Incontinence is more common in elderly people and is a condition that causes a lot of embarrassment and inconvenience. Nowadays there are numerous treatments and drugs to help individuals regain control of their bladder and live a normal life.
Besides drugs and treatments, individuals with urinary incontinence can take a few important steps of their own to help reduce bladder urges.
Reducing or stopping caffeine intake completely can be very affective, caffeine irritates and stimulates the bladder causing urgent, frequent urination and an increase in urine production.
It is often believed cutting back on the intake of liquids can reduce the urge to urinate, however this not true. In fact the lack of liquids can cause dehydration, causing urine to become more concentrated resulting in increased bladder urgency which can lead to bladder infection.
Excess amounts of alcohol and spicy food can also have negative effects to individuals suffering from urinary incontinence, try to avoid those as much as possible and you should notice a reduction on incontinence episodes.
Develop a regular schedule of urinating to encourage the bladder to hold more urine and work on gradually increasing the time between urination, but don’t hold it for too long as this can increase the risk of urinary tract infection.
The last tip is well known one of the readers of our blog but is always worth remembering as it is a highly effective incontinence treatment. If you thought of Pelvic Floor muscle exercises you were right! Also know as Kegel exercises, these exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles to help prevent leakages. Check out our guide to pelvic floor exercises.
Last week was marked by the American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting, the meeting was held in Chicago and a series of studies to treat incontinence and bladder conditions were presented and one in particular was under the spotlight.
A clinical trial using cognitive therapy to help patients manage overactive bladder, the study was conducted by the Loyola University Health System. Cognitive therapy employs deep-breathing and guided-imagery exercises that train the brain to control the bladder without medication or surgery.
Study investigator Aaron Michelfelder, MD, vice chair, division of family medicine, Loyola University Health System, and associate professor, department of family medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, stated:
“The mind-body connection has proven to be particularly valuable for women suffering from incontinence, Cognitive therapy is effective with these women, because they are motivated to make a change and regain control over their body.”
Patients were introduced to cognitive therapy in their first consultation, then they took home a CD with a series of relaxation and visualization exercises to listen at home twice a day for two weeks, patients then registered the numbers of incontinence episodes pre and post therapy.
The Study evaluated 10 patients with a mean age of 62, all patients had to be diagnosed with overactive bladder and also had to be stable on all OAB treatments for the past three months, the data revealed that the numbers of urge incontinence episodes per week decreased from 38 to 12.
Another study investigator, Mary Pat FitzGerald, MD, urogynecologist, and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, concluded:
“Cognitive therapy may play a vital role in a comprehensive approach to treating this disorder.”
The results of a new study presented last week at the 2009 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting, proved that a topical gel treatment considerably improves the occurrence of urge urinary incontinence episodes for women with overactive bladder.
Overactive Bladder or urge urinary incontinence is the second most common type of incontinence; basically this condition 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 study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a treatment using an oxybutynin chloride topical gel applied once daily to rotating sites on the abdomen, upper arm/shoulder, and thigh.
Since January 2009, Oxybutynin chloride gel was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of urge urinary incontinence in men and women.
Lead researcher Roger Dmochowski, MD, from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Nashville, Tennessee, presented the study results on April 28th and noted:
“Significantly more women achieved complete urinary continence with oxybutynin gel than with placebo — with ‘complete continence’ defined as no urinary incontinent episodes recorded in the 3-day urinary diary at any time after the study began.”