Some of us may be having symptoms of this but probably haven’t heard of the word. Some might have but do not understand what exactly it means. So what is incontinence? This is the loss of self-control towards your bladder, making urine leaks from actions such as coughing and sneezing.
You might be wondering, is incontinence a serious problem? Having just a little pee on your panties isn’t something to ball yourself over.
There are different forms of incontinence. Some more severe than the other. And yes, if the muscles holding your urine cannot anymore, then it seems like a serious problem.
What are the Incontinence types?
Stress Incontinence Type
Stress incontinence is usually triggered by a sense of urgency. When you feel too excited or carry out a performance that could send a sensation through your body, urine leaks out a bit. Now, this is more common in women than men and it could come either when laughing, coughing, having sex, lifting a heavy object and other things. It might not leak every time you perform these activities but once it starts hindering you from certain things you do every day, then it’s time to contact your doctor.
Stress incontinence can have many contributing factors and it’s generally The weakening of muscles and tissues which act as a support to your pelvic floor muscles and your urinary sphincter, which helps regulate the urine.
Childbirth and prostate surgery can be a contributing factor why these tissues end up weakening. Childbirth increases the risk of it for women and prostate surgery is a contributing factor to men. Stress incontinence can also be gotten by a whooping or a severe cough(coughing numerous times can weaken the pelvic floor muscle) obesity is another triggering factor for stress incontinence. Certain exercises and forces such as running and jumping over a long period of time can seem to be a contributing factor in the future.
The type of delivery process in women can also be a triggering factor as women who give birth through the vagina have a higher chance of developing stress incontinence. These leaking urine over time start developing rashes On our inner thighs and bum areas.
When you notice your have stress incontinence by the ideas given above, you would need to call your doctor who would have to diagnose you. He would also recommend the appropriate treatment for you such Healthy lifestyle changes, changing your diet, medications and if necessary, surgery. You should also adopt a healthy lifestyle living at home.
Functional Incontinence Type
Unlike Stress incontinence, this solely is a problem of not getting to the toilet when the urge to urinate arises. This is common in people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as they have no way to plan to go to the bathroom. People with mobility disabilities too, before they can transfer themselves from their wheelchair to the toilet, they would lose control, prompting the involuntary passage of urine.
People who take medications are also prone to have this type of incontinence as some medications, such as sedatives, makes you unclear about your surroundings, therefore, you could pass out urine involuntarily without fully understanding what you’re doing.
Due to the fact of people with functional incontinence might have other medical conditions, this makes Diagnoses a little difficult. Due to this, a physical exam must be conducted as well as medical history examined and medical tests carried out in order for a proper diagnosis to be reached or to know if the patient might be having other forms of incontinence. A lot of health complications can cause both functional and urge incontinence such as Multiple sclerosis. They both occur due to nerve damage after all.
To get a proper diagnosis and treatment, accompanying health conditions need to be treated too. Certain survival steps also need to be incorporated into your daily lives such as making sure your toilet isn’t far from you to get easy access when you need to pee. When you go to a new place such as a party or restaurant, you should first look for the toilet area and know approximately how long it would take for you to get there. The time used for asking directions could just trigger the ticking time bomb.
After your diagnosis by your doctor, you would be recommended for the treatment more suitable for you. You would also start pelvic training exercises and bladder training. Patients require a great deal of motivational boost as this improves their functionality and says goodbye to Functional incontinence.
Urge incontinence Type
Also known as an overactive bladder, Urge incontinence is mostly caused by obvious words, urge. An average person can wait till they feel their bladder get full, their pelvic muscles expand little by little as they can hold it in till They can pass it out, or visit the toilet. People with Urge Incontinence don’t have this luxury and they feel their bladder is full when it actually isn’t. This can make you really uncomfortable as you have to go to the bathroom frequently and wake up many times at night to empty a bladder that isn’t quite full yet.
What causes this form of incontinence is not quite understood yet. Although age would be a Solid contribution. it might also get worse by stress, consumption of coffee, tea with caffeine and alcohol. Consumption of fizzy drink can also worsen the symptoms
This type of incontinence is caused by the interference to our brain, which certain health issues such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and so many other health issues can cause. They cause a disturbance with the ability for the brain to communicate with the bladder through our spinal cords. Due to this, the ability to hold and store urine becomes absent.
Another trigger to this type of incontinence is Constipation, which is the difficulty of passing out feces and emptying the bowels, Having an enlarged prostate gland and a poor bladder habit history.
The diagnosis has to be done by a doctor and he would recommend the kind of treatment you might need. There are the kegel exercises, bladder training, timed voiding etc. In places where this doesn’t work, then your doctor would most likely recommend a surgery which gives you just the same amount of relief.
Overflow Incontinence Type
Basically the opposite of an overflowing bladder, this is caused by letting out urine from a full bladder but without having the urge to urinate whatsoever. This form of incontinence is common amongst people who wet the bed.
Now the difference between this and other forms of incontinence has to be that it affects men more than women.
The biggest triggering factor in men is an enlarged prostate gland, This hinders the urinal flow out of the bladder. Overflow incontinence can also be caused by blocking of the urethra by kidney stones, tumors, scar tissues etc. The weakness of the bladder muscle Which causes the inability to empty the bladder, Nerve injuries that can affect the bladder. This nerves can be damaged by diabetes and other diseases. Health issues such as Spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease can also be a triggering factor. Heavy intakes of alcohol and antidepressants, even some certain prescribed medication can cause Overflow incontinence.
This can cause a strain in our everyday routine therefore, you need to seek the aid of your doctor who would ask of your behavioral patterns to know just how to diagnose you with a certain kind of incontinence. He may ask you questions such as “how much time do you spend in the bathroom?” or ” How often does it occur?” and he most likely will ask the kind of medications you are presently taking. He might ask for or already have your medical history, which helps in terms of diagnosis.
He would perform a physical examination on you to ensure there is no nerve damage that could be affecting the bladder. When the examination is conducted your doctor would refer you to a Urologist or a neurologist. Both for urinary tract infections and treating nerve damage respectively.
Tests such as bladder stress tests, ultrasound, urine culture, Catheterization. would be carried out to ensure proper diagnosis. But if nothing is forthcoming, then your doctor might result in urodynamic testing.
This form of incontinence can be really difficult to treat. Men with a prostate that are enlarged have a treatment called alpha-adrenergic blocker. Others include Minipress, alfuzosin, Flomax, toviaz etc.
If you cannot get better after this, the doctor would have no choice than to give you a Catheter. It is a tube used in the place of a urethra. It is simple to use and if you can’t, your doctor is willing to teach you. And in some cases such as prostate gland enlargement, surgery would be required.
Mixed Incontinence Type
This is the presence of more than one type of incontinence, In most cases, one outweighing the other. When both the symptoms of stress and urgency is present, this form of incontinence occurs.
An example is when Childbirth causes a weak pelvis and as mentioned above, causes stress incontinence. This could result in a weak pelvis flow and it can also cause an overactive bladder. This makes the situation more critical as you do not have control over your bladder and your urethra muscles.
You can be sure you have mixed incontinence if you have leaks when you sleep when a sudden urge to urinate overcomes you, touching, drinking or even seeing flowing water, etc. When you see all these symptoms, then you can go to visit your doctor.
Considering it is a mixture of two types of incontinence, it’s no surprise treatment might be similar to these individual problems. Due to stress incontinence which is caused by childbirth, sneezing and coughing in most cases, weaken the muscles, thereby enabling leakage.
Feeling your bladder is full when it’s not, and visiting the toilet, waking up many times at night to pee are Involuntary actions linked to Urgency Incontinence. Nerve damages too, weak muscles and poor regulation of the nervous system can are the main faults of this incontinence. Diseases such as Parkinson disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, strokes, thyroid problems, scar tissues are all contributing factors which can make incontinence worse over a period of time.
You would have to visit your doctor who would run tests on you to determine the type of incontinence you have. He would also ask for your medical history to know what exactly he’s getting into When a diagnosis has been reached, he would tell you the kind of treatment you need. Most likely refer you to a physician who would handle your bladder control issues and the rest. You can request for a diary for your doctor to monitor and write down the time you urinate, how much, and how many times a day. Or your doctor would already have that in check. Treatments you would get are a reflection of the individual incontinence mentioned above but this time can be done simultaneously. If you aren’t getting any better after physical therapy, then your doctor would most likely suggest a surgery which offers the same sense of relief.
Urinary incontinence can make us socially aware of our selves in a manner which could cause depression and anxiety. Once you start noticing symptoms of any incontinence mentioned above, please be sure to contact your doctor. Also when you’re given a treatment to go by, follow it religiously as this would help make you better. All the rashes caused by drops of urine are most likely to leave once you get cured. You can also tell your doctor to prescribe one for you. incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily routines. Avoid the excess intake of alcohol, fizzy drinks, and even coffee. You can ask a nutritionist for advice and your doctor. He would let you know what to take and how it should be taken.
Always remember, Urinary incontinence is not a disease, it is rather a symptom and proper medical care can eradicate this discomfort.