Posted by: bescothealthcare | June 28, 2011

Incontinence: More widespread than you think

Unique Wellness Adult Briefs, Adult Diapers
[Note as reading from Bescot Healthcare Canada: IncoStress – the small and discreet product, worn like a Tampon, that helps prevent the inadvertent loss of urine when laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising, is not currently available as an option in the USA, and hence not mentioned in the article … but you can buy IncoStress and the book “Hold it Sister” here in Canada!]

Wellness Brief featured in USA Today – (reposted as written on page 5) You’ve seen those commercials with the frequent bladder urges, and you’ve been hearing the phrase “over-active bladder.” So it seems that the once-taboo topic, urinary incontinence, is finally out of the closet. Over 25 million Americans suffer from some degree of incontinence— 75-80 percent of them women. Yet for all the attention this subject is receiving, “many continue assuming it’s part of the normal aging process—so they don’t bother discussing it with their doctor,” says the Albuquerque, New Mexico, urogynecologist Rebecca Rogers, M.D. In fact, incontinence, or loss of bladder control, is an eminently treatable medical condition—or rather several conditions.

It comes in varieties. Stress incontinence (associated with coughing, sneezing, and laughing), is caused by a weak sphincter muscle in the bladder. Urge incontinence (a.k.a overactive bladder), by contrast, is a sudden, uncontrolled need to urinate. This is due to bladder irritation, bowel problems, or neurological damage.

Causes/risk factors

In women, anything that places stress on the pelvic floor—pregnancy, childbirth, menopausal hormone loss—can cause incontinence.

In men, it tends to result from blockage from an enlarged prostate or from prostate surgery, says Dr. Rogers, professor of Obstetric Gynecology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Other triggers include obesity, smoking, caffeine, spicy or acidic food, carbonated beverages, diuretics and cardiac and blood pressure mediations, dehydration, and overhydration.

Decrease your risk

To minimize or avert incontinence, maintain a healthy weight, exercise frequently, eat plenty of fiber, avoid smoking, and practice behavioral training. For example, when you feel the urge to urinate, wait 10 minutes before heading to the bathroom. Gradually increase the delay to several hours.

Treatments Many treatment options are now available, “which can be tailored to suit the goals and expectations (of ) each patient,” says Dr. Rogers.

For stress incontinence:

  • Urethral inserts—to prevent leakage in women.
  • Radiofrequency therapy—to tighten and strengthen the urethral muscles.
  • Hormone therapy—topical estrogen, to help restore tissues in the urethra and vagina; testosterone supplements, to help strengthen the urethral muscles in women.

For urge incontinence:

  • Oral medications—to tighten or strengthen the urethral and pelvic floor muscles, or to relax overactive bladder muscles.
  • Botox—injected into the bladder muscles to deaden contraction producing nerves. It offers success in the 70 percent range, says Dr. Kobashi.
  • Electrostimulation, biofeedback, and pelvic-muscle exercises. Management Tools
  • For chronic bladder dysfunction, catheters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some with smooth anti-bacterial coatings, which helps avoid urinary tract infections. What’s more, Medicare is now covering the cost of disposable singleuse catheters.
  • A mainstay for the bedridden, but useful for active people too, incontinence garments come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and absorbency. Attends makes numerous pads, briefs, and extended-wear briefs.
  • For maintaining urinary health, recent scientific research shows cranberry products protect in urological health along with cancer and heart disease.

Linda dyett editorial@mediaplanet.com

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Responses

  1. A 1997 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal estimated that about 45% of people experiencing symptoms never mention them to a doctor or healthcare professional. Finding ways to remove the social stigma is key to opening up ways for people to receive treatment – since as this article states, incontinence is an eminently treatable medical condition


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