What is urinary incontinence? + Complete guidance
Urinary incontinence is a condition in which a person loses control over the bladder and urinates involuntarily. This disease is one of the most common problems in the elderly, which causes discomfort in daily activities. This happens when a person’s control over the urinary sphincter muscles is reduced or completely lost. In this article from the section diseasesHello Dr. Salam, we will examine the cause of urinary incontinence and then examine its symptoms and ways of diagnosis and treatment.
Urinary incontinence occurs due to the unwanted contraction of the bladder muscle, resulting in urgent and unwanted urination. Loss of urinary control may occur for a variety of reasons, such as weakness of the bladder muscles, damage to the nerves that control bladder function, and certain other medical conditions.
The different types of urinary incontinence are as follows:
1) Involuntary incontinence:
Urge incontinence occurs due to an overactive bladder, which itself is the result of certain conditions such as infection, neurological disorder, or diabetes.
2) Stress incontinence:
This condition will occur due to putting pressure on the bladder by coughing, sneezing, lifting heavy weights, laughing and doing some sports.
3) Excessive incontinence:
Urinary leakage may progress to complete emptying due to inability of the bladder.
4) Functional incontinence:
This state is due to acute physical or mental conditions that reduce the ability to control the bladder.
5) Reactive incontinence:
This condition of incontinence will occur when we have a serious underlying disorder such as spinal cord injury or advanced sclerosis.
6) Mixed incontinence:
When we have the symptoms of more than one type of incontinence together, it is said that mixed incontinence has occurred.
The causes of this complication
Urinary incontinence may occur due to physical problems and various medical conditions. This happens when the bladder muscles are so weak that they are unable to hold back urine.
Temporary urinary incontinence:
Temporary urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder is forced to produce more urine and increase the urge to urinate due to the use of certain medications or eating certain foods.
1) Some foods, such as red peppers, spicy foods, citrus fruits, artificial sweets, carbonated drinks, chocolates and caffeinated drinks, can lead to urinary incontinence.
2) Urinary tract infections may irritate the bladder and increase the urge to urinate.
3) The presence of hard stools in the intestine (constipation) can affect the nerves related to the bladder and lead to rapid emptying of urine.
4) Some blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants and pain relievers may also lead to urinary incontinence.
Permanent urinary incontinence:
Chronic urinary incontinence occurs due to physical changes in the body. These factors include:
Aging reduces the bladder’s ability to hold urine longer. Bladder contractions often increase with aging.
Pregnancy puts pressure on the bladder muscles, which can cause stress incontinence. Also, the hormonal changes that pregnancy period It may reduce the ability of the bladder to hold urine.
Natural childbirth weakens the bladder muscles and lowers the control power of the bladder. Sometimes, this position causes damage to the supporting tissues and nerves of the bladder, which will lead to urinary incontinence.
4) Nervous disorders:
Some specific neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease, advanced sclerosis, brain tumor or stroke can disrupt the nerve signals that control the bladder muscles.
A tumor pressing on the bladder may increase the pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and lead to incontinence.
6) Prostate problems:
A swollen prostate or untreated prostate cancer often causes urinary incontinence.
A permanent decrease in estrogen levels causes tissue damage around the bladder, which results in urinary incontinence.
Any surgery involving the genitals or removal of the uterus may damage the pelvic floor muscles and lead to urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary based on the type of urinary incontinence and include the following.
1) Dripping urine continuously
2) Compulsion to urinate during sex
3) leakage of urine due to a cough or sneeze
4) incomplete excretion of urine
5) Sudden contraction of bladder muscles
6) Urinary frequency
7) Difficulty in stopping the flow of urine
Risk factors for this condition
Below are the people who are most at risk of developing urinary incontinence.
1) Women are at risk of stress incontinence due to factors such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.
2) Men with prostate-related problems, such as an enlarged prostate, are at a higher risk of developing excessive incontinence.
3) Obese people are prone to urinary incontinence.
4) People with a family history of urinary incontinence are at a higher risk of developing this condition.
5) Diabetic people are at high risk for urinary incontinence.
6) Smoking increases the risk of stress incontinence.
7) People who do high-level sports, such as running, jumping and extreme physical activities, may occasionally suffer from temporary urinary incontinence.
Complications of urinary incontinence
Untreated incontinence or chronic urinary incontinence will result in the following complications:
1) Skin infections, wounds and boils
2) Urinary tract infection
3) kidney disorder
4) mental illnesses
Ways of diagnosis
In order to diagnose this disease, the doctor will examine the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Based on the information obtained, the following tests are prescribed to confirm urinary incontinence.
1) Urine test:
A sample of urine is taken and analyzed for signs of infection, presence of blood in urine and other abnormal factors.
2) Bladder Activity Office:
The doctor will ask to make a journal of daily bladder activity, in which the amount of water consumed during the day and the number of incontinence episodes will be recorded.
3) measuring the residue after disposal (PVR):
In this test, the doctor first asks you to completely empty your bladder by urinating, then he will measure the amount of urine left using a device.
4) Urodynamic test:
This test helps to measure the pressure exerted on the muscles of the bladder and urethra when the bladder is emptying.
5) Pelvic ultrasound:
Pelvic ultrasound is performed to take an image of the bladder and observe any abnormalities in the urinary tract.
Urinary incontinence treatment
The treatment and management of urinary incontinence will be different according to the age and overall health of the person. Treatment options include:
The doctor will prescribe anticholinergic drugs such as Festotrodine, Exobiotinin and Toltrodine to reduce the patient’s incontinence. The doctor immediately prescribes the use of alpha-blockers to reduce excessive incontinence in men. For women, the use of a low dose of local estrogen (vaginal cream) is prescribed in order to restore the tissues inside the vagina.
2) Medical devices:
The doctor inserts a disposable cotton-like device or pad to prevent urine leakage, especially before sports activities.
3) Electrical stimulation:
In this method, the doctor will insert temporary electrodes into the vagina or rectum and apply a mild electrical stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles. This treatment is effective for forced and stress incontinence.
4) interventional treatments:
Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) and injectable compresses are effective for controlling an overactive bladder. Also, nerve stimulators are implanted in the buttocks to regulate the nerves involved in bladder control.
Prevention of it
Preventive measures to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence are as follows:
1) Quitting smoking and not consuming alcohol
2) Avoiding acidic foods that irritate the bladder
3) Practicing pelvic exercises to strengthen bladder muscles
4) Follow a diet full of fiber to prevent constipation