Causes Of Urge Incontinence
The urgent and frequent need to pass urine can be caused by a problem with the detrusor muscles in the walls of your bladder.
The detrusor muscles relax to allow the bladder to fill with urine, then contract when you go to the toilet to let the urine out.
Sometimes the detrusor muscles contract too often, creating an urgent need to go to the toilet. This is known as having an overactive bladder.
The reason your detrusor muscles contract too often may not be clear, but possible causes include:
- drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
- not drinking enough fluids this can cause strong, concentrated urine to collect in your bladder, which can irritate the bladder and cause symptoms of overactivity
Overflow incontinence may also be caused by your detrusor muscles not fully contracting, which means your bladder does not completely empty when you urinate. As a result, the bladder becomes stretched.
Your detrusor muscles may not fully contract if:
- thereâs damage to your nerves for example, as a result of surgery to part of your bowel or a spinal cord injury
- youâre taking certain medicines
Living With Bowel Or Bladder Incontinence
There is no single, right way to cope with bladder or bowel incontinence. The challenge is to find what is best for your situation, so you can get the help you need and return to a normal daily life. Talk with your health care team if you notice a change in bowel or bladder habits, and about the best ways to manage incontinence, if it is a problem. You might find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with incontinence, too. Ask a member of your cancer care team about support groups in your area.
Here are some things you can do that may help make incontinence less of a problem:
- Empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours while awake, to avoid accidents.
- Empty your bladder before bedtime or before strenuous activity.
- Limit drinks with caffeine, or and avoid alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder and make you have to go more often.
- Avoid hygiene products that may irritate you Women should avoid feminine spray or over-the-counter vaginal suppositories.
- Because belly fat can push on the bladder, avoiding weight gain or losing needed weight sometimes helps improve bladder control.
- Avoid tobacco use which can cause coughing and bladder irritation due to harmful substances in tobacco products.
- Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking. Some may affect urine control.
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.
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Bladder And Bowel Incontinence
Incontinence is a loss of control of a personâs 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.
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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Treatments For Urgency Incontinence
Urgency incontinence is when you get the urge to go, and if you dont make it to a bathroom, your bladder will empty. It can have serious effects on your life and your work.
Experts dont know what causes urgency incontinence, but there are different ways to approach it. First we start with behavioral changes, which vary based on your situation. Steps could include:
Weight loss again, losing even a small amount of weight can help.
Avoiding excess fluids. If youre having trouble sleeping, we talk about limiting fluids before bedtime so sleep is less interrupted.
Time voiding, which is retraining the bladder. If the patient is in the bathroom every hour, well slowly lengthen that interval so theyre in the bathroom less often.
Pelvic floor exercises, with help from a physical therapist.
Changing your diet. I review a list of bladder irritants: coffee, chocolate, alcohol, spicy foods, and other things. We have patients skip those foods and drinks for a week or two and see what their urgency or frequency is like.
If behavioral changes dont help, there are other options to explore. We can try certain medications that relax your bladder muscles and prevent leakage. Botox, injected into the muscles of the bladder, can help some patients temporarily. And there are several medications we can try, including anticholinergics, which block the impulse to urinate. This can help you get more sleep at night.
What Can I Do To Better Live With Dysautonomia
To help manage your dysautonomia symptoms:
- Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Wear compression stockings and support garments to increase/maintain blood pressure
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Avoid heat. Take lukewarm or cool baths and showers.
- Talk with your healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medicine or supplement.
- Ask your healthcare provider if you can drink caffeinated beverages or eat foods with artificial sweeteners. Caffeine should be avoided if you have a raised heart rate. Artificial sweeteners can cause migraines in some people.
Other wellness tips for living with dysautonomia can be found here.
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What Are The Treatments For Urinary Incontinence
Treatment depends on the type and cause of your UI. You may need a combination of treatments. Your provider may first suggest self-care treatments, including:
- Lifestyle changes to reduce leaks:
- Drinking the right amount of liquid at the right time
- Being physically active
- Staying at a healthy weigh
- Avoiding constipation
If these treatments do not work, your provider may suggest other options such as:
- Medicines, which can be used to
- Relax the bladder muscles, to help prevent bladder spasms
- Block nerve signals that cause urinary frequency and urgency
- In men, shrink the prostate and improve urine flow
Specialized Tests To Diagnose Incontinence
Sometimes routine testing does not reveal the underlying cause, and further evaluation is required. You may be referred to a urologist or a urogynecologist for more specialized testing if your health concern is accompanied by pain, recurrent UTIs, blood or protein in the urine, neurological symptoms or muscle weakness, or pelvic organ prolapse. Women with this issue who have a history of radiation or surgery to the pelvic region may also be referred to a urologist.
Specialized testing can assess how well the bladder, urethra, and sphincters store and dispose of urine. There are many different types of instruments that can be used for urodynamic testing. Cystometry is a test that is used to help diagnose urge incontinence. It measures bladder pressure. The structures in the pelvis can be visualized with ultrasound. Uroflowometry can measure the volume of urine and flow rate. This test is used to determine the strength of related muscles and helps assess whether urine flow is blocked. There are other tests a urologist may perform depending on your symptoms.
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Symptoms Of Lack Of Bowel Control In Dogs
The inability to control bowel movements stems from a lack of communication of sorts between the brain and the colon. There can be various explanations for the problem, and the veterinarian will be able to diagnose the problem. Take note of the following signs, and relay them to the veterinarian at your clinic visit:
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Managing Bladder Or Urinary Incontinence
Sometimes urinary incontinence can last a short time, depending on what’s causing it. But sometimes incontinence can be long-term and uncomfortable, making some everyday activities difficult to manage.
Your health care team will ask you questions to determine the type of bladder incontinence you might have. Then, you might need tests to verify the type and learn the cause of it which will help them know the best way to manage it.
- Pelvic floor muscle strengthening may be recommended. A physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor muscle exercises can help. This might help muscle strength and bladder control get better by doing exercises that tighten and relax muscles that control the flow of urine.
- Bladder training canhelp manage how often you need to urinate throughout the day, by assigning certain time intervals to empty your bladder.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Talk to your provider about incontinence. Providers who treat incontinence are gynecologists and urologists that specialize in this problem. They can find the cause and recommend treatments.
- Difficulty talking, walking, or speaking
- Sudden weakness, numbness, or tingling in an arm or leg
- Loss of consciousness or confusion
- Loss of bowel control
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Trouble starting your urine flow
What To Expect At Your Healthcare Providers Appointment
During your appointment, your healthcare provider will likely ask questions about your symptoms. Theyll probably want to know how long youve been incontinent, which types of incontinence youve experienced, and other details.
They may also ask about your daily habits, including your typical diet and any medications or supplements that you take.
Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your healthcare provider may order additional tests, including:
- Collecting a sample of urine for analysis. Laboratory staff can check the urine sample for signs of infection or other problems.
- Measuring the amount of urine that you release when urinating, the amount left over in your bladder, and the pressure in your bladder. This information is gathered by inserting a catheter, or a small tube, into your urethra and your bladder.
- Conducting a cystoscopy. During this test, theyll insert a small camera into your bladder to examine it up close.
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How To Treat Loss Of Bladder Control
In many cases, the treatments for urinary incontinence are surprisingly simple but dont try to self-diagnose. The diagnosis part is complex. Urinary incontinence is usually an outcome of a problem somewhere else in the body not directly associated with the bladder. There are many different types of urinary incontinence, too, each with its specific treatment.
You need a professional. The wrong treatment could cause more problems, so it is essential to see your MD or a Physical Therapist if youre struggling to control your bladder.
What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems In Women
- pregnancy and childbirth
Weak pelvic floor muscles can make it hard for your bladder to hold urine in during stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when an actioncoughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activityputs pressure on your bladder and causes urine to leak. A weak pelvic floor can also cause fecal incontinence, or bowel control problems.
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What To Do About It
It is important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your problem. They will consider your symptoms and then help create a plan of action. Some of the treatment options for loss of bladder and bowel control may include the following:
When other treatments do not produce desired results, you may consider undergoing surgery. Your doctor tries to repair any damage to the nerves and muscles to prevent loss of bladder and bowel control.
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When To See Your Healthcare Provider
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, its important to see your healthcare provider. Most of the symptoms of kidney cancer have many potential causes, but there are other serious reasons you could be having these symptoms as well.
Kidney Cancer Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare providers appointment to help you ask the right questions.
Symptoms are our bodys way of signaling that something is wrong. Rather than fearing and ignoring them, take action to find out why theyre occurring so that you can obtain appropriate and timely treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider and ask questions. If you still dont have answers, consider getting a second opinion.
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Products To Help Manage Incontinence
Many people find the following products useful for dealing with incontinence symptoms:
- Pads and undergarments Absorbent, non-bulky pads and underwear are worn discreetly under clothing and are available in different sizes for both men and women. For those with mild or moderate leakage, panty liners are sometimes all that’s required.
- Patches and plugs Many women are able to manage light leakage from stress incontinence by using products that block the flow of urine, such as a small, disposable adhesive patch that fits over the urethral opening, a tampon-like urethral plug, or a vaginal insert called a pessary.
- Catheters For otherwise unmanageable incontinence, a physician can place a catheter in the urethra to continually drain the bladder. Due to a higher risk of developing infections and kidney stones, catheters are usually a last resort and used only for severely ill patients.
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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Is Incontinence A Reason To Euthanize A Dog Down
Unfortunately, incontinence is one of the major reasons why dog owners euthanize their dogs. However, the majority of the time, the causes of incontinence in dogs and older dogs are not severe and life-threatening.
For example, the cause of incontinence in dogs most of the time is often related to spinal issues, which are usually not life-threatening. Thus, a dog should not be euthanized just because their presence is no longer convenient.
It is also important to note that sometimes, the cause of incontinence in older dogs and dogs, in general, could be something that is more serious.
I just find it mind-boggling how dog owners forget that we humans sometimes experience the same thing when we become older. When that happens, family and friends do not just abandon us .
So why are we okay with euthanizing our four-legged best friends for our convince when this is not even strongly affecting a dogs quality of life?
These loyal creatures have been there for us, so why not work a bit harder to treat and manage their incontinence as long as they still have a decent quality of life?