Incontinence

Incontinence

What are the Causes of this Condition?

One of the primary factors to first appreciate is that incontinence is not an actual disease, but rather a symptom that can have any one of many underlying causes. What first needs to be appreciated is that incontinent individuals can be grouped into two categories: those who have transient symptoms and those whose condition is considered to be permanent.
Temporary variables can include both dietary and medical conditions. Many of those who consume large amounts of alcohol, caffeine or even large amounts of water (over-hydration) will often experience bladder control issues and the urge to urinate. Many bladders can also be irritated by artificial sweetener and refined sugars. Certain medications may also cause these symptoms to present themselves. Finally, urinary tract infections in both men and women can result in temporary bouts of this disorder.

A permanent condition has other, more profound roots. Many of these symptoms are caused by physical changes associated with ageing. As individuals age, the muscles around the urinary tract may slightly widen, thus the person will have the frequent urge to urinate. Childbirth may damage the nerves around the urinary tract and permanently enlarge bladders. Other pre-existing illnesses such as a hysterectomies in females and prostatitis in males are also frequent contributing factors. Even a urinary obstruction can be a cause.

Variables that can cause a temporary episode include:
  • Dietary irregularities.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Overhydration
  • Consuming large amounts of refined sweeteners.
  • Certain medications.
Issues that may cause these symptoms to become more permanent in their nature are:
  • Natural ageing processes.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth.
  • A hysterectomy.
  • Protatitis (or prostate cancer)
  • A blockage in the urinary tract.

What Treatments are Available?

Thankfully, there a number of different possibilities for treatment that can help alleviate many of these uncomfortable and socially challenging symptoms.

The first thing a doctor will do is to perform a series of tests to determine the root cause of the problem. For instance, physical factors such as recent surgery will influence the course of action. This is of particular interest for men who may be in a post prostatectomy period and experiencing frequent urges to urinate. Normally, doctors will prescribe the least invasive treatments to start. These will include behavioural changes such as urinary training (resisting the urges to help strengthen the muscles), scheduling times of urination and the more effective management of fluid intake especially during social gatherings.

Medications may be used should these behavioural modifications prove insufficient. Classes of drugs known as anticholinergics can be administered while topical oestrogen can be used in female sufferers. Even tricyclic antidepressants such as Imipramine might be prescribed if it is thought that a psychological component may be involved.

Still, some symptoms may indeed persist. As invasive surgery is normally the last option, many will find relief from devices such as nappies (there are different types for children and adults). Products such as highly absorbent female panties can help maintain both comfort and dryness while supplies such as urinary pads can be carried with ease and convenience. Such devices are particularly convenient at night time when many are unaware of their need to urinate.

Common treatment options:
  • An attempt to identify the root cause of the symptoms.
  • Behavioural and dietary changes will be tried.
  • Certain medications may be used to help alleviate the condition.
  • As opposed to invasive surgery, supplies such as bladder control panties, pads, and diapers can also be used.