Tag Archives: What is Incontinence

Types Of Incontinence

Posted by on November 18, 2013 under BladderMatters | 2 Comments to Read

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Incontinence is a life-altering condition that affects more than 25 million people in the United States. People with incontinence suffer from partial or complete loss of bladder and/or bowel control. Incontinence is frequently caused by other medical issues, such as bladder or bowel infections, Spina Bifida, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury, surgery, childbirth and much more.  It can also result from certain medications.

In order to gain control and better manage incontinence, it can be helpful to understand why it happens. Incontinence can be divided into the following categories, or types:

Urge Incontinence (overactive bladder): A bladder muscle contraction gives the sudden, intense urge to urinate, followed by involuntary urination (sometimes with only a few seconds’ warning). Urge incontinence can be caused by urinary tract infections, bladder or bowel infections, strokes, blood clots, brain injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and more.

Stress Incontinence: A weakened sphincter muscle causes involuntary urine leakage when the bladder is “stressed” by coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercising or lifting a heavy weight. Stress incontinence can be caused by childbirth, menopause, UTIs, urological sugery, prostate surgery, radiation, or simply aging.

Overflow Incontinence: A bladder that is unable to be completely emptied, leading to a constantly full bladder from which urine frequently overflows. Overflow incontinence can be caused by an obstruction in the bladder or urethra, prostate gland problems, bladder damage, or nerve damage from diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis or spinal cord injury.

Functional Incontinence: The urinary system functions normally, but for other reasons (physical, mental) the individual can’t make it to the bathroom in time. Functional incontinence can be caused by severe arthritis, muscle weakness, injury, Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression and more.

Iatrogenic Incontinence: Incontinence as a side-effect of certain drugs. Drugs that can cause iatrogenic incontinence include some muscle relaxants, nervous system blockers, and antihistamines.

Mixed Incontinence: Symptoms of one or more types of incontinence, such as stress incontinence and urge incontinence

Total Incontinence: Not a category type, but a term that refers to complete loss of urinary control. Symptoms include continuous passing of urine, both day and night.

Some types of incontinence are permanent, while others may be treatable or even curable.  Your doctor will determine the best treatment options for you, depending on its type, severity and underlying cause. Learn more about the many treatment options for incontinence.

For more information about bladder health, visit the Total Home Care Supplies Bladder Matters Community or the National Association for Continence.  To shop for incontinence products, visit TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

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What Is Incontinence? Treatment Options to Cure Incontinence

Posted by on November 12, 2013 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

NatlBladderHealthWeekBladder Health Statistics

  • Urinary incontinence affects 25 million Americans
  • One out of every three people will experience loss of bladder control at some point
  • 33 million people suffer from overactive bladder
  • There are more than 4 million doctor’s office visits each year for urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • 1 in 3 women over the age of 45 have stress urinary incontinence
  • 1 in 2 women over the age of 65 have stress urinary incontinence
  • 50% of men report leakage from stress urinary incontinence following prostate surgery
  • Pelvic organ prolapse affects 3.3 million women in the United States

 What is Incontinence?

Incontinence is the loss of bladder and/or bowel control.  The loss of control can be partial or complete, ranging anywhere from a slight dribble to a total void. Incontinence is often a symptom of other medical issues, although it can also be the result of certain medications. Incontinence does not discriminate; it affects young and old, men and women, people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Incontinence can be embarrassing to deal with, causing anxiety and distress to those who suffer from the condition.

By learning more about incontinence and your many treatment options, you can learn to effectively manage the symptoms and gain control of your life back.

Treatment Options

Some types of incontinence are temporary, while others may be permanent.  In many cases, there are treatment options that can reduce – or sometimes cure – the symptoms.  Treatment options fall into several categories:

  • Behavioral Techniques: These treatment options are the least invasive, and your doctor may start here before moving to more invasive options.  Behavior techniques include bladder training, scheduled toiled trips, and fluid and diet management.  Learn More.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is another non-invasive treatment option.  These techniques include activities such as pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegel exercises) and electrical stimulation. Learn More.
  • Medications:  Prescription medications are sometimes used in conjunction with behavioral techniques. Some common incontinence medications include anticholinergics (for overactive bladder), imipramine (for urge and stress incontinence), duloxetine (for stress incontinence) and low-dose topical estrogen. Learn More.
  • Medical Devices: There are several medical devices approved to help treat incontinence in women. Two such devices are the urethral insert, which acts as a plug against leakage, and the pessary, which helps hold up a prolapsed bladder or uterus. Learn More.
  • Interventional Therapies: These treatment options are more invasive, requiring injections or implantations.  Interventional therapies may include bulking material injections, Botox injections, or a nerve stimulator implant. Learn More.
  • Surgery:  If other therapies aren’t working, you may be a candidate for a surgery option.  Some common incontinence surgery procedures include a sling procedure (pelvic mesh), bladder neck suspension, and artificial urinary sphincter implantation. Learn More.

Incontinence Products

There are many products available to help contain urine and feces, protect tender skin, and individuals manage their symptoms and gain control over their lives.   Your doctor may recommend some products, while others may give you the added comfort and security you need.  Visit our Bladder Matters Blog to learn more about the types of incontinence products we offer.

To see the different brands of incontinence supplies we offer, visit the Total Home Care Supplies Web Store.

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