Mental Decline And Incontinence
Dementia is a brain disorder which affects communication and performance of daily activities. Alzheimers Disease is the most frequent cause of dementia, causing 50-70% of cases according to the Centre for Disease Control. Other common causes include Huntingtons, Parkinsons, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
These conditions cause changes in the structure of the brain as neurons die. As they progress, difficulties with urination occur. Incontinence can be caused by frequent UTIs from an individuals inability to clean themselves properly, constipation from a poor diet or dehydration, or as a side-effect of medication.
Alternatively, urinary incontinence may occur because of neurological decline caused by dementia. Mobility can decrease as the disease progresses, making it difficult for a sufferer to reach the toilet on time. Reduced sensation can also prevent the sufferer from knowing when they need to urinate. Mental decline can lead to the individual not knowing where the toilet is, or how to use it when they get there.
There are some steps you can take to manage the effects of dementia on urinary incontinence:
Establish routines to avoid accidents. Take the sufferer to the loo after every meal and ensure
When To Seek Medical Advice
Women should seek medical advice any time they start to see symptoms of the condition. In some cases, incontinence can be caused by an infection. Untreated infections can cause a variety of problems that can have long-term consequences.
Your general practitioner can diagnose the condition either through a short interview or a pelvic exam. The doctor may also ask you to keep a diary of your symptoms, keeping track of each time you experience leakage or urgency. You may also be asked to keep track of your food and liquid intake.
Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like schedule training, pelvic floor exercises, and changes in weight and diet. They may also indicate the use of pads and other aides to deal with leaks.
Stop Drinking Late At Night
Cutting out all liquid after 6 p.m. will help to prevent the urge to urinate throughout the night. Many women will find themselves getting up frequently during the night to use the bathroom, which can interfere with sleep. By cutting out all liquids late in the evening, you can avoid this sleep interruption.
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Types Of Urinary Incontinence
There are different types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, for example, during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Its the most common type of bladder control problem in younger and middle-age women. It may begin around the time of menopause.
- Urge incontinence happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. It may be a problem for people who have diabetes, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
- Overflow incontinence happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. A man can have trouble emptying his bladder if an enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra. Diabetes and spinal cord injuries can also cause this type of incontinence.
- Functional incontinence occurs in many older people who have normal bladder control. They just have a problem getting to the toilet because of arthritis or other disorders that make it hard to move quickly.
How To Do Pelvic Floor Exercises
First, you need to locate your pelvic floor muscles, which you can do by trying to stop your flow of urine mid-stream. Exercises should be performed at first by sitting on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, and your elbows rested on your knees.
Two types of exercises, called slow contraction and fast contraction, should be performed to give your pelvic floor a full workout. Always do the slow contraction exercises first and then the fast contraction exercises.
To practice slow contraction exercises:
- Draw up your muscles surrounding your anus as if you are trying to stop yourself passing gas. However, do not squeeze your buttock muscles.
- Also, draw up the muscles around your urethra as if you are trying to stop urine flow.
- Hold this position for as long as you can. You may only be able to hold this contraction for a couple of seconds at first, but the goal is to hold for a count of 10 seconds.
- Slowly relax and let go for 10 seconds.
- Gradually increase the time you hold the contraction and repeat until your muscles begin to feel tired.
To practice fast contraction exercises:
- Draw up the muscles surrounding your anus and urethra as before.
- Hold the contraction for 1 second and then let go and relax.
- Repeat the contractions up to 10 times or until your muscles tire.
Try to come up with an exercise plan that includes 10 slow contractions and three sets of 10 fast contractions twice per day.
The following tips may help you to increase your success with bladder training:
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If Youre Worried About Peeing During Sex
- get ready. Before sex, empty your bladder to reduce the chance of leaks, and have a quick wash if youre worried about any smell
- ease your mind. Remember, sex is messy anyway, full of moments that can make us laugh or take us by surprise, from sounds to fluids, so consider whats the worst that could happen and how youd deal with it if it did to free up your mind from worrying
- use mattress pads or an old towel. This can keep you feeling safer in case of leaks when youre sharing a bed or being intimate with your partner
How Is Incontinence Treated
There are many different factors that your healthcare provider will consider when creating a treatment plan for your incontinence. The type of incontinence and the ways it affects your life are both big considerations. Your provider will also talk to you about the type of treatment you are most comfortable with. There are three main types of treatment you can explore for incontinence medications, lifestyle changes and surgery. Each option has pros and cons that your provider will discuss with you.
Medications to treat incontinence
There are quite a few medications that can reduce leakage. Some of these drugs stabilize the muscle contractions that cause problems with an overactive bladder. Other medications actually do the opposite thing relaxing muscles to allow your bladder to empty completely. Hormone replacement therapies can often involving replacing estrogen thats decreased during menopause may also help restore normal bladder function.
In many cases, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Your provider will carefully select a medication that matches your specific needs. Often, your provider will start you on a low dose of the medication and then increase it slowly. This is done to try and reduce your risks of side effects and to keep track of how well the medication is working to treat your incontinence.
Common medications that can be used to treat incontinence include:
Lifestyle changes to manage incontinence
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Am I At A Higher Risk Of Incontinence At An Older Age
Your body constantly changes throughout your life. As you age, the muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken. This means that your bladder and urethra have less support often leading to urine leakage. Your risk for developing incontinence as you age might be higher if you have a chronic health condition, have given birth to children, went through menopause, have an enlarged prostate or have had prostate cancer surgery. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider over time about the risks of incontinence and ways you can manage it without interference to your daily life.
There Are Not Only Embarrassing Solutions
Numerous women find it uncomfortable or even embarrassing to use pads or diapers. According to Isabelle Reynaud, the challenge is not to reconcile everyday life, sports and bladder weakness, but to get rid of it. The earlier the treatment starts, the more likely it is that preventive measures will suffice. These include learning which are the right reflexes, and which practices you should rather forget about, such as crunches , instructions to inhale, inflate the stomach, squeezing when urinating or waiting until the last minute to urinate.
If women wait too long to see a doctor, it can become really detrimental to their health. But Reynaud knows, you should never admit defeat, there are always solutions before resorting to surgery. Thats why she gives all sorts of tips during the preventive health sports workshops set up by her association. Doctors can also prescribe an intravaginal device, a discreet solution that mechanically reduces the risk of urine leakage and is available without a prescription.1
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What Are Stress Incontinence Symptoms
Leaking urine when theres pressure on your bladder is the top sign of stress incontinence. Mild stress incontinence may cause you to leak drops of urine during activities like heavy exercise, laughing, coughing or sneezing.
With moderate to severe stress incontinence, you may leak more than a tablespoon of urine even during less strenuous activities like standing up or bending over. You may even leak urine while having sex.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated
You and your doctor or nurse will work together to create a treatment plan. You may start with steps you can take at home. If these steps do not improve your symptoms, your doctor or nurse may recommend other treatments depending on whether you have stress incontinence or urge incontinence or both.
Be patient as you work with your doctor or nurse on a treatment plan. It may take a month or longer for different treatments to begin working.
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What Is Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. According to the National Association for Continence, over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. UI can occur at any age, but it is more common among women over 50. Urinary incontinence may be a temporary condition that results from an underlying medical condition. It can range from the discomfort of slight losses of urine to severe, frequent wetting.
Urinary Leakage Does Not Necessarily Mean An End To Exercise
Exercise is great for your heart, joints, muscles and overall balance. With regard to urinary leakage, it is not so much the sport or physical activity itself that causes the condition, but rather the way in which a person trains. In particular the duration, intensity and quality of such practice, explains Reynaud. Some sports, of course, are riskier than others. For example track and field, basketball, handball, BMX, trampolining and horseback riding usually expose an existing weakness which then necessitates specific care. It is not a question of stopping exercise but of adapting it to the characteristics of the female anatomy, recommends Reynaud.
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Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Incontinence can happen for many reasons. For example, urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, constipation. Some medicines can cause bladder control problems that last a short time. When incontinence lasts longer, it may be due to:
- Weak bladder muscles
- Overactive bladder muscles
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
- Damage to nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinsons disease
- Blockage from an enlarged prostate in men
- Diseases such as arthritis that may make it difficult to get to the bathroom in time
- Pelvic organ prolapse, which is when pelvic organs shift out of their normal place into the vagina. When pelvic organs are out of place, the bladder and urethra are not able to work normally, which may cause urine to leak.
Most incontinence in men is related to the prostate gland. Male incontinence may be caused by:
- Prostatitisa painful inflammation of the prostate gland
- Injury, or damage to nerves or muscles from surgery
- An enlarged prostate gland, which can lead to Benign Prostate Hyperplasia , a condition where the prostate grows as men age.
What Questions Should I Ask My Surgeon If I Am Considering Surgery To Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
Ask your surgeon about all SUI treatment options, including non-surgical options and surgical options that do and do not use mesh slings. It is important for you to understand why your surgeon may be recommending a particular treatment option to treat your SUI.
Any surgery for SUI may put you at risk for complications, including additional surgery. One complication that may occur when mesh slings are used is vaginal mesh erosion, which could require additional surgery to resolve.
If mesh erosion occurs through the vaginal tissue, it is possible that men may experience penile irritation and/or pain during sexual intercourse.
Ask your surgeon the following questions before you decide to have SUI surgery:
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How To Deal With Incontinence In Elderly
Incontinence and Alzheimers Disease
Medications For Stress Incontinence
Though millions of individuals suffer from SUI, there are no FDA-approved pharmaceutical medications to treat the condition. A couple of off-label medications that have shown to mitigate some symptoms of SUI are imipramine and pseudophedrine. Duloxetine is the only medication used to treat SUI, but it is not FDA-approved for this indication in the United States.
Topical Estrogen. Your doctor may prescribe local, low dosage estrogen administered vaginally to gently lubricate the tissues of the vagina. Many clinicians observe improvement in symptoms of SUI in many women. This should not be confused with Hormone Replacement Therapy , which has been not proven to relieve incontinence in postmenopausal women.
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Urinary Incontinence In Women: What You Need To Know
Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine.
Over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence.
This condition can occur at any age, but it is more common in women over the age of 50.
There are four types of urinary incontinence: urgency, stress, functional and overflow incontinence.
Behavioral therapies, medications, nerve stimulation and surgery are some of the treatments available for managing urinary incontinence.
How Can I Combat Stress Incontinence In Postmenopause
Stress incontinence is the most prominent type of incontinence and refers to the involuntary leak of urine when stress is put on the bladder walls. This usually happens when you sneeze, cough, laugh, exercise, or lean over to lift something up. Unfortunately, this happens to women more as they age because the pelvic muscles get weaker, which in turn weakens the walls between the bladder and vagina.
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How Do You Treat Stress Incontinence Naturally
In addition to pelvic floor exercises, these steps can also improve stress incontinence:
- Eat high-fiber foods and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation, which can make incontinence worse.
- Get help to quit smoking or using tobacco products.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Use the restroom at set times .
Is Incontinence More Common In Women
Incontinence is much more commonly seen in women than in men. A large part of this is because of pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Each of these events in a womans life can lead to bladder control issues. Pregnancy can be a short-term cause of incontinence and the bladder control issues typically get better after the baby is born. Some women experience incontinence after delivery because of the strain childbirth takes on the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles are weakened, youre more likely to experience leakage issues. Menopause causes your body to go through a lot of change. Your hormones change during menopause and this can alter your bladder control.
Men can also experience incontinence, but it isnt as common as it is in women.
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Urinary Incontinence In Women: Five Common Misconceptions Debunked
Isabelle Reynauda, a physiotherapist specialized in pelvic floor rehabilitation, reveals common misconceptions about incontinence in women.
The beneficial effects of physical activity and sports are no longer in doubt. However, certain sports and activities such as jogging, CrossFit, Zumba, Pilates, etc. can reveal so-called pelvic-floor disorders, among them stress urinary incontinence. This disorder unfortunately has a shameful character and is a taboo topic. But it should never be seen as a dead-end, just a reality, says Isabelle Reynaud, a physiotherapist specialized in pelvic floor rehabilitation. Fortunately, effective and discreet solutions exist, so anybody faced with urinary incontinence can still enjoy physical activity. The following paragraphs debunk common misconceptions and offer expert advice.
Isabelle Reynaud, physiotherapist and founder of “Sport et Spécificités Féminines” association, supports women doing any kind and level of sport to reduce pelvic-perineal risks for them. This includes urinary incontinence a problem that calls for a personalized response.
Urinary incontinence comes in more than one form: stress urinary incontinence, urgent urination, or a combination of the two.
What Is Bladder Training
Bladder training is a way of learning to manage urinary incontinence. It is generally used for stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or a combination of the 2 types .
Bladder training can help in the following ways:
- Lengthen the amount of time between bathroom trips
- Increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold
- Improve your control over the urge to urinate
Some bladder training techniques are explained in Bladder Training for Urinary Incontinence.
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