Incontinence affects roughly 13 million people in the United States. So what is it? In short, incontinence is the loss of bladder or bowel control. Since symptoms range from “just a leak” to complete loss of control, the type of treatment your doctor prescribes to you will depend upon the extent of your symptoms.
There are a number of causes for incontinence, ranging from weakened bladder muscles to irritable bowel syndrome, and even stress. With so many different types of incontinence, there are bound to be many causes. This article will cover the two main kinds of incontinence and a few treatment options.
What Kinds of Incontinence are There?
Incontinence can be classified into two main categories: urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence. Urinary incontinence is the most common of the two and can be caused by a number of factors, age being among the best known. As someone gets older, the muscles controlling their bladder may fail, causing a bout of incontinence. Other causes include pregnancy and nerve damage.
Fecal incontinence, on the other hand, is the loss of bowel control. This kind of incontinence can be caused by various digestion problems like irritable bowel syndrome or bowel diseases. Long-term strain on pelvic floor muscles or severe diarrhea and constipation can cause fecal incontinence as well.
Who Does Incontinence Affect?
Because the term is so broad, incontinence can affect anyone. It could be a once-in-a-while issue like food poisoning, or it could be a chronic, lifelong problem. As long as there is a loss of bladder or bowel control (this includes controlling when you have to run to the toilet), it counts.
For most elderly people, incontinence may be caused by aging and weakened muscles. For others, poor diet, obesity, and constipation or diarrhea may cause incontinence. In women, pregnancy may be a cause as well. Other illnesses can also cause incontinence. like diabetes, muscular sclerosis, arthritis, and heart, lung, and prostate complications. Certain surgeries that numb affected areas of the body and even some medications may also cause incontinence. It’s more common than you think.
Although there are many potential causes for incontinence, not all of them are fully tested. Regardless, incontinence can be managed and even sometimes cured depending on the situation. If you have concerns, speak with your primary care physician to find the right treatment for you.
How do You Manage Incontinence?
With such a wide range of cases, there is a wide range of incontinence management products as well. For lighter cases, people may use underpads and pant liners to avoid leakage, and in more severe cases, adult briefs do the trick. These items can be worn discreetly and can be taken outside of the house, making them a top choice for people who like to be out and about. At night, underpads, liners, and adult briefs may work for some. For others, bedpans and bedside commodes may be more suitable, particularly for those who struggle to get to the bathroom in time or have messy, infrequent accidents. Bedwetting alarms work in a similar manner as well and will alert the user if an accident happens in bed.
If you or a loved one is concerned about incontinence, speak with your primary care physician. To browse other incontinence products that can be shipped discreetly to your door, visit the Medical Supply Depot.