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Incontinence is a condition that refers to accidental or unintentional urination. It’s a very common condition that is most prevalent in women who have given birth and the elderly, and can be triggered by exercising, laughing, sneezing and any sudden movement. There are many different types of incontinence and effective treatment options are available for all of them from UK Meds.
What is incontinence?
Incontinence is when the body leaks urine involuntarily, against the sufferers intent. Although faecal incontinence does affect about 5% of people, urinary incontinence is by far the most common.
Accidental urination usually occurs due to a number of triggers which includes exercising, laughing, sneezing, coughing, changing position or moving suddenly. There are several different types of incontinence; stress incontinence describes urination in the event of sudden pressure (coughing, laughing, sneezing), while urge incontinence describes the abrupt need to urinate where you may not reach the bathroom in time.
Overflow incontinence describes the bladder’s inability to empty fully (leading to dripping or leaking), functional incontinence describes a physical disability that causes accidental urination (including dementia), and mixed urinary incontinence describes a mixture of the other types (most frequently stress and urge).
What causes incontinence?
The root cause of incontinence can differ greatly based on the type that you have. For stress incontinence, the cause is the inability of the urethra tube to stay closed under pressure. This is usually when the pelvic floor muscle is weak, hence why women suffer from this type of incontinence much more frequently than men, with childbirth making them twice as likely to experience the condition.
Meanwhile, urge incontinence is caused by over-activity of the bladder wall muscles, which could possibly be caused by lower urinary tract diseases, high intake of alcohol or caffeine and neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, however it’s still not completely clear.
Urinary incontinence can also be caused by some medications such as hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants and some treatments for high blood pressure.
Although it’s not a direct cause, there are certain factors that put you at higher risk of developing incontinence, which includes bladder-related injuries, urinary tract infections and a family history of the condition. Women who have given birth are also more likely to develop incontinence, as are those who are getting older (particularly the elderly).
How can I treat incontinence?
Incontinence is very treatable and sometimes even curable (depending on the type you have and the cause of it), with the assistance of our range of medications. These medicines help to relax the muscles in your bladder, making it much more stable and less likely to cause leaks and frequent, sudden urges.
In addition to medication to help treat the root cause of the problem, there are also a number of things available to help make life with incontinence much more comfortable and manageable. Absorbent pads for both men and women can absorb any leakages and prevent the skin from becoming sore, while hand-held urinals remove the stress that sufferers of urge incontinence experience, by allowing them to never be very far away from a toilet.
Like many disorders, a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce your risk of developing incontinence. Controlling your weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, quitting smoking, and drinking plenty of water can all help to avoid incontinence, as can pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles that control your bladder.
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