Introduction to Urinary Incontinence

February 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Kidney Health

A person is said to be suffering from urinary incontinence if he feels the urge to urinate and walks towards the toilet but is not able to withhold urine till he or she reaches the toilet.

The bladder stores urine. When it is full, we feel the urge to empty the bladder. There is a stack of hoop like muscles called the sphincter muscles at the lower end of the bladder. These provide a means for bladder control. The muscles hold tight the bladder when it is full. We voluntarily release the muscles in order to empty the bladder. Urinary incontinence results when these muscles relax involuntarily.

Urinary incontinence could be temporary or permanent.

Alcohol is a diuretic. Excess alcohol overloads the bladder and relaxes the sphincter muscles. In this case, the person suffers temporary urinary incontinence. Caffeine found in tea and coffee is also a diuretic, and can cause temporary urinary incontinence in a similar way.

Limiting the consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee is a solution for temporary urinary incontinence. Reducing the consumption of these is advised to solve urinary incontinence.

In the case of urge incontinence, the urge to urinate increases very quickly from the time the urge is felt. As a result, the sphincter muscles relax even before the person has reached the toilet. Old people generally have slack muscles. Their slack sphincter muscles fail to control bladder before they reach the toilet. This is a case of permanent urinary incontinence.

Urge incontinence could also be temporary, and this condition can affect both the old and your people. Those suffering from cystitis or wheezing could also suffer from incontinence. Intake of certain drugs leads to urge incontinence. Prescribed drugs can solve this problem.

Stress incontinence is another temporary urinary incontinence problem. Those who have just delivered a baby and those who have just had a surgery could suffer from stress incontinence. The weakened sphincter muscles revert back to shape within a short period.

Those suffering from permanent urinary incontinence need to make slight adjustments. For example, being positioned close to the toilet while away from home can help. In the cause of aged people, adult diapers can be used. Some afflicted people make use of catheters.

Overflow incontinence is another permanent urinary incontinence common among the aged. In this case the sphincter muscles allow leakage of urine from the bladder. This could be due to a more than full bladder or due to prostatitis or even a tumour pressing on the bladder. Slackening of the muscles could even be caused by diabetes condition. It is advisable to have a diagnosis done for these other possible causes.

There are many exercises that can be done to help control the bladder muscles. Kegel exercise is one such exercise. In this exercise, the afflicted has to contract and relax the muscles controlling urination, in quick succession.