There are many ways to prevent and treat urinary incontinence. But sometimes doing Kegel exercises, maintain a healthy diet and keeping a bladder diary might not be enough. That is when incontinence products come into play.
Incontinence products have evolved over the years and are now designed specifically for different types of incontinence. They range from panty liners to protective underwear.
Light bladder leakage or temporary incontinence (stress incontinence and urge incontinence) can be protected with an incontinence pad or a panty liner while more severe types of incontinence require stronger measures like the use of adult diapers.
Adult diapers are not what they used to be and can be worn discreetly. They are available in different levels of absorption and thickness. Adult diapers now come in a full range from night time to swim products; now they even offer styles that look and feel more like underwear.
There are unisex incontinence products but for a more specific type of protection and for discretion we recommend you purchase products designed specifically for your gender.
Incontinence products can be found at any high street pharmacy or grocery store. But if you feel a little embarrassed to buy incontinence products at your local shops, there is no need to worry. You can purchase your incontinence products online with discretion from the comfort of your own home.
As you can see there are many ways to protect yourself from unexpected leakages and above all Incontinence is nothing to be ashamed. If you are experiencing leakage episodes during your daily activities, you should never keep it to your self. Go and consult your doctor about it.
Stress and urge incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors such as childbirth, loss of estrogen in menopause, physical changes due to aging and hysterectomy*. But did you know that what you eat and your weight could make you incontinent?
There are many studies that have related incontinence to obesity. Others have studied the influence of certain foods and drinks in bladder control. If you are experiencing leakages try evaluating your diet to see if it could be the underlying cause.
The first step to manage stress or urge incontinence is to eat healthy food and manage your weight. In this article you will find a list of foods and drinks that could make you urinate more often.
Certain foods and drinks can irritate your bladder, causing you to urinate more often, or feel a greater urgency to urinate. Each person is affected by foods differently, so you will have to spend some time observing how your own body reacts to what you eat and drink.
The most common products that affect urination are diuretics or foods and drinks with diuretic properties, such as:
Caffeine (from coffee, sodas, tea, even chocolate) is the most common diuretic in the diets of women over 50.
Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, by stimulating your bladder and by causing dehydration in your body.
Spicy foods can irritate your bladder much like caffeine. You will have to spend some time observing the effect of different spicy ingredients and foods on your bladder before you can determine which of them, if any, to consider eliminating from your diet.
Acidic foods can also irritate the bladder. You should carefully monitor the effect of citrus products (including orange juice and cranberry juice, which can be recommended for healthy bladders) and tomatoes on your overactive or leaking bladder.
Food and drinks that contain carbonation (whether caffeinated or decaf), high levels of artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, or sugar can also irritate your bladder and cause you to urnitate more often.
As afore mentioned obesity has its influence in incontinence episodes. So we recommend you start doing some light exercises to help you loose weight and ease off the pressure in your bladder. Start with short walks around your block to build up confidence.
Once you feel confident enough start jogging and increase time and intensity gradually. Speaking of exercises it is important not to forget about Kegel Exercises, the most effective way to restore bladder control.
It is important to highlight the fact that with incontinence there isn’t a set treatment for all patients, each case should be accessed individually. Because what works for one patient might not work for others. So our last piece of advice is, if you are experiencing some sort incontinence episodes talk to your GP and let him suggest what is the best treatment for your type of incontinence.
Nearly 30% of adults in Britain have experienced some degree of incontinence, be it men or women. The worst part of all this is that the majority are ashamed to seek help or to bother about their condition.
There are many treatments and therapies available and some times cure incontinence completely. Today we bring you an extract from an article published on The Daily Mail Online.
The article is about a patient’s and surgeon’s view of a procedure used to treat and sometimes cure urge incontinence or if you prefer overactive bladder. In medical terms the treatment is called sacral neuromodulation for us mortals it is the stimulation of the nerves surrounding the bladder via electric pulses.
The Surgeon’s View
Jeremy Ockrim, consultant urological surgeon at University College Hospital and the Wellington Hospital, London.
Bladder problems can range from a sudden urge to go to the loo, which people are able to control, to cases where the urge is almost immediate — the patient passes urine before they can find a lavatory.
These conditions are caused by an overactive bladder — when the bladder fills with urine, it spasms, causing the urgency and, if the spasms continue, leakage of urine.
This is an embarrassing and debilitating condition.
Research shows sufferers are also at higher risk of depression and falls in older age, as they become anxious and rush to get to the loo. The cause is largely unknown, although it is linked to hormones (it’s more common in women after the menopause), childbirth and nerve problems.
Although men and women suffer equally, women are more likely to be wet because men have two sphincter muscles and the prostate to help control the bladder, rather than just one partial sphincter in women.
The condition also gets more common with age, affecting between 15 and 20 per cent of women in their 30s and 40s, and 30 per cent by 60 to 65.
Traditionally, there have been only two ways to treat the condition: physiotherapy, medication and bladder training for mild cases, and reconstructive surgery for severe cases, with nothing in between.
In the past ten years, Botox has been used to paralyse the bladder muscle, but there’s a 30 per cent risk of over-paralysing the bladder.
Sacral neuromodulation is a new treatment and works on the nerves rather than the bladder itself. It’s a bit like a pacemaker for the bladder.
In babies, passing urine is a reflex, which is why they do it every ten to 15 minutes. Adults normally have greater control because nerve messages from the brain stop this reflex. But in people who have bladder problems, this blocking signal from the brain doesn’t work properly, so they revert to reflex control.
This new technique ‘tickles’ the nerves with an electric current to reset the system back to adult setting.
Before a patient goes ahead with the full treatment, we test they are suitable (it won’t work in around 30 to 40 per cent of people).
To do this we insert a tiny wire in the sacrum (the lower part of the back), alongside the nerves leading to the bladder. This wire can be placed using local anaesthetic or sedation.
The patient then carries around a small generator for three weeks. If the treatment works, then we permanently implant a stimulator.
Here we place a small battery device under the skin in the lower back and then patients are given a remote control so they can change the settings if they need more or less control over their bladder.
Some have also reported a big improvement in their sex lives! This is because the nerves that supply the bladder also supply the genitals. This has been a surprising, but welcome, benefit for many.
In about 20 per cent of patients, the wire slips out of place, stops the device from working and needs to be replaced.
However, the latest devices have new leads, which hopefully will reduce this problem.
Although the treatment is approved by NICE, it is not widely used in this country because there are not many doctors trained to carry it out and the costs are high.
Last year, I performed 70 cases — mostly women between the ages of 40 and 60 — and currently have another 70 people on the waiting list.
The operation costs between £10,000 and £12,000 privately and has the same cost to the NHS.
History taking in women with urinary incontinence (UI) allow doctors to guide the investigation and management by evaluating symptoms, their progression and the impact of symptoms on lifestyle. A good clinical history will include enquiries about impact of the disease on quality of life by asking how the symptoms affect aspects of daily life and social, personal and sexual relationships.
When obtaining the woman’s history, the aim should be to explore possible aetiological factors and to enquire about neurological disease, past obstetric trauma and gynaecological and urological surgery. When polyuria is present doctors must ensure that this is not secondary to a pathology, such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus or hypercalcaemia.
But, most of these women will prove to have primary polydipsia and simple advice on fluid restriction should be sufficient to resolve any problem of urinary frequency. To reach a clinical diagnosis, doctors should take a urinary history to determine storage and voiding patterns and symptoms. Common symptoms are:
• Storage symptoms – frequency (daytime), nocturia, urgency, urge UI, stress UI, constant leakage (which may rarely indicate fistula).
• Voiding symptoms – hesitancy, straining to void, poor or intermittent urinary stream.
• Post-micturition symptoms – sensation of incomplete emptying, post-micturition dribbling.
In addition to these symptoms, it is important to enquire about colorectal symptoms and genitourinary prolapse. Accompanying symptoms that may indicate a more serious diagnosis and which require referral – haematuria, persisting bladder or urethral pain, or recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) – can also be identified when taking a urinary history.
In current practice women with urinary incontinence are categorised, according to their symptoms, into those with stress, mixed or urge urinary incontinence. Around one half of all incontinent women complain of pure stress incontinence and 30-40 per cent have mixed symptoms of stress and urge incontinence.
Women with mixed UI, defined as an involuntary leakage associated with urgency and also with exertion, are treated according to the symptom they report to be the most troublesome. First treatment should commence on this basis. In mixed urinary incontinence, the treatment should be directed towards the predominant symptom.
If you have a question about the contents of this article don’t hesitate to ask them via our comments section or if you prefer a little more discretion you can ask our nurse specialist Shona here.
Overactive bladder also known as urge incontinence is the second most common type of incontinence. When someone can’t control the urge to urinate or urinates involuntarily, this person has an overactive bladder.
An overactive bladder contracts involuntarily, leading to the release of large amounts of urine. This is caused by a problem with the messages between the bladder and the brain. The bladder may tell the brain it is full too early, the bladder muscle squeezes and empties the bladder completely – often before you have a chance to get to a toilet.
The first thing to do when you notice the above symptoms is to seek help; this condition is treatable if diagnosed early.
Common questions asked by the doctor include:
• How many times do you urinate during the day?
• How often do you urinate after going to sleep?
• Are you awakened by the urge to urinate, and if so, how often?
• When you have a strong urge to urinate, do you leak urine on the way to the toilet, and if so, how often?
• Do you use incontinence pads, and if so, how many do you use daily?
• Does the problem prevent or affect any activity?
Don’t’ be surprised if your doctor asks you to keep a dairy of your urinating habits.
There are different ways for managing OAB. They include medicines, behavioural interventions and surgery.
Treatment methods will depend on the severity of the condition, and the extent to which it affects the patient’s quality of life.
In general patients with an overactive bladder are treated with a combination of drugs and behavioural interventions like pelvic floor exercises.
Above all, overactive bladder or urge incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of and it is treatable, so stop suffering in silence.
This revolutionary device named the Urgent Neuromodulation System stimulates a group of nerves called the sacral nerve plexus. These nerves are involved in regulating the working of the bladder.
How it Works
In a pain-free procedure an electrode which has a fine needle at the end, is placed in the skin near the ankle, when the device is turned on it “tickles” the nerve generating and electrical impulse that will travel all the way up to the sacral nerve.
Each session last for 30 minutes, every week and is carried out as an outpatient procedure and research suggest benefits start to be seen after six weeks.
“This kind of stimulation represents an excellent option for patients who are unwilling or unable to tolerate adverse events from medications” said the researchers from several centres in America.
Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. “It does seem to have the required effects, and those effects seem to last, suggesting a long-term benefit.”
Uncomfortable symptoms and menopause are known to go hand in hand. One symptom often credited to menopause is incontinence. However, menopause may not have much – if anything – to do with a person’s incontinence.
If you’ve started to release urine unexpectedly and for no apparent reason you may have either urge incontinence or an overactive bladder. If urine leaks when you laugh, sneeze, cough or any other action that causes internal strain around the abdominal area, then you may have stress incontinence.
Urine leaks are often seen as symptomatic of menopause, genetic make-up and a person’s age are often more accurate indicators of whether a woman will develop urinary incontinence. Being overweight and childbirth (particularly from vaginal deliveries) may be more decisive factors that increase the risk. Mark Walters MD comments that: “Menopause may just aggravate a situation that would have started anyway, but it isn’t the root cause”. Walters – who is head of urogynecology at Cleveland Clinic Foundation – strongly advocates having a physical exam conducted by a doctor and preparing a (if you like) “bladder diary” in the week leading up to your appointment – noting the time and amounts you urinate in that time.
The only way to be sure of the extent to which menopause is causing urine leaks is to make this consultation. Although many are hesitant, the reality is that doctors train to understand and deal with incontinence in women and can determine the appropriate treatment – which is, more often than not, harmless and straightforward internal exercises (known as kegal exercises) and following simple guidelines such as avoiding alcohol consumption.
Whenever Sue Jacobs, a 56-year-old hairdresser from Chiswick, met with friends for coffee or a meal, it would always be punctuated by her constant need to rush to the toilet. This she describes as ‘something I simply put up with for many years’, explaining that:
“after I had a drink, I’d need to go three or four times within an hour. I’m not the sort of person who gets embarrassed easily and I wasn’t going to stop going out and doing the things I enjoyed. But it does have an impact on your life.”
For a long time, Sue didn’t recognise that she was dealing with an incontinence problem, instead believing that she simply needed to go far more often than other people. Dr Shirin Irani, consultant gynecologist at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham believes this is a common attitude among women living with incontinence – an attitude largely born out of an unwillingness to acknowledge and accept they may have incontinence issues, explaining that:
“There is an embarrassment which can stop women seeking help and also a sense it’s part of a woman’s lot.”
In her late 40s, the problem became more pressing and was only once she’d turned 50 that she finally saw her GP, who prescribed drugs to block the signals which tell bladder muscles to contract. She recalls:
“These didn’t help and I wasn’t offered any other treatment. You feel it’s something you have to live with.”
Usually bladder retraining exercises, combined with medication – that block the nerve impulses telling the bladder to contract – is enough to alleviate cases of incontinence for the majority of female sufferers. But some, like Sue, need further intervention. When she returned to her GP, she was referred to consultant urologist Jeremy Ockrim at University College Hospital, who is a practitioner of a new treatment called Sacral Neuromodulation and Botox injections for incontinence.
The Botox treatment involves the chemical being injected into the sides of the bladder to relax muscles, thus stopping contractions. ‘It has been helpful for many patients, but it isn’t perfect,’ says Mr Ockrim, who explains that:
“Patients need repeat injections every six to nine months and symptoms may return gradually. There is also a 20 per cent risk of paralysing the bladder muscles, which means the patient will need a catheter to pass urine.”
With the Sacral Neuromodulation treatment, a thin wire with a small needle on is implanted in the sacral nerves. An electrical current is then delivered through it, which enables the brain to inhibit unwanted signals from the bladder. This technique effectively suppresses the sudden contractions and the need to rush to the toilet. Patients trial a modulator for three weeks and can choose to have a permanent implant if it works – which is exactly what Sue decided, having noticed dramatic changes soon after the procedure:
“The effect was immediate… two hours after it was switched on, I hadn’t gone to the toilet once.”
She returned to hospital to have a permanent modulator – the size of a £2 coin – implanted under the tissue and skin of her lower back. While Sacral Neuromodulation has been approved by NICE since 2004, only 100 or so women have benefitted from the treatment in the UK – a major factor most likely being the cost.
The stimulator itself costs £8,500 and overall treatment is £12,000. Mr Ockrim, who has treated nearly 60 patients with sacral neuromodulation believes:
“It’s a large initial expense, but comparable with a lifetime of Botox injections…We should consider the social and personal cost for women with incontinence. They go out less, take time off work or even stop working.”
A new study using botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNTA), conducted by the Department of Uro-Neurology at the University College London Hospital, revealed impressive results in patients with mixed cases of incontinence.
The botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNTA) is a variation of the commonly known Botox.
Seventy-four patients (51 women, 23 men) with refractory IDO incontinence were treated with intradetrusor injections of 200 U BoNTA, they were then evaluated in a non-randomised, open-label, cohort study.
Patients with urinary frequency, urge incontinence and stress incontinence were assessed using the condition-specific Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI 6) before and 4 weeks after the BoNTA treatment.
The outcome of complete continence was 51% (38 of 74) 4 weeks after intradetrusor injections of BoNTA.
In patients who were not completely continent, the scores show their conditions of urinary frequency, urge incontinence and stress incontinence were all reduced significantly. The inclusion of patients with mixed incontinence may have resulted in underestimation of the complete continence rate.
50% of patients reporting complete continence 4 weeks after BoNTA treatment reveal the effiency of this emerging treatment for patients with refractory IDO incontinence.
Furthermore, in those whom complete continence was not achieved, there was a notable and significant reduction in reported urge incontinence, stress incontinence, and urinary frequency.
Story source http://www.urotoday.com/