluation and treatment of UI with an array of evolving and cutting-edge techniques.
Treatment is an important consideration for any man affected. The healthcare community has lately begun to take a closer look at inequities in medical treatment, and although there is limited data on urinary incontinence in those of different races, in one study African-American men had the highest prevalence of incontinence. Hispanic men are also widely impacted. The study concluded that ethnicity appears to be a contributing risk factor for UI.
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.
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Alternative And Complementary Therapies
The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medication or surgery.
Bladder habit training This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urination. A doctor will usually recommend urinating at one-hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.
Pelvic muscle exercises Also called Kegel exercises , this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
The person contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for 4 to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time.
It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement.
Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.
Prevention Of Incontinence And Continence Problems
There are things you can do to help keep your bladder and bowel healthy, and avoid incontinence and continence problems.Suggestions for healthy lifestyle choices include:
- Drink plenty of fluid up to at least two litres each day, unless your doctor advises you otherwise.
- Eat well to prevent constipation and to maintain a healthy body weight eat plenty of wholegrain foods rather than highly processed or refined food and at least two pieces of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.
- Exercise regularly to keep fit and to prevent constipation.
- Tone up your pelvic floor with pelvic floor exercises for good bladder and bowel control.
- Practise good toilet habits to prevent bladder and bowel control problems.
Good toilet habits can help to prevent incontinence and continence problems. These include:
- going to the toilet to pass urine only when you have the urge to go dont go just in case
- taking time to completely empty your bladder and bowel
- not delaying going to the toilet when you have the urge to use your bowels
- using the correct posture on the toilet to help you pass a bowel motion .
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