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.
Spinal Lesion Or Tumor
A spinal lesion or tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue within or surround the spinal cord or column. Spinal tumors can be cancerous or noncancerous, and originate in the spine or spinal column or spread there from another site.
Back pain, which is worse at night or increases with activity, is the most common symptom. If the tumor presses on a nerve, it can cause numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, or chest.
Treatment depends on the type and location of the lesion or tumor, and whether or not its cancerous or noncancerous. Surgery to remove the tumor, or radiation therapy or chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, can usually resolve leg weakness.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also known as Lou Gehrigs disease. Its a progressive neurological disease that damages nerve cells and often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in the legs.
Other early symptoms include:
- slurred speech
- difficulty holding up your head
Theres currently no cure for ALS, but treatments are available that can help control symptoms and complications and improve quality of life.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day unless your doctor advises you otherwise.
Many people with urinary incontinence avoid drinking fluids, as they feel it causes more problems. However, limiting your fluid intake makes incontinence worse, because it reduces your bladder’s capacity.
Not drinking enough fluid can also cause constipation or make it worse.
Find out which are the healthiest drinks.
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When To Seek Medical Help
Any instance of incontinence is reason to seek medical help. It may be a symptom of a more serious condition that needs to be treated.
Even if the underlying cause isnt serious, incontinence can be a major disruption in your life. Its important to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional.
In some cases, incontinence can be a sign of a medical emergency.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you lose control of your bladder and experience any of the following symptoms:
- trouble speaking or walking
Urinary incontinence and treatment for urinary incontinence may result in complications, depending on the cause.
These complications may include:
- Urinary tract infections. UTIs can be caused by wet undergarments against the skin. This may create an environment where bacteria can grow.
- Kidney damage. In some cases where the flow of urine is obstructed, you may experience kidney trouble or kidney failure.
- Cellulitis. This skin infection is caused by bacteria and may cause swelling and pain.
- Medication side effects. Medications used to control urinary incontinence may cause side effects, depending on the medication. Side effects may include dry mouth, nausea, hypertension, or others.
- Catheter side effects. If you have a catheter placed, you may experience side effects such as infection and trauma.
- Mental health side effects. Urinary incontinence may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, or social isolation.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence
When your baby moves down through your vagina to be born, your pelvic floor stretches and it remains stretched for some time.
The combination of hormones and stretched muscles means the muscles that control your bladder are weakened. This can lead to your accidentally leaking urine.
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What Are Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also called Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training, are exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to help prevent or reduce stress urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
Four in 10 women improved their symptoms after trying Kegels.9 Kegels can be done daily and may be especially helpful during pregnancy. They can help prevent the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth. Your pelvic floor muscles may also weaken with age and less physical activity.
Some women have urinary symptoms because the pelvic floor muscles are always tightened. In this situation, Kegel exercises will not help your urinary symptoms and may cause more problems. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your urinary symptoms before doing Kegel exercises.
Should I Drink Less Water Or Other Fluids If I Have Urinary Incontinence
No. Many people with urinary incontinence think they need to drink less to reduce how much urine leaks out. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health.
Women need 91 ounces of fluids a day from food and drinks.11 Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevents urinary tract infections, and prevents constipation, which may make urinary incontinence worse.
After age 60, people are less likely to get enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration and conditions that make urinary incontinence worse.12
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Nonsurgical Treatment Options For Ui
Fortunately, there are several nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence. From training your bladder and pelvic floor exercises to using a urethral support device, there are different options you can try to manage your symptoms. We recommend discussing your options with a doctor before deciding on the best course of action.
In some cases, your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes to help manage and prevent the symptoms of urinary incontinence. These range from adjustments to your diet, to exercise habits to management techniques between bathroom breaks. Common nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence are:
Bladder Leaks Are Common
“Likely you don’t know it but your friends and relatives have had to deal with one form or another,” he says.
Working with a doctor to identify the type of incontinence you have can help inform treatment, says Eilber.
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What Causes Bladder Weakness
Bladder weakness usually occurs when the muscles in the pelvic floor or sphincter have been damaged or weakened.
Both men and women have a pelvic floor. It is made up of layers of muscles which hold the bladder and bowel in place and help to stop leaks. The sphincter is a circular muscle that goes around the urethra and squeezes as the bladder fills up to create a seal so that urine cant leak out.
In women, these muscles can be weakened during pregnancy by the extra weight and natural hormonal changes. Childbirth can cause more problems especially if delivery is prolonged or the baby is large. Forceps and ventouse assisted deliveries may increase the risk of damage, muscle tearing or episiotomies can cause further damage.
Some women develop stress urinary incontinence after the menopause. This is because the pelvic floor becomes weaker following hormone changes within the body. Even before the menopause, some women may notice that they have a weaker bladder than normal in the week before a period. Stress urinary incontinence may occur after a hysterectomy and also after operations on the bladder.
People who have been constipated for a long time or have a chronic cough may also be prone to stress urinary incontinence. Men can develop stress urinary incontinence if they are experiencing problems related to their prostate gland or post prostate surgery.
What Can I Do To Prevent Bladder Problems After Birth
There are some simple steps you can take during pregnancy to help prevent incontinence.
- Drink 6 to 8 cups of fluid a day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Avoid drinks containing sugar or caffeine, as these can irritate the bladder.
- Eat a high fibre diet with 2 pieces of fruit, 5 serves of vegetables and 5 serves of cereals/bread per day.
- Make sure you have a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking.
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Can Overactive Bladder Be Controlled
Overactive bladder therapy can be challenging to manage. However, many people are very satisfied with the treatment they receive and they often see a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Your doctor will guide you to the best steps to begin with and give you options for any additional treatments you may need over time.
Why Get Treatment For Loss Of Bladder Control
Bladder control problems can be embarrassing and can cause you to needlessly cut back on the activities that you enjoy. They may also be a sign of a serious underlying health condition. Bladder incontinence may be a symptom of kidney disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis , and other diseases.
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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.
Living With Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence does, unfortunately, become a long-term problem for some women. Here are some tips on living with it:
- Use incontinence pads, which are made for urine leakage, rather than sanitary pads.
- Take a change of underwear or set of clothes when you go out.
- Know where toilets are located so you can find them quickly .
- Cross your legs when sneezing or laughing.
- Modify your exercise routine to avoid high impact exercises such as jumping.
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Keeping A Bathroom Journal
You may be asked to keep a bathroom journal before or after your appointment. In your journal, youll log all your bathroom trips and bladder leakage or issues. It can also be helpful to record what you eat and drink in your bladder journal. This record will help your doctor get a more accurate idea of your symptoms and how often they occur. Keeping a journal can also determine what triggers your need to pee or any accidents.
Is My Leg Weakness Serious
Leg weakness may be due to an easily treatable cause. However, because leg weakness can sometimes be a sign of a serious issue, you should seek medical attention.
- It is serious if your leg weakness is due to stroke: If your leg weakness is sudden in onset and associated with numbness, arm weakness or numbness, vision problems, trouble with balancing or trouble speaking, these may be symptoms of a stroke and you should immediately seek medical attention.
- It is serious if your leg weakness is due to nerve compression: If your leg weakness is also associated with sudden severe back pain, trouble with balancing, sudden change in bladder or bowel control including incontinence, and numbness or weakness in the buttocks, inner thighs or back of your legs, these could be symptoms suggesting your spinal nerves are being compressed and you should immediately seek medical attention.
- Less serious: If your leg weakness is not severe and also not associated with any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it may not require immediate medical attention, but you should talk about your symptoms with a medical provider to identify the cause and best course of treatment.
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Overactive Bladder In Men: Causes Diagnosis And Treatment
What is an overactive bladder?
Overactive bladder is a relatively common condition. Typical symptoms include frequent urination, frequent nighttime urination, persistent urge to urinate, and urine leakage or incontinence.
An estimated 33 million Americans have OAB, reports the Urology Care Foundation, and as many as 30 percent of men experience symptoms. Its possible that even more men have the condition, but never seek help. If you suspect you have OAB, talk to your doctor. There are a variety of treatments options that may help.
How Does The Urinary System Work
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, the bladder and urethra. The kidneys filter the blood to remove waste products and produce urine. The urine flows from the kidneys down through the ureters to the bladder. A ring of muscle squeezes shut to keep urine in the bladder and relaxes when we need to wee. The urine passes through another tube called the urethra to the outside when urinating .
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Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation
Your posterior tibial nerve runs down your leg to your ankle. It contains nerve fibres that start from the same place as nerves that run to your bladder and pelvic floor. It is thought that stimulating the tibial nerve will affect these other nerves and help control bladder symptoms, such as the urge to pass urine.
During the procedure, a very thin needle is inserted through the skin of your ankle and a mild electric current is sent through it, causing a tingling feeling and causing your foot to move. You may need 12 sessions of stimulation, each lasting around half an hour, one week apart.
Some studies have shown that this treatment can offer relief from OAB and urge incontinence for some people, although there is not yet enough evidence to recommend tibial nerve stimulation as a routine treatment.
Tibial nerve stimulation is only recommended in a few cases where urge incontinence has not improved with medication and you don’t want to have botulinum toxin A injections or sacral nerve stimulation.
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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Try Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a type of specialized physical therapy that strengthens the muscles that support your bladder and bowels. This can be very effective in treating urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.
During pelvic floor therapy, a physical therapist may lead you through exercises that target your pelvic floor, use mild electrical stimulation to help you have more awareness of your pelvic floor muscles, and use other specialized techniques. If youre interested in pelvic floor therapy, talk with a doctor about getting a referral.
What Are The Different Types Of Bladder Control Loss
- Stress incontinence is caused by sudden pressure on the bladder. Exercise, sneezing, laughing, or heavy lifting may be just a few reasons for urine leakage. Younger and middle-aged women near or at menopause experience this most commonly.
- Urge incontinence happens when you are unable to hold on when you have an urge to urinate and cannot make it to the toilet. People with diabetes, stroke, MS, Alzheimers, and Parkinsons disease may have this problem.
- Overflow incontinence happens when the bladder is constantly full and cannot be completely emptied. An enlarged prostate blocking the urethra or a spinal cord injury may cause this condition.
- Functional incontinence may occur if you have a condition that prevents you from getting to the toilet in time. Arthritis or other disorders can keep you from being able to move quickly.
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