If you’re experiencing frequent urination, a constant urge to urinate or unable to control your bladder, you may have urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is when someone loses control of their bladder. People of all ages can experience urinary incontinence, but it’s most prevalent in older adults.
While it’s not uncommon to have leakage of urine when you laugh too hard or when you sneeze, patients suffering from urinary incontinence often experience symptoms without reason.
Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
Just as no two patients are the same, neither are their symptoms. There are several types of urinary incontinence, which include:
- Stress incontinence occurs with pressure from laughing, coughing or sneezing.
- Urge incontinence is when the patient has an intense urge to urinate accompanied by involuntary loss of urine. It may be caused by minor infection, diabetes, or a neurological disorder.
- Overflow incontinence involves constant dribbling of urine because the bladder isn’t completely empty.
- Functional incontinence can be either a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from reaching the toilet when needed. Those suffering from a degenerative disease would fall into this category.
- Mixed incontinence – This is when a patient has more than one of the aforementioned types of incontinences.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
One misconception is that urinary incontinence is a disease. Urinary incontinence is not a disease. It’s a symptom caused by many underlying factors.
The following foods and beverages can contribute to urinary incontinence:
- Carbonated drinks
- Excessive intake of vitamin C
- Chili peppers
To diagnose which type what urinary incontinence you have, your physician will perform an urinalysis.
Urinary incontinence can easily be prevented, however it’s not always preventable.
Below are a few ways that may lower your risk of developing urinary incontinence:
- Stop smoking
- Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine
- Perform pelvic exercises
- Increase fiber to prevent constipation
- Perform regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight
The symptoms of urinary incontinence can be incredibly embarrassing. Thankfully, there are a variety of treatment options available to improve or completely alleviate urinary incontinence.
If you think you may be suffering from urinary incontinence, proper medical evaluation is the first step. Keep track of your symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and when they occur the most. Armed with this information, your physician will be better equipped to make a definitive diagnosis and create a treatment plan.