Is Bladder Incontinence Making You Less Productive?
The Truth About Bladder Incontinence And It's Implications To Your Health
First of all, What does it mean to have an Over Active Bladder?
Over Active Bladder is most commonly referred to as Bladder Incontinence. It can strike at any age but is most common in older adults because of aging. Although collectively known as Incontinence, Over Active Bladder pertains to different types depending on the cause. There's stress incontinence, urge incontinence and neurogenic incontinence. This condition affects more women than men because of anatomic reasons and usually occur after the age of 50 and above. Although common, it is not a normal part of aging thus shouldn't be brushed aside for any kind of reason.The good news is, you don't have to live with it because there are actually different medications and management for Over Active Bladder. And you should have an immediate discussion about Bladder Incontinence to your health care provider to learn more.
What can possibly cause Bladder Incontinence?
As mentioned earlier, Bladder Incontinence and Over Active Bladder is caused by numerous conditions. The most common factor which can cause incontinence is infection. You don't have to be old to experience Urinary Tract Infection because even newborns can have it. Urinary Tract Infection is a result of unhygienic practices which makes the environment of the urinary tract conducive to bacterial growth. The usual causative agent of UTI is Escheria Coli (E-coli) which is found in the Gastrointestinal System and anus. It can transfer to the urethra through sex, wiping and other means. And since the urethra of women are shorter than that of men, bacterial infection quickly occurs within the urinary tract of females. Another cause of Bladder Incontinence is the mechanical disturbance of the sphincter due to catheterization. Insertion of an Indwelling Folly Catheter can damage the muscle that contracts to prevent passage of urine thus causing infection. It both affects men and women and can result to temporary bladder incontinence or a permanent one.
In addition, there are other causes of Over Active Bladder, associated conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Paralysis, hemiplegia, Coma, Cystitis, Multiple Deliveries, Sexual Practices and many more can result to Incontinence. Most factors however, can be treated while others need a more complicated approach to be controlled. What you generally need to understand about Incontinence is the fact that it is caused by a collaboration between anatomical structures and brain control. And in order to achieve full recovery, both needs to be trained and treated.
How will you know if you have an Over Active Bladder?
The symptoms of Incontinence vary depending on your own personal consideration and of course the type of incontinence you have. The most common causes of Over Active Bladder are:
- Frequency of urination which is usually 8 or more times within 24 hours
- Nocturia or also known as urinating during the night which usually disturbs your sleep
- Urine leakage that can result to frequently changing clothes
- Urine odor that others notice
- Urgency characterized by an intense need to urinate
- Changes in behavior like avoiding social functions for fear of frequency and urgency
- Passes urine when sneezing, coughing and laughing or when lifting heavy objects
- Dehydration due to fear of drinking too much water
If you have some or all of the symptoms mentioned above you are indeed suffering from Over Active Bladder. Don't feel embarrassed about discussing the matter with your doctor as they are the ones who can mostly provide you with accurate information about your condition.
How is Bladder Incontinence Diagnosed?
Once you decide to pay your doctor a visit the most important diagnostic procedure that's initially done is history taking. By asking you a series of questions your doctor can immediately assess the type of bladder incontinence you have. Next to history taking is physical examination which involves inspection, palpation and percussion. Other methods, however need thorough investigation to understand and learn what is causing your Incontinence and these are:
- Blood Sugar Evaluation
- Para-Gravidarum (Number of pregnancies and deliveries)
Can Over Active Bladder Be Treated?
Yes, it can be.However, you must first understand the goal of the treatment. And it is to make sure that you regain control of your bladder and prevent future problems or recurrence. It is also to help you stay away from using diapers. If you are suffering from Incontinence,don't ever think that it's a hopeless case and/or you can't do anything about it anymore.
Here are the most common ways of treating Bladder Incontinence:
- Medications: Anti-cholinergic, Anti-spasmodic and Muscarinic Drugs and also the use of Botox. Sometimes, antidepressants can be prescribed by the doctor because of its anti-cholinergic effect.
- Bladder Retraining: Bladder Diary, Exercises like squatting, kegel's, conditioning, drinking lots of fluids except at night and setting time for voiding and pelvic floor exercises.
- Medical Management: Biofeedback, Electrical Stimulation, and even surgery
What if Incontinence is left untreated?
If Bladder Incontinence is left untreated it can lead to several complications. Intermittent Urinary Tract Infection is usually the result of incontinence which in time can lead to a more serious condition. For patients who are immobile, the complication can be worst like bed ulcers that can eat away the flesh on bony prominences of the body, dehydration, fever, falls and fractures for older people who usually get up at night to void. Sexual changes can also occur since incontinence can put a halt into your sexual relationships. Social problems can also happen because of your fear, loss of self esteem and confidence.
There may be 1 out of 5 individuals suffering from Bladder Incontinence but 60-70% of them becomes well after treatment. The other 30% however has far more serious cases or conditions which needs surgical intervention. All in all, treatments and management for Incontinence is successful.
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