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Today in Health & Wellness

Urinary Incontinence

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Common Name

Involuntary urination; unstable or overactive bladder, or detrusor instability

Urinary incontinence is a condition where loss of bladder control or unintentional passing of urine occurs. It can be as mild as occasionally leaking urine when you laugh, sneeze or cough or it can be as severe as having a strong urge to urinate but not being able to hold it long enough to reach a toilet on time or bedwetting at night (nocturnal enuresis).

Urinary incontinence is not a disease but a symptom. Although it may be normal for kids up to age 7 to experience incontinence, this may or may not be a sign of other health problems for adults.

Urinary Incontinence has different types which include:
  • Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine when a certain action puts abdominal pressure on the bladder such as coughing, laughing or lifting.
  • Urge incontinence is when you have a sudden, intense urge to pee followed by involuntary loss of urine. It may happen even if you do not have a full bladder. This type may be caused by other conditions such as infection or diabetes.
  • Overflow incontinence is the frequent or constant dribbling or urine due to urinating frequently but in small amounts so the bladder is not emptied completely.
  • Functional incontinence is when a physical or mental impairment such as arthritis keeps you from making it to the toilet on time.

When to See a Doctor

You should seek medical consult immediately if:
  • You have trouble speaking or walking
  • There is weakness or tingling in any part of your body
  • There is loss of vision
  • You experience loss of consciousness.
  • It restricts you from doing your daily activities and limits your social interaction.
  • It indicates a more serious underlying condition.
Risk Factors

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Constipation
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Age
  • Menopause
  • Hysterectomy
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prostate cancer
  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson?s disease, stroke or multiple sclerosis
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications like oxybutynin are often prescribed to treat people with urge incontinence.
  • Alpha-adrenergic agonists, estrogen replacement therapy and duloxetine are prescribed to treat stress incontinence.
  • Desmopressin is often prescribed for nocturnal enuresis.
Treatment and Management

Other Treatment Options

  • Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises help strengthen muscles that help control urination.
  • Bladder training. Try to delay urination after you get the urge to go. This may help lengthen the time between trips to the toilet.
Home Remedies

If the patient has functional incontinence:

  • Reduce caffeine intake.
  • Lose weight.
  • Monitor your liquid consumption.
  • Schedule toilet trips. Urinate every 2-4 hours rather than waiting for the urge to do so.
  • Keep a bedpan in the bedroom.
  • If possible, get an elevated toilet seat.
  • Move to a room that is closer to the toilet.
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Other Health Conditions
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