Encyclopedia

Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence – loss of bladder control – is a common and often embarrassing problem.

The severity of the condition ranges from leaking urine when sneezing and coughing to an urge to urinate that is so sudden and strong that a person cannot reach the toilet in time.

If the loss of bladder control affects the daily activities of the affected person, he should not hesitate to seek medical help.

For most people, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment help relieve discomfort or regain bladder control.

What are the symptoms?

Some people experience occasional, minor leaks of urine.

Others often wet their clothes frequently.

The types of loss of bladder control are:

• Stress incontinence – involuntary leakage of urine when pressure is exerted on the bladder when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy;

• Urge incontinence – a sudden, strong urge to urinate, followed by involuntary leakage of urine.

The affected person may need to urinate frequently, including at night.

Incontinence can be caused by a minor condition such as an infection or a more serious clinical condition such as neurological disease or diabetes.

• Overflow incontinence – characterized by the involuntary release of small amounts of urine due to the fact that the bladder does not empty completely;

• Functional incontinence – a physical or mental disability prevents going to the toilet on time. For example, if a person has severe arthritis, they may not be able to unbutton their pants fast enough.

Mixed incontinence – the sufferer suffers from more than one type of loss of bladder control.

When to seek medical help?

Most people feel uncomfortable discussing this problem with a doctor.

But if incontinence is frequent or affects quality of life, it is important to seek medical attention, as urinary incontinence is possible:

• Be a sign of a more serious co-morbidity;
• Force a person to limit their daily activities or become socially isolated;
Increase the risk of falling in elderly people due to attempts to reach the toilet as quickly as possible.

What are the causes?

Urinary incontinence is not a disease, but a symptom and may be due to daily habits, concomitant diseases or anatomical features.

A thorough examination by your GP can help determine what is causing your bladder incontinence.

Temporary urinary incontinence

Some foods, drinks and medicines can act as diuretics – stimulating the bladder and helping to increase the volume of urine, such as:

• Alcohol;
• Caffeinated beverages;
• Carbonated beverages;
• Artificial sweeteners;
• Corn syrup;
• Foods that are high in of spices, sugar or acid, especially citrus fruits;
• Medicines for cardiovascular disease and hypertension, sedatives and muscle relaxants;
• Large doses of vitamin B or C

Treatment of urinary incontinence

Problems with passing urine may require taking additional measures to prevent skin irritation.

• Use a towel to clean yourself;
• Allow your skin to dry on the skin;
• Avoid frequent washing and rinsing because it is possible to disrupt the body’s natural defenses against infections;< br/> • You use a protective cream, such as petroleum jelly or cocoa butter, to protect your skin from urine;

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