Incontinence Is Common And Can Be Caused in Multiple Ways
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, an estimated 13 million adults suffer from some form of urinary incontinence.
Despite its common occurrence, those dealing with this problem may still feel embarrassed. Having to discuss the matter can cause an uncomfortableness that may prevent those suffering with the condition from seeking medical help. However, the negative effects that it can have on your life when left untreated will far outweigh any embarrassment you feel speaking to your doctor.
The longer you wait the more likely urinary incontinence will decrease the quality of your life. Having little control over your bladder can limit the activities and social situations that you enjoy. Knowing the possible causes of urinary incontinence and how to handle the issue is the first step in coming to terms with the condition and taking your life back.
Causes of Incontinence
One of the most common reasons for incontinence is stress caused by pressure to the bladder. When you laugh, sneeze, cough, or lift heavy items, It puts stress on your bladder which then results in leakage. Bladder stress is not the only cause of urinary incontinence. In fact, there are a wide array of causes for this issue, including the foods you put into your body and medical conditions. The incontinence can also be either temporary or persistent.
Some common medications, treatable conditions, foods, and even drinks can cause temporary urinary incontinence. Some of these items include:
- Vitamin C
- Muscle relaxants
- Blood pressure medications
- Heart medications
- Feeling constipated
- Urinary tract infections
- Carbonated drinks
- Hot and spicy foods
- Acidic foods
- Sugary foods
There are also risk factors that can increase your chance of developing this problem. These include gender, age, weight, family history, and smoking. While all genders and age groups can be affected by this condition, women and older adults are more likely to experience urinary incontinence. Pregnancy, childbirth, and a decrease in bladder muscles due to age are all common causes. Men, however, are not immune to this problem. Enlarged prostate and prostate cancer can cause urinary incontinence.
How incontinence is handled depends on the type of incontinence you are suffering from and what is causing the issue. If caused by medication, then your doctor may prescribe a different medication that is less likely to result in urinary frequency. For food or beverage related incontinence, avoiding the offending items will reduce the frequency of urination. Losing weight, avoiding irritants to your bladder, increasing your fiber intake, and not smoking can help stop or reduce urinary frequency.
Since urinary incontinence can also be caused by serious medical conditions, such as a tumor obstructing the urinary tract, it is best to seek treatment by a medical professional when experiencing urinary incontinence. Your doctor will assist in determining the cause of the incontinence and discuss with you the best course of action to manage or cure the issue.