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What Is Urinary Incontinence And How To Manage It

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By Author: Harleen Kaur
Total Articles: 86
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Growing up changes our bodies. But some changes are not for the best and urinary incontinence is surely one of those undesirable changes. Usually arising in old age, it stems from the inability to control your bladder movements which results in accidental urine leakage. It is a common ailment affecting a vast majority of the elderly population worldwide and sometimes younger adults with certain underlying health conditions. Although it can be managed through various aids including diaper for senior citizens, it can be embarrassing and adversely impacts your day-to-day lives. This article explores this rife medical condition, its causes, types and management techniques.

Urinary Incontinence

Incontinence is a common problem that is characterised by the involuntary release of urine. This can be light loss of urine while sneezing, coughing or lifting heavy weights, or complete loss of control over urination. While it mostly occurs in old age due to the weakening of the bladder or pelvic floor muscles, it can also occur due to some other health issue indirectly causing you to lose urine. Urinary incontinence ...
... can be treated or managed in several ways including diet modifications, behavioural therapy etc. but the most common and the easiest of efforts utilize adult diapers.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

There are 6 types of incontinence as mentioned below:

Stress Incontinence
This type of incontinence occurs when you experience excessive pressure on your bladder which can occur while engaging in activities such as exercising, laughing, running, sneezing, lifting a heavy object and so on.

Urge Incontinence
In this type of incontinence, one experiences a sudden and intense desire to urinate which is immediately followed by an uncontrollable release of urine. This need can be felt often, including that at night. While urge incontinence can occur due to a minor infection, a serious medical condition such as diabetes or neurogenic bladder may also be responsible for its occurrence.

Overflow Incontinence
This type of urinary incontinence occurs as a result of your inability to completely empty your bladder which leads to frequent loss of urine or a feeling of its constant dribbling.

Functional Incontinence
This type of incontinence presents itself as a result of a physical limitation which may cause you to struggle to reach the toilet in time to urinate leading to untimely urination.

Mixed Incontinence
Sometimes multiple types of incontinence may occur simultaneously, such as stress and urge incontinence. This is known as mixed incontinence.

Bedwetting
Also known as nocturia, this is characterised by the need to frequently visit the toilet during nighttime or involuntary loss of urine while sleeping.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

While bladder incontinence is a common problem seen in old age, it is not an inevitable condition that develops as you grow old. Many reasons cause this condition as described below:
Old Age- Weakening of bladder and pelvic floor muscles
Menopause- Caused due to a decrease in the production of estrogen which is a hormone responsible for maintaining the urethral and bladder linings healthy.
Pregnancy- The growing foetus exerts pressure on the bladder leading to stress incontinence.
Childbirth- Giving birth to a baby can cause your pelvic floor muscles to weaken leading to incontinence.
Neurological Disorders- Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke etc can all cause interference with nerve signals involved in the working of the bladder thus causing incontinence.
Mental disorder- Mental ailments like that in the case of dementia can also leave you incapable of controlling your bladder movements.
Enlarged Prostate- Enlargement of the prostate gland in older men can become the cause of incontinence.
Obstruction- A tumour located anywhere in your urinary tract can obstruct the normal flow of urine which can present itself as incontinence issues.
In addition to these certain other health issues such as constipation, restricted mobility or an infection in the urinary tract can also cause incontinence of a temporary nature. Certain medications, alcohol and foods can also irritate your bowel causing you to lose your bladder and bowel control temporarily.

Management of Urinary Incontinence

Although urinary incontinence is a grave condition that affects millions of people across the globe, there are multiple effective ways to manage it:
Bladder Training
Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises
Behavioural Therapy
Diet modifications
Medication
Surgery
However, the best and the easiest way to control incontinence issues is, of course, adult diapers. Let’s take a deeper look at them.

Adult Diapers

Diapers for senior citizens are special briefs designed to control and manage incontinence. They are composed of absorbent fabric which actively soaks up liquid and prevents it from surfacing back, thereby keeping you dry and comfy and preventing leakage. They are the most convenient, easy to use and comfortable ways to manage incontinence which not only keep you dry but also provide discretion by controlling odour and imparting you with a fresh fragrance.

The most commonly used type of elderly diapers is pant-style diapers which are designed to look and feel just like regular underwear. You can simply pull them up to wear like one too, hence they are also known as pull-ups. Such diapers have elasticated waists and legs which offer a snug but gentle fit that further helps in preventing leaks. Another popular type of diaper is a tape-style diaper which as the name suggests, comes with tapes or tabs that can be used to secure it. These are designed as one long panel and are best suited for bedridden patients or those who have limited mobility and require the help of a caregiver to dress them up. You can also find overnight diapers in the market which have much higher absorbing capacity and therefore provide protection for extended periods, ideally while sleeping at night.

Conclusion

Urinary Incontinence is a problematic issue that affects your whole lifestyle and even the lives of your loved ones. It can not only be hassling, stressful and embarrassing but can also potentially take away your freedom. Thankfully, there are many ways you can manage it. And especially with the ease and comfort of pant-style diapers, you can stay active, safeguard your dignity and lead your life on your terms.

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