As people age, so do their bodies and their organs. One of the most embarrassing issues that accompany aging organs is urinary incontinence. This issue affects approximately 20 million Americans and 25% of all women. The causes are varied, but basically boil down to age and previous pregnancy. While incontinence can be an embarrassment for many sufferers, there are treatment options that should be discussed with your physician; this is not just another sign of old age that you cannot do anything about.
- When many people feel the urge to urinate often, they assume that they are suffering from urinary incontinence, when in fact; they could very well be dealing with issues that arise from other, more simply, ratified issues. Actual urinary incontinence needs to be diagnosed by a physician.
- For example, more people are health conscience and therefore drinking more water, sometimes as much as ten liters a day. This amount of water in itself is enough to give the impression of incontinence. Simply cutting back on the amount of water that is consumed will help to eliminate some of the issue.
- Caffeine is another culprit that leads people to believe that they are experiencing incontinence. The reason for this is that too much caffeine stimulates the bladder muscle to contract and feel fuller than it really is. Again, simply cutting back on the intake of caffeine loaded products such as coffee, soft drinks, tea and dark chocolate may help with the issue of incontinence.
- There are two types of urinary incontinence, stress related and urge related incontinence. With stress related incontinence, the bladder is stimulated by certain activities, such as running, coughing or sneezing. During these activities, urine may leak out of the bladder. It is suspected that the loss of estrogen as a woman ages is the reason for this. Urge related incontinence differs in that the bladder itself is contracting, causing the urge to urinate.
- There are some basic steps that can be taken to minimize some of the affects of urinary incontinence. One simple thing that can be done is to do Kegel exercises, these help to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which hold the bladder in place. Some women learn to squeeze the bladder before coughing or sneezing, this also holds the bladder and helps to eliminate urine leakage.
- The use of medicines can also help to eliminate the urge to urinate that accompanies urinary incontinence. The use of an E-ring provides the body with a small amount of estrogen. This is just enough to replace the amount needed to help the body regain control of the bladder. The E-ring is placed in the vagina for up to three months and does not interfere with normal urination or intercourse.
- An over the counter method that works for some sufferers of mild incontinence is pseudophedrine, which is a decongestant. This drug stimulates the receptors that are in the bladder and help to control the urge to urinate. If your incontinence is caused by known activities, it would help to take two pseudophedrine pills a half hour before. This may be all that is needed to control the bladder.