Urinary Causes & Treatments
Urinary incontinence is the inability of controlling one’s bladder. The involuntary leakage of urine is a common occurrence for most people as they get older. It happens more often to women who have experienced childbirth, people who have had bowel or prostate surgery and even individuals who take certain medications as incontinence could be a side effect. When trying to determine treatment for urinary incontinence, it’s important to figure out the particular type.
What are the types of urinary incontinence?
- Stress Incontinence
- Functional Incontinence
- Urge Incontinence
- Overflow Incontinence
- Nighttime (Bed Wetting) Incontinence
- Mixed Incontinence
- Total Incontinence
This causes leakage of urine when pressure is applied to the bladder. This includes but not limited to laughing, sneezing, lifting heavy objects, exercise and some medical conditions.
This occurs when a physical or mental condition prevents the individual from reaching the toilet in time. Functional incontinence is often found in seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or arthritis.
Those who suffer from this type of incontinence will experience a sudden, strong urge to urinate and often won’t have enough control of their their bladder to hold it in until they reach a toilet. This is usually caused by certain medications and conditions that cause injury to muscles and / or nerves that control the bladder.
When an individual has trouble emptying their bladder fully, left over tends to dribble out later. While this type of incontinence is mainly seen in men, women can also be affected.
Often seen in children, wetting the bed at night can occur with adults as well. This is usually caused by bladder immaturity and the inability for the bladder to be controlled subconsciously. While experiencing nighttime incontinence as a child, it’s normal and a part of growing up, an adult who experiences this should consult a specialist.
When someone experiences incontinence, for many reasons this is called mixed incontinence. The diagnosis is based on a mixed variety of causes, as usually the case for women.
This is the most serious level of incontinence. People who suffer from total incontinence have lost the ability to regulate their bladder and are constantly urinating out of their control.
Apart from the seven types of urinary incontinence, there are some other causes that could result in someone being considered incontinent. Temporary urinary incontinence can be caused by urinary tract infections, stress, medications and poor lifestyle choices. More serious causes for urinary incontinence can include an enlarged prostate, bladder cancer, signs of a stroke, spinal cord injury or diseases such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
When determining how severe a case of urinary incontinence is, reflect on the following questions:
- How much leakage am I having?
- Am I experiencing any pain when I am urinating?
- How long has this been going on?
- Have I been through any changes in my lifestyle as of late (new medications, stressful scenarios, gained weight, etc)?
- When is the last time I have had a physical checkup with my doctor?
- Do I have any preexisting health conditions?
After reflecting on your level of incontinence and which type of urinary incontinence you might be experiencing, it is advisable to talk with your doctor. They will help determine how serious the condition is and what treatments are available. In some cases, incontinence can be resolved when a larger problem is addressed (such as treating an enlarged prostate), yet most find out that incontinence is just an inevitable sign that your body is getting older.
So if there is nothing I can do to get rid of it, how can I live with it?
Urinary incontinence is a relatively normal condition that millions of North Americans deal with every year. While it may not be curable, there are ways to lessen the amount liquid output and prepare yourself to avoid embarrassing situations. It is important to plan and take care of yourself to ensure that you can have a safe quality of life.
Talk to your doctor about medications If you are experiencing incontinence, the first thing to do is contact your doctor. Not only will they be able to inform you about the severity of your incontinence, but they can also provide medical advice on how to handle it. They can also inform you on which medications to avoid, as some can cause incontinence. Doctors can recommended sources where you can purchase incontinence supplies to make your situation less of a hassle. Keep your doctor informed - it’s the key to a healthy life.
Find incontinence products to help prevent leakage Incontinence does not need to take over your life. That is why we, at Healthwick, provide high quality adult diapers, pads and underwear to ensure that you have the confidence to go about your day as usual. Absorbency products provide full and discreet coverage for anyone who suffer from incontinence. With a wide selection of products which includes creams, wipes and even under pads to keep your bed dry, we understand that we can’t cure incontinence, but we offer ways to manage it easier.
Live a healthy lifestyle Incontinence can happen to the best of us, even if you’re healthy and a physically active person. Even if you’re not, taking on a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a sufficient amount of vegetables and a daily walk can’t hurt. Losing excess weight (in a healthy way) can remove pressure from your bladder which can help prevent urine leakage. Having a strong healthy body can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, helping you reach the toilet in time as you are more limber.
Limit your fluid intake It’s important to stay hydrated, but drinking too much water can over power your bladder, leading to leaks. It’s important to drink water in small amounts throughout the day, that way the bladder can fill up slowly and give warning that it needs to be emptied before you have a chance to drink more. If drinking a lot of water all at once, you may become prone to “urge incontinence” (when you suddenly have an intense urge to urinate), which can lead to an accident. Drinking less water before bed time is highly recommended as it can help avoid bed wetting.
Always have incontinence supplies available Incontinence isn’t something that will suddenly go away, that’s why it’s important to always have supplies on hand - avoiding the worry about situations where running out could be a problem. To assist with this, Healthwick offers an Automatic Order Program. Setting up an automatic order is easy, ensuring that you never have to worry about calling too late and running out of your supplies. The program is very customizable; receive shipments once a month, every two weeks, or as often as you want. Sign up for your automatic deliveries now and receive 5% off on your orders. This program in place to make your life easier and hassle free.
Locate washrooms ahead of time A large problem with those suffering with incontinence would be when reaching the toilet in time before an accident occurs. Solve this problem by knowing where the nearest washroom is at all times. Avoid frantic searching and running around with this knowledge prepared ahead of time. Stress can occur, which can actually worsen incontinence, causing the bladder to panic, leading to leakage. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing where to go to in an emergency!
Keep a Bladder Journal It’s important to have a clear understanding of your health. Keeping a “bladder journal” is a great way to keep track and have a full understanding of your incontinence. By tracking what you’re eating, how much liquid you’re drinking and most importantly how often you’re using the washroom, you create a full overview of your condition. Keeping constant records is a also a good way to note if it seems to be getting better or worse. With full knowledge of your incontinence progress, you will receive better information and accurate advice from your doctor. Writing about experiences with incontinence is a great way to vent, helping your overall mental health.
Know who to talk to Living with incontinence can be tough. Realizing your body is slowing down is a scary and hard thought to process. That’s why it’s important to talk with those you can trust. Expressing feelings and talking about concerns is a great way to relieve bodily stress (which can help lessen incontinence). Speaking to someone allows them an opportunity to help you during difficult times. We at Healthwick have these conversations with people on a daily basis, with full understanding on how challenging it can be to face incontinence. By providing you with excellent support and expert advice on selecting appropriate products, know that we are here to help find the best incontinence coverage suited for your needs.
- Sophie Neville