Adult incontinence is now a prevalent problem in modern society. While this medical condition was traditionally associated with old age, different studies show that even younger adults now suffer with symptoms associated to different types of incontinences. The National Association for Incontinence (NAI) says that over 25 million adult Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. The Urology Care Foundation (UCF) adds that the numbers could be even higher when you consider that many people choose to suffer in silence. The loss of bowel or bladder control in an individual’s life is simply devastating and the embarrassment forces many people into a life of suffering. It is for this reason that more research is now directed towards developing methods and new treatment. In the meantime, different brands have launched affordable and highly effective incontinence products to manage the problem. The best incontinence protection empowers individuals to take back control of their lives. This article delves into adult incontinence in detail and highlights some ways to manage incontinence.
What Causes Adult Incontinence?
In order to prevent, treat or manage adult incontinence, it is imperative to understand the probable causes. A doctor’s diagnosis is always advisable but you need to have an understanding of the following causes even before you visit your doctor:
- Pregnancy: Many physical changes occur during pregnancy especially around the reproductive areas. There are also hormonal changes that take place. All of these factors contribute to causing incontinence.
- Vaginal childbirth: This weakens bladder muscles leading to the involuntary loss of urine. Bladder nerves and supportive tissue may also suffer damage during childbirth. Combinations of all these factors increase the chances of adult incontinence.
- Effects of old age: With age, bladder muscles lose their effectiveness and the bladder’s capacity to hold urine decreases.
- Menopause: Hormonal changes after menopause affect the condition of the bladder and lining of the urethra, increasing the risk of incontinence.
- Prostate gland problems: An enlarged prostate gland leads to benign prostatic hyperplasia a condition responsible for incontinence in older men. The treatment of prostate cancer can also lead to complications that aggravate incontinence.
- Neurological disorders: Diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis or conditions such as stroke all affect nerve functions. They have a great impact on the performance of bladder muscles and can inevitably lead to incontinence.
What Are The Symptoms Of Adult Incontinence?
It is important to understand that incontinence is not a disease by itself but a symptom of an underlying problem. While the involuntary loss of urine or fecal matter is common to all forms of incontinences, there are different ways in which these symptoms manifest themselves. This has led to the categorization of different types of incontinences, including:
- Stress incontinence: Characterized by the involuntary venting of urine when the bladder experiences sudden pressure. Common causes of this type of incontinence include sneezing, laughing, exercising, coughing, or lifting something heavy.
- Overflow incontinence: The bladder always feels full and this leads to the leaking of small amounts of urine. The cause could be an enlarged prostate. However, you need to visit your doctor for a qualified diagnosis. In the U.S. alone, an Overactive Bladders (OAB) affects more than 30% of the male population and 40% of the female population.
- Functional incontinence: Older people commonly suffer from incontinence due to aging bladder muscles or medical conditions such as arthritis.
- Urge incontinence: Characterized by a sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate followed by the involuntary loss of urine. This condition forces an individual to urinate regularly even at night.
- Mixed incontinence: This type of incontinence arises as a result of other incontinences.
Who is at risk of adult incontinence? It is important to understand whether you are at risk of this debilitating condition in order to seek treatment early enough. Some of the risk factors include:
- Gender: Women are more likely to suffer from adult incontinence. The main causes are pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and the regular hormonal changes in a woman’s body, all increase the chances of incontinence.
- Overweight/ obesity
- Family history
- Old age
- Other medical conditions such as diabetes and Neurological Diseases
Adult Incontinence Treatment/ Management
Treatment revolves around the underlying cause of incontinence. It is thus important to talk to a doctor for a diagnosis. Major treatments include:
- Muscle/tissue strengthening creams such as estrogen cream that is best for post-menopausal women
- Medication: Used such as tamsulosin (Flomax) and Oxybutynin (Ditropan) work for urge incontinence
- Botox: Used on the bladder muscle to cause it to relax
- Nerve stimulation: Use of electrical pulses to regulate the bladder
- Urethral/Pessary inserts: Treat bladder muscles
While undergoing treatment, you should use the best incontinence protection. These products allow you to continue living comfortably. For people in nursing homes or receiving in-home care, the best incontinence protection will help keep them dry. Protection products also make work easier for the caregiver. Incontinence products keep the user dry and allow them to live life without limits.