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Facts and Fiction about Bladder Weakness

18.02.2011 | Posted in: Advice, Bladder Weakness, Incontinence, Male Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

Dealing with bladder weakness is much simpler than many people think. By learning more about it and busting some myths around it you will see that you live a normal life after all.

The term bladder weakness is commonly related to men but women can also have it but other terms like urinary incontinence are used instead.

1. Fact or Fiction: Bladder weakness basically means you’re unclean?

Fiction. No one should have to feel damp or unclean. The most usual way to avoid this is to use a bladder weakness protection product, which ensures dryness by locking urine and odour away from the body for complete freshness and discretion.

2. Fact or Fiction: It has nothing to do with virility.

Fact. Bladder weakness in itself does not affect virility, and leakage doesn’t usually happen during sex. So, unless you’ve experienced nerve damage due to surgery or have other underlying problems, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a full and happy sex life.

3. Fact or Fiction: If you really try, you can control it.

Fiction. No one is deliberately incontinent. There are numerous causes and types of bladder weakness, and there are protection products especially designed so that men can manage the situation and get on with their lives.

4. Fact or Fiction: No one I know has bladder weakness.

Fiction. Bladder weakness is surprisingly common, with 1 in 8 men experiencing it, so you may well know someone who has it. Perhaps they’ve just chosen to keep it to themselves and have discovered products that provide total security and discretion.

5. Fact or Fiction: Bladder weakness means you can’t drive long distances.

Fiction. With the right protection you can drive wherever and whenever you like. So rip up the map and go explore. There’s no need to worry about unexpected traffic jams or not being near a toilet.

6. Fact or Fiction: Bladder weakness is a sign of old age.

Fiction. Yes, this is false.

Millions of men experience bladder weakness at some time during their life, often when they’re under 50.

As you can see bladder weakness is more common than many people think and above all it is nothing to be ashamed off. Remember, you are not alone.

Sourced from: Tena Information Centre

New Plastic Sling to Give More Support for Incontinent Men

07.02.2011 | Posted in: Advice, Incontinence, Male Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

One of the biggest causes of incontinence in men is prostate problems, even though the prostate does not have any function in the male urinary system. So why are the majority of male urinary incontinence cases related to prostate issues?

The prostate is a small gland located just below the bladder and it is in fact part of the male reproductive systems. The problem is that the urethra, the tube which carries urine from the bladder out of our body runs right through it. As men get older, the prostate often becomes enlarged and inflamed, that is when the problems with passing and retaining urine begin.

Abnormalities of the prostate like enlargement or even a tumour often require surgery. The most common surgery to remove parts or the whole prostate gland is called Prostectomy.

Prostectomy is a very complex surgical intervention and many times due to the proximity of the prostate to the sphincter valve, this valve can be damaged resulting in leakages of various degrees.

Up until now the only solution for the problem was to implant a manually activated artificial sling to the scrotum, but many men are reluctant to the thought of having to press a button to urinate.

Now a new sling made out of a special plastic mesh is being implanted in men who lost control of their bladder after a prostate surgery. Over the past 18 months this new device called the AdVance male sling is being tested and results are very promising.

The hammock shaped sling was designed to give support to the damaged sphincter valve. The procedure takes no longer than 45 minutes and is carried out under general anaesthetic and normally patients are discharged one day after surgery.

Official data are yet to be published about this new technique but according to reports from patients and doctors the sling seems to significantly benefit 50 to 70 per cent of men who had it implanted.

More Natural Remedies to Treat Incontinence

04.02.2011 | Posted in: Advice, Female Incontinence, Incontinence, Male Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

On Monday we brought you 5 remedies to treat or improve incontinence naturally. The article was a success amongst our readers, so we decided to dig deeper and bring you more natural ways to help you feel more confident about your condition.

So let’s get straight down to business and see what these natural remedies are.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin, it might not be a top recommendation for men and women here in the UK but not to worry, there are other ways meet your daily requirements of Vitamin D. Fortified Milk, eggs and fish are rich in the vitamin.

Knows to promote calcium intake and good bone health, researches have shown that D vitamins can reduce the risk of pelvic floor disorders, including incontinence.

Biofeedback

Extremely useful to help you understand what muscles should be contracted during Kegel exercises. Electrical sensors are implemented in the pelvic floor area to monitor muscles and allows you to sense what is happening in your body and then make changes to reduce incontinence episodes.

It can be a bit costly and requires a lot of determination from the patient, but worth every penny and time spent with it.

Quit Smoking

If you are not a smoker simply skip this bit. But if you are a smoker and are looking for another reason to quit, there you have it. Nicotine irritates the bladder increasing the occurrence of incontinence episodes.

“Smokers tend to cough more than non-smokers and long-term, chronic coughing has been considered a risk factor for developing stress urinary incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse,” said Dr. Zimmern in an interview to the an American newspaper – The Huffington Post.

Acupuncture

Yes the ancient Chinese alternative medicine methods are also good to treat incontinence naturally.

According to some acupuncturist we have talked to, an overactive bladder is the result of imbalances of two or more systems in our body. For instance the kidneys and the liver or even the heart and lungs.

Like always we would like to remind you that our articles are written for informative purposes and only a professional trained in these symptoms can truly diagnose and treat your condition. A GP will often refer you to a specialized Continence Advisor for assessment to ensure you receive the right help and treatment to improve your symptoms.

Treating Mixed Urinary Incontinence with Magnetic Stimulation

20.12.2010 | Posted in: Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

Mixed urinary incontinence is probably the most difficult type of incontinence to treat because leakage can occur by urgency as well as by stress. In most cases it requires a staged multimodal treatment.

A recent study published on the BJUI (British Journal of Urology International) analysed the effectiveness of a pulsating magnetic field created by a device called Pulsegen – a small pocket device designed to fit in a patient’s underwear that produces a pulsating magnetic field of B = 10 microT intensity and a frequency of 10 Hz.

Powered by a small battery with a lifespan of about 8 weeks the stimulator provides 8 weeks of continuous functional magnetic stimulation.

The study assigned 39 with mixed urinary incontinence randomly in double-blind fashion to stimulation with either an active or inactive identical device.

After a two month follow up patients who remained blinded to treatment reported the success. Patients using the active device reported a significant decrease in 24-hour voiding frequency (from 9.0 to 6.7), nocturnal (from 2.6 to 1.4), and incontinence pad use (from 3.9 to 2.2).

Overall, 42% of the patients in the active functional magnetic stimulation group reported a clinical cure compared with 23% in the placebo group.

Sourced from: http://www.bjui.org/

Behavioural Therapy and Male Incontinence

13.12.2010 | Posted in: Incontinence, Male Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects millions of men worldwide and it is caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most prominent cause is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a natural enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs as a natural part of aging.

First of all don’t panic just because I said it is natural enlargement of the prostate and it happens as men age, this doesn’t mean that all men will have incontinence at some point in life.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is related to age factors such as uncontrolled hormone balance and causes commonly known as “overflow incontinence“. This type of incontinence occurs when a certain individual is unable to empty their bladder completely during a deliberate urination session due to constriction or blockage of the urethra, in BPH cases the enlargement of the prostate blocks the urethra.

Since the bladder depends on a clear urethra to empty itself properly, pressure can build up inside and force urine out past the blockage without warning.

The first line of defence against BPH is behavioural therapy. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle will help preserve muscle tone in the pelvic area. Some say that sex is also a good way to prevent BPH as regular ejaculation helps maintain muscle tone in the pelvic and urinary sphincter area, but unfortunately there is no medical evidence to back this claim.

Not to worry if you haven’t lived a healthy life up until now, there are a number of therapies available to help you improve you condition. Bladder retraining and Biofeedback are two of them.

With bladder retraining you will learn how to strengthen the bladder muscles and adjust urinating time spans by voiding at repetitive, timed intervals. This will improve the bladder’s capacity and extend the interval between voiding.

Biofeedback is also a type of behavioural therapy, where a simple instrument detects when a chosen muscle relaxes or contracts and provides a secondary method of feedback for the patient, such as a light or sound. The added feedback allows patients to exercise and improve control of selected muscles.

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.

Incontinence caused by Childbirth

10.12.2010 | Posted in: Faecal Incontinence, Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

Childbirth is the most wonderful experience a woman can have in her entire life but for a small minority this experience can leave lasting injuries that will degrade their lifestyle.

One of these injuries is called obstetric fistula – a fissure, or hole, between her rectal and vaginal passages that can damage nerves cutting brain communication with the bladder leading to a severe case or urinary incontinence.

Such problem is not very common here in the UK but a recent article on The Guardian caught our attention and we decided to share it with our readers.

The article “Torn Apart by Childbirth” tells the story of Mel who had a problematic delivery that caused her change ever since. Sex is difficult and painful; she rarely goes out socially, and she has only been able to return to work in the last two months.

Despite Mel’s case being a rare one, birth injuries that lead to long term or permanent damage are more common that many people think. One study found that between 25 and 40% of patients will have a birth injury of some kind if you actually look for it. It’s much more widespread than anyone believes.

Many women suffer in silence and here is where the problem needs to be tackled. We’ve heard from women in their 50’s that gave birth in their 30’s and have lived with faecal incontinence all this time and done nothing because they thought they were freaks.

Maureen Treadwell at the Birth Trauma Association agrees: each week, she says, her organisation hears from women who haven’t known where to turn for advice before. “It’s a totally hidden problem, and it affects women’s lives in devastating ways,” she says. “Many of the women who contact us have rectal as well as urinary incontinence, and they can’t have sex . . . for some, their relationship totally breaks down as a result of it all. Women tell us it makes them feel dirty; it wrecks their work, their home and their social life. And it’s a total taboo.”

Every day we hear from people that are ashamed of their condition and don’t seek help because they simply don’t have the confidence to do so. For years now here at All About Incontinence we have been stressing out the fact that Incontinence is nothing to be ashamed off and it is TREATABLE.

Our aim here is to help you feel more confident through giving you the best incontinence products for reliable protection and the right information to help you understand and manage your condition.

Do not hesitate to contact us or ask our nurse specialist Shona with your doubts. All emails and calls are dealt with total discretion.

Facts and Figures about Stress Urinary Incontinence

06.12.2010 | Posted in: Stress Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

Stress urinary incontinence is by far the most common type of incontinence there is. In our previous article “NHS approves new pelvic muscles’ toner”, we talked about a revolutionary new treatment to this condition and now we decide to bring you some facts and figures about the stress urinary incontinence.

1.    Stress incontinence occurs as a result of reduced support for the bladder.
2.    It affects both men and women.
3.    It is the most common form of incontinence for both genders
4.    In men, stress incontinence is common following a prostatectomy.
5.    In women, physical changes resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause often contribute to stress incontinence.
6.    IT IS TREATABLE
7.    Pelvic floor exercises are the most effective treatment.
8.    Obesity can increase stress urinary incontinence episodes in patients already experiencing the symptoms.
9.    One in ten women in the workplace experience it, as do a third of all new mothers.
10.    It accounts for 65 % of female urinary incontinence.
11.    It is estimated that 4 million women in the UK are affect by stress incontinence.
12.    Surgery is only suggested after other treatments have not shown any positive results.

Got any more questions about stress urinary incontinence? Don’t hesitate to contact us or our nurse specialist Shona.

Diet low in saturated fat reduces Incontinence episodes

20.11.2010 | Posted in: Female Incontinence, Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

There are many studies that show the correlation between incontinence and obesity as well as studies that proved that certain foods can help or worsen incontinence episodes. But up until recently no one had studied the effects of saturated fat on incontinence.

A recent study conducted by the Department of Epidemiology at the New England Research Institute and published by the American Journal of Epidemiology examined intakes of total energy, carbohydrate, protein, and fats in relation to UI in a cross-sectional sample of 2,060 women in the population-based Boston Area Community Health Survey (2002–2005).

Research concluded that incontinence in women is improved by weight loss and dietary modification such as reducing the amount of saturated fats in the diet. For detailed information we copied the study’s abstract for you to read it:

Weight loss involving diet modification improves urinary incontinence (UI) in women, but little is known about dietary correlates of UI. The authors examined intakes of total energy, carbohydrate, protein, and fats in relation to UI in a cross-sectional sample of 2,060 women in the population-based Boston Area Community Health Survey (2002–2005). Data were collected from in-person home interviews and food frequency questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the presence of moderate-to-severe UI; a severity index was analyzed in secondary analysis of 597 women with urine leakage. Greater total energy intake was associated with UI (Ptrend = 0.0001; highest quintile vs. lowest: adjusted odds ratio = 2.86, 95% confidence interval: 1.56, 5.23) and increased severity. No associations were observed with intake of carbohydrates, protein, or total fat. However, the ratio of saturated fat intake to polyunsaturated fat intake was positively associated with UI (highest quintile vs. lowest: adjusted odds ratio = 2.48, 95% confidence interval: 1.22, 5.06) and was strongly associated with severity (Ptrend < 0.0001). Results suggest that dietary changes, particularly decreasing saturated fat relative to polyunsaturated fat and decreasing total calories, could independently account for some of the benefits of weight loss in women with UI.

The Importance of History-Taking when Treating Incontinence

15.11.2010 | Posted in: Female Incontinence, Incontinence, Urge Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

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.

Living with Incontinence a Patient’s View

12.11.2010 | Posted in: Advice, Bladder Weakness, Female Incontinence, Incontinence | Author: Samantha Hall

It is not part of our work philosophy to scrap articles from other websites, we are always looking to provide our readers with unique and informative content about all types of incontinence and incontinence products. But while researching for a new article I came across a very interesting article on Nursing Times where a patient shared its experience of living with urinary incontinence for 12 years, so I decided to share it with our readers.

“I have been suffering with Bowel Incontinence since December 1998 when I started having MS related spasms (although I did not know at this time that I had MS and what the spasms were!).  I remember having one of these horrific spasms in the kitchen during the Xmas break and sensing the urgency to get to the toilet!

Over the months from being diagnosed in March 1999 with MS I started having bowel accidents! They are a complete evacuation of my bowel, which is very distressing, embarrassing, disgusting and I worried about leaving the house every day for 11 years in case I have an ‘accident’.

I moved house in 1999 and registered with a new Doctor’s practice. I explained about my bowel incontinence and the following year I was referred to see another gastroenterologist. He did a colonoscopy and took a biopsy but found nothing wrong. He decided to refer me to see a professor of anal physiology who carried out all sorts of tests and the diagnosis was that I have nerve damage in my rectum from the MS, and a tear in my sphincter muscle from childbirth.

My incontinence has got worse over the years. I was diagnosed with diabetes in December 2003 and was put on metformin. These tablets worked fine for quite a while but then in the summer of 2005 I started having the most horrendous bowel accidents. So my tablets were changed and everything was back to ‘normal’. Normal for me meant that I would have a bowel accident at least once a month or more frequently!  My tablets were changed to gliclazide and everything settled down again.

I have had contact with a continence nurse since 1999 (in fact she is the one who first diagnosed me with diabetes following a urine sample I asked her to check! She sorted out my bladder incontinence for me by introducing me to intermittent catheters which I have been using since about 2003 and are absolutely brilliant! I also take solifenacin succinate to stop the urgency problems I have with my bladder. She has tried to help me with my bowel problems and asked me to try an anal plug! Well, I did try this one day as I was going to a meeting some distance away and inserted it at 10.00am. At 5.00pm I went to the toilet and something shot out. I felt very sore and uncomfortable and phoned the doctor’s surgery for an urgent appointment.

I explained to the doctor what had happened and took him a sample of a plug. He examined me and fortunately it had come out! I was very relieved! It took a few days for the soreness to disappear and I will never use them again!

My continence nurse then introduced me to transanal irrigation in January 1998. This was difficult to do initially but once I got the hang of it I think the longest I went without a bowel accident was 19 weeks! It was brilliant because my confidence increased and I could relax because I was confident I wouldn’t have a bowel accident. Unfortunately over the months things changed again with my bowels.

I began to have a problem that every time I went to the toilet to pass urine I check myself and found I had leakage from my bowel. I went to see my GP who gave me Picolax and I took the first sachet at 8.00am and four hours after taking it I had a bowel movement which was ok. I was supposed to take another sachet four hours later but decided against it as I felt ‘comfortable’. At 4.00pm I was cooking the tea when I had a huge bowel action and it went everywhere including my shoes!

I didn’t have any kind of bowel movement for eleven days after that! Since then I went back to having bowel leakage every time I go to the toilet to pass urine. I went to see my GP and he told me he had read my notes and should not have given me oral laxatives!

In mid October 2009 I had to visit my GP and he said he had seen a consultant from the Maelor Hospital, Wrexham who had really impressed him with what he does to help people with bowel problems and that he had mentioned me to him. My GP asked me if I wanted to be referred to him so of course I said yes!
I went to see my new consultant and he examined me and realised that I have no muscle control in my rectum at all and he said he would preform a colostomy.

I saw a stoma nurse and she explained to me what will happen if I choose to have a colostomy, what it looks like how I would have to look after it, what I can and can’t do (physically and eat and drink to start with). She gave me lots of information and samples of ‘the bags’ I would use. I asked her lots of questions which she answered and so I was able to make a fully informed decision there and then.

Since surgery I feel really well and wish it had been offered to me a long time ago because it is life changing for me! I no longer have to worry whether I will have an accident either at home or more importantly when I leave the house!”

Source: Nursing Times