Is Urinary Incontinence Just Part Of Growing Older
No. But changes with age can reduce how much urine your bladder can hold. Aging can make your stream of urine weaker and can cause you to feel the urge to urinate more often. This doesnt mean youll have urinary incontinence just because youre aging. With treatment, it can be controlled or cured.
Learn More About Urinary Incontinence
There are 5 types of urinary incontinence, described below.
How Soon After Starting Kegel Exercises Will Urinary Incontinence Get Better
It may take 4 to 6 weeks before you notice any improvement in your symptoms.10
Kegel exercises work differently for each person. Your symptoms may go away totally, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms but still have some leakage, or you may not see any improvement at all. But even if your symptoms dont get better, Kegel exercises can help prevent your incontinence from getting worse.
You may need to continue doing Kegel exercises for the rest of your life. Even if your symptoms improve, urinary incontinence can come back if you stop doing the exercises.
What Is The Treatment For Urinary Incontinence
Specific treatment for urinary incontinence will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health and medical history
Type of incontinence and extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Bladder training: Teaches people to resist the urge to void and gradually expand the intervals between voiding.
Toileting assistance: Uses routine or scheduled toileting, habit training schedules and prompted voiding to empty the bladder regularly to prevent leaking.
Diet modifications: Eliminating bladder irritants, such as caffeine, alcohol and citrus fruits.
Pelvic muscle rehabilitation :
Kegel exercises: Regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, urinary incontinence.
Biofeedback: Used with Kegel exercises, biofeedback helps people gain awareness and control of their pelvic muscles.
Vaginal weight training: Small weights are held within the vagina by tightening the vaginal muscles.
Pelvic floor electrical stimulation: Mild electrical pulses stimulate muscle contractions.
Consult your doctor with questions regarding the management and treatment of urinary incontinence.
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What Is Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. According to the National Association for Continence, over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. UI can occur at any age, but it is more common among women over 50. Urinary incontinence may be a temporary condition that results from an underlying medical condition. It can range from the discomfort of slight losses of urine to severe, frequent wetting.
Related Conditions And Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Fecal incontinence is light to moderate bowel leakage due to diarrhea, constipation, or muscle or nerve damage.
As described in the section above on causes of urinary incontinence, common conditions may contribute to chronic urinary incontinence, including: urinary tract infection , constipation, interstitial cystitis or other bladder conditions, nerve damage that affects bladder control, side effects from a prior surgery, and neurological disorders.
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Malasana Or Garland Pose
Research has found that yoga can be beneficial for those with urinary incontinence.11 The simple squat pose or malasana can help strengthen your pelvic floor and allow you to contract it more forcefully.12
- Squat on the ground bringing your feet as close together as you can manage.
- Move your thighs a little further apart so they are wider than your torso.
- Breathe out as you lean your torso forward. It should fit between your thighs snugly.
- Press into your inner knees with the elbows and bring your palms to each other in salutation. Lengthen your front torso.
- Next, if you want to deepen the pose, try and press your inner thighs to the sides of the torso. Simultaneously, reach your arms ahead, swinging them to either side and fit your shins into your armpits. Let your fingertips press into the ground or clasp the back of your heels with them from the outside of your ankles.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and work up to a minute over time.
- Breathe in as you straighten your knees and stand.
Control Your Urge To Urinate
You may be able to control, or suppress, the strong urge to urinate, which is called urge or urgency suppression. With this type of bladder training, you can worry less about finding a bathroom in a hurry. Some people distract themselves to take their minds off needing to urinate. Other people find that long, relaxing breaths or holding still can help. Doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor also can help control the urge to urinate. Quick, strong squeezes of the pelvic floor muscles can help suppress urgency when it occurs, which may help you get to the toilet before you leak.
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Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence
The following factors may put you at higher risk for developing UI.
Being female Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.
Advancing age As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.
Excess body fat Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise or when coughing or sneezing.
Other chronic diseases Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence
Smoking A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.
High-impact sports While sports don’t cause incontinence, running, jumping, and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sports activities.
Surgery And Procedures For Urinary Incontinence
If other treatments for urinary incontinence are unsuccessful or unsuitable, surgery or other procedures may be recommended.
Before making a decision, discuss the risks and benefits with a specialist, as well as any possible alternative treatments.
If you are a woman and plan to have children, this will affect your decision, because the physical strain of pregnancy and childbirth can sometimes cause surgical treatments to fail. Therefore, you may wish to wait until you no longer want to have any more children before having surgery.
The various surgical treatments for urinary incontinence are outlined below.
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Are There Other Ways To Treat Incontinence
Yes. Medicines or medical devices can treat some types of urinary incontinence. For example, estrogen cream to put in the vagina can be helpful for some women who have mild stress incontinence. Several prescription medicines are available to treat urge incontinence. For men, prescription medicine is available to shrink the prostate and improve flow of urine through the prostate. Talk to your doctor about possible medicine options for your type of incontinence.
In some cases, surgery may be an option. Treatment depends on what type of urinary incontinence you have and what is causing it.
Herbal Medicine For Incontinence
Herbs may be used as dried extracts, tinctures or glycerites. Urinary astringents tone and heal the urinary tract. They are safe to take long term at the dosage of one cup per day or 30 drops of tincture. Horsetail helps with the integrity of connective tissue, while plantain is an astringent and demulcent. Marshmallow root is a urinary demulcent that is best used alone in a cold infusion.
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How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are a simple way to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are done by lifting, holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while youre urinating. Only do this until you learn how to find the muscles stopping the flow of urine mid-stream isnt healthy over a long period of time.
When youre doing Kegel exercises, start small. Only hold it for a few second. Over time you can slowly work your way up to longer and longer stretches of holding the muscles tight.
Unlike other types of workouts, no one can tell when youre doing Kegel exercises. Aim to do several sets of Kegel exercises twice a day.
How To Stop Dog Urinary Incontinence With Holistic Options
Urinary incontinence is surprisingly common in many dogs. In spite of what you may think, most cases of urinary incontinence can be resolved with some fairly simple treatments. In this article I will discuss the common signs and symptoms of dogs being incontinent, then cover the most important natural remedies that can be used to treat your dogs leaking bladder at home.
The first thing to do is ascertain that it really is incontinence, and not a bladder infection or submissive urination. Incontinence is defined as involuntary urine leakage, and this often occurs at night when your dog is relaxed or sleeping. Dogs with diabetes or kidney failure may drink excessively, and then be unable to go through the night without urinating in the house. The most common occurrence is in middle-aged spayed female dogs. They have lost a source of estrogen that is needed to maintain bladder control. Other less common causes include bladder infections, and spinal cord damage.
As there can be several causes, you should first visit your veterinarian to determine the most likely cause. They can perform a physical exam, a urinalysis to check for presence of infection, and blood work to check organ function. If it is determined that estrogen responsive incontinence is the likely diagnosis, then your veterinarian may suggest using estrogen medication.
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Avoid High Impact Exercise: It Can Make Leakage Worse
If youre looking at losing weight or exercising to help your urinary incontinence, be aware that high impact exercise can actually make things worse by putting pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Even sit-ups may prove problematic. So skip the aerobics classes and trade in your running shoes for some yoga or pilates. This will help you build core strength, stretch your body, and get a good workout without taking a toll on your pelvic floor muscles. Plus, as we saw, yoga has some asanas that are actually beneficial for the pelvic region.16
Am I At A Higher Risk Of Incontinence At An Older Age
Your body constantly changes throughout your life. As you age, the muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken. This means that your bladder and urethra have less support often leading to urine leakage. Your risk for developing incontinence as you age might be higher if you have a chronic health condition, have given birth to children, went through menopause, have an enlarged prostate or have had prostate cancer surgery. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider over time about the risks of incontinence and ways you can manage it without interference to your daily life.
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Good Toilet Habits Help Prevent Incontinence
Good toilet habits can help to prevent bladder and bowel problems. Suggestions include:
- Go to the toilet to urinate only when your bladder is full. If you make a habit of trying to urinate just in case, youll teach your bladder to signal the urge to urinate when it isnt full.
- Take your time on the toilet. Allow urine to flow at its own speed .
- Go to the toilet when you feel the urge to pass a bowel motion. Hanging on can lead to constipation.
- Give yourself plenty of time to pass a bowel motion.
- Dont strain to open your bowels. Regular straining can cause problems including haemorrhoids , and can weaken your pelvic floor muscles.
- Use correct posture on the toilet . Put your feet on a footstool, place your elbows on your knees, bulge out your stomach and straighten your back.
- Treat laxatives as a short-term solution and work on treating constipation with diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
Treating Neurogenic Bladder Incontinence
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Take Care Of Your Prostate
Prostate cancer, prostate surgery, and an enlarged prostate are all conditions that can lead to urinary incontinence in men. Keep your prostate health in check to help lower your risk of these problems. In addition to keeping fit and healthy, be sure to:
- Drink plenty of water
- Go to the bathroom regularly
- Get regular prostate checks at the doctor
Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
Having urinary incontinence means you pass urine unintentionally.
When and how this happens varies depending on the type of urinary incontinence you have.
Although you may feel embarrassed about seeking help, it’s a good idea to see your GP if you have any type of urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is a common problem and seeing your GP can be the first step towards finding a way to effectively manage the problem.
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What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.
Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.
With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.
Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.
It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.
TRY IT: Keep Records
Your doctor will want to know as much as possible about your bladder leakswhen they occur, how much urine comes out, and what youre doing when leaks happen. Consider keeping a diary of when you urinate and when you have leaks, recommends Wright.
Drinking Fluids Helps Prevent Incontinence
Dehydration can cause constipation or bladder irritation. To prevent dehydration:
- Do not wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink of water.
- Drink up to two litres of fluid each day, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
- Drink more fluids in hot weather or after heavy exercise.
- Take small sips and spread your drinks evenly throughout the day.
Water is the best fluid for preventing dehydration, but other hydrating fluids may include fruit juice, tea, coffee, milk or soup. Limit your daily intake of carbonated drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee because they can cause bladder irritation.
You can check to see if you are drinking enough fluid by looking at the colour of your urine. If you are well hydrated, your urine should be pale yellow . Urine that is dark yellow in colour may indicate you have not had enough fluid. Remember that some medications, vitamins and foods can affect the colour of urine.
Food Allergies And Incontinence
Coffee, milk, sugar, honey, alcohol, soft drinks, tea, chocolate, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and tomatoes and tomato-based products have all been associated with incontinence. If you suspect that the foods that you eat are causing or worsening your incontinence, try keeping a food diary to see if there is a pattern between the foods that you eat and the episodes of your incontinence. If there is a pattern, eliminate the offending food or drink to see if that helps. If it does, consider cutting the food out altogether.