Saturday, June 9, 2012
All You Wanted to Know about Incontinence and More
Incontinence is a condition that affects countless millions of people. Although more commonly seen in older individuals, children and young adults can be afflicted as well. The causes of incontinence vary according to the type of condition diagnosed, and treatment options range from behavioral management to medications and surgery.
Types Of Incontinence
Polyuria is a term for excessive production of urine, often seen in persons with diabetes. This in itself does not necessarily lead to incontinence, but those diagnosed with diabetes often have frequent urinations and a sense of urinary urgency. Persons diagnosed with an enlarged prostate often suffer from symptoms of incontinence. Nerve function in the bladder can also be caused by diseases affecting the central nervous system. Those afflicted with Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis or spina bifida often demonstrate symptoms of incontinence.
Continence is considered as the interaction between the urethral opening and actions of the detrusor muscle. If this pressure balance is altered, leakage of urine is often the result. Stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, functional incontinence and giggle incontinence are all specific in their base cause. Stress incontinence is often seen in those with problems related to the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. Inability of the urethral opening to tighten normally results in overflow incontinence. Persons with mental conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer's Disease are often afflicted with functional incontinence. Giggle incontinence is often seen in young children. Laughter may stimulate the nerves controlling the detrusor muscular activity.
Incontinence In Men And Women
As they age, women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from incontinence as men. Women who are obese or have pelvic floor disorders are candidates for developing some degree of incontinence. Men suffer from this condition less because of the difference in their urinary tract structure. However, those who are overweight or have an enlarged prostate are much more likely to develop a level of incontinence as they become middle aged. Older males often have a functional disability with the sphincter muscles surrounding the urethral opening.
Treatment Options For Incontinence
Physical therapy is often used on patients diagnosed with an early form of incontinence. The popular Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles and has been shown to increase control over urination severity and frequency. Several pharmaceutical drugs have been developed to control urination in both men and women. These include tolterodine and oxybutynin. Drug products such as these have various side effects and should only be taken on advice from a physician. Absorbent pads and urinary catheters used in hospitals are often recommended for patients suffering from an advanced form of incontinence. A number of adult diapers and specially designed undergarments are available to help absorb moisture. These are manufactured to fit comfortably and are virtually unnoticeable when worn properly beneath the outer clothing.