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Urinary Incontinence in the Elderly

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What is Urinary Incontinence? It’s when we lose control of our bladder, and is a very common problem especially as we age. This can cause minor inconveniences, or major ones, depending on its severity. For example, some people leak urine from when they cough from time to time, while others get sudden urges to urinate and can’t get to a restroom in time.

 

Abdomen pain

Causes

-Weak or Overactive bladder muscles

-Various diseases like arthritis

-Damaged nerves that control bladder

-Big amounts of vitamins B or C

-Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks,

-Spicy or acidic food

 

Types of Incontinence:

Urge Incontinence – This is when you get sudden urges to urinate, but can’t hold it long enough to get to the washroom. Usually occurs in diabetic people, or those with Alzheimer/Parkinson’s disease

Functional Incontinence – This is similar to the previous one, but occurs when older people are not able to get to the washroom due to a disorder they may have that inhibits them from moving quickly

Overflow Incontinence – This is a type of incontinence that is typically caused by diabetes or spinal cord injuries. Basically, small amounts of urine will leak from an almost full bladder

Stress Incontinence – This is when urine leaks as a result of bladder pressure. Activities that may cause this are general exercising, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or any form of weight lifting. This type is the most common for young and middle-aged women

What can you do?

As a result of our better understanding of urinary incontinence, there are many more treatments than before. You can choose which one suits you best based on the severity of your condition, or the kind of lifestyle you have. Here are a few:

Biofeedback

This treatment utilizes sensors that give the user more awareness of their body’s signals of when they need to urinate.  It is useful in helping them regain control over their bladder and its surrounding muscles.

Pelvic Muscle Exercises

This treatment is simple. You simply work the muscles that allows you to hold your urine, so that they become stronger for the future.

Timed Voiding

This treatment involves urinating on a schedule that is preset. For instance, you can set a schedule to urinate once every hour.

 

All of these treatments can be combined however you want to achieve your goals. However, you will find that the best results are achieved by doing all of them together.

 


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