What You Need to Know about Bladder Weakness
If you are suffering from bladder weakness, you may be feeling devastated. Perhaps, you are even thinking that you are the only person in the world who is experiencing the frustrating effects of an overactive bladder. The truth is, there are millions of adults in the United States suffering from this problem. It affects both sexes but is most common in elderly individuals and women.
What is bladder weakness?
Bladder weakness, commonly known as urinary incontinence, is the involuntary loss of urine from the bladder. It is a medical condition where voluntary control over the urinary sphincter is weakened or totally lost causing the bladder to leak.
What are the Common Causes of Incontinence or Weak Bladder?
• Post-Menopausal Hormonal Changes
• Enlarged Prostate
• Prostate Surgery
• Certain Foods and Beverages
• Neurologic Diseases (Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, others)
• Medication Side Effects
What are the different types of incontinence?
• Stress Incontinence: This usually happens during physical activity like coughing, laughing, sneezing, heavy lifting and exercise. This is the most common type of urinary incontinence found in many people especially in women who have already given birth or are experiencing post-menopausal hormonal changes.
• Urge Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs for no apparent reason while feeling a sudden need to urinate. It is the second most common type of incontinence that is usually found in the elderly. The urge to pass urine may be caused by a sudden change in position and sexual intercourse, most especially during climax. For some people, the sound or touch of running water also triggers the sudden urge to urinate.
• Mixed Incontinence: This condition is seen in people who experience both stress and urge incontinence.
• Overflow Incontinence: This condition often occurs in men who have prostate gland problems, a blocked urethra or a damaged bladder. Since it is caused by something blocking the flow of urine, more often than not, the person can only manage to pass urine in small trickles even after trying so hard. He may have to go to the bathroom frequently because his bladder is never really emptied completely.
• Functional Incontinence: This type occurs when an individual recognizes the need to urinate but cannot make it to the toilet. This happens when the person involved has problems communicating, thinking or moving. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may not be able to think well enough to prepare for a trip to the restroom. Other than that, an individual in a wheelchair may not be able to get to the toilet in time to urinate.
• Bedwetting and giggle incontinence: These are two types of incontinence that are normally found in children.
• Transient Incontinence: This type of urinary incontinence is triggered by medications, severe constipation and adrenal insufficiency.
What can I do to avoid it? Are there treatment options available?
If you are experiencing the manifestations of urinary incontinence, it is absolutely important that you modify your diet. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake and any food items or beverages that contain chemicals that are natural diuretics. Aside from that, learn and properly perform the Kegel exercises to strengthen your weakened pelvic floor muscles. There are medications and surgical procedures available that can treat this problem. The choice of treatment would depend on the diagnosis and severity of the incontinence.
There are several different treatments available for each type of bladder weakness. The above examples are just the most common alternatives that you can use to help avoid and treat such condition. It is best to consult your doctor and undergo series of tests so you will know the best treatment you can have to live a happier life.