Urinary Incontinence – Types, Causes and Treatments
Urinary incontinence is not that uncommon, especially in women, in fact, it is quite a common condition that affects them with aging. There are numerous things leading to this condition, and despite the fact that it is not life threatening, it still causes embarrassment, can lead to depression and low self esteem. Moreover, it is one of those conditions that fills an individual with constant fear of making a fool out of him or herself in public. Luckily, it is not one of those problems that are unsolvable, quite the contrary, there are various treatments for it. Let us examine just what causes urinary incontinence, what types of urinary incontinence exist, and what kind of measures should be taken for the sake of preventing this issue.
We empty our bladder by using the muscles that surround it, we use the same system to prevent urine from leaking out without our permission. Thus, urinary incontinence means there is something wrong with our muscles, or our neural system that controls these commands. Diseases that attack our neural function, like Alzheimer for example, are likely to cause this problem. Clearly, UI cannot be regarded as a disease, it is better to categorize it as a symptom of something more severe. This issue can emerge due to aging, since our bladder’s capacity decreases due to weaker muscles. Menopause can also cause it, with lower estrogen production, bladder and urethra tissue can be damaged. Additionally, any surgery of women’s reproductive system can harm these muscles and be the cause of UI. Prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate gland in men, can result in involuntary urine leakage. Tumours or prostate cancer, which cause obstruction in urinary paths, may prevent us from fully emptying the bladder, so we experience leaking as a result. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain tumour, and neurological diseases in general are likely to cause the loss of control over our bladder. It does not have to be caused by a disease, women who are pregnant or went through childbirth are prone to these issues as well.
Types of UI
UI can only be temporary if caused by an intake of food or a drink that stimulates our bladder and increases the volume of urine within it. Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, large intake of vitamins B and C, sedatives, muscle relaxants, heart and blood pressure medications may cause the problem. There is a type of incontinence caused by placing a strain on the bladder muscles, like sneezing, coughing, or any other movement that targets these muscles. This is not a serious issue, once again, it mostly affects women, and is quite treatable. Urge incontinence and overactive bladder types of UI are caused by flawed neural impulses, thus it is based on neural system. As mentioned, neural type of UI is most likely a symptom of a more serious disease. Patients may experience a sudden loss of urge to urinate which means that an involuntary output of urine has occurred.
There are various approaches when it comes to treating UI. The last resort is surgery of course, but in a majority of cases, it does not have to come to that. There are medicines known as anticholinergics that can relax bladder muscles for the sake of preventing bladder spasms. These pills, however, come with certain drawbacks, and might not be prescribed to you if you are suffering from some other condition. Women are most usually advised to take up Kegel exercise as the primary mean of preventing involuntary urination. A device called itouch Pelvic Floor Toner can help women with this problem regain control of their pelvic muscles by stimulating them with soft electrotherapy. It can also be treated by injecting bulking agents in the area of urinary sphincter. The agent is injected into the tissue resulting in its thickness, and removing the problem of stress incontinence. Clearly, you need to visit a doctor for this procedure, as well as for the sake of determining which bulking agent you should use is. Lastly, we have all witnessed how people during their old age simply wear diapers, it is not the best solution, and it is also embarrassing, but sometimes there is nothing else that can be done.