What is Causing Your Urinary and Fecal incontinence?

Finding the cause of your incontinence can help with treatment.
If you are among the millions of adult Americans suffering from urinary or fecal incontinence, chances are you are looking for a solution. Bladder and bowel symptoms and problems are not easy to deal with. Often finding the cause can help with treatment. 

While there are times when the cause is readily evident, there are other times when it can be more difficult to pinpoint why you are suffering from this condition. Some of the common causes of incontinence include:

1. Medications: Certain medications, such as medications for treating swelling, fluid retention, high blood pressure, heart medications, muscle relaxants, and more can lead to bladder problems. If you are experiencing incontinence and are taking these types of meds, consult a physician to see if a change can be made.

2. Constipation can also cause bladder symptoms. Because the rectum is located near the bladder, it shares many of the same nerves. This means that compacted stool in the rectum can cause the nerves to be overactive, leading to frequent urination. It can also interfere with the bladders ability to empty, which can cause overflow incontinence.

3. An infection or other serious problem can cause bladder symptoms. This can cause bladder irritation, block the urethra, or other symptoms.

4. Dehydration can lead to bladder irritation. Often incontinence sufferers will reduce their fluid intake in order to help control leaks, but this can backfire. A more concentrated urine can cause bladder irritation and increase urge incontinence. Stay hydrated.

5. Muscle damage or weakness. When the pelvic floor muscles are damaged or weakened, they are less effective at controlling the bladder. Strengthening exercises can often help this problem. Biofeedback is great for targeting specific muscles.

6. Nerve damage. Nerve damage may mean the signals are not being properly transmitted to the body, and

Examples of events or conditions that can affect continence include: Childbirth, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pelvic or anal surgery, neurological disorders or injuries, medications, and radiation treatments for certain cancers.

Common treatment:

1. Bladder training: This is when you try to train your bladder to empty only at certain times, increasing the length between times. This is common for those with urge incontinence.

2. Pelvic muscles strengthening exercises. This is most common for those with stress or mixed incontinence. This helps to strengthen the muscles controlling the bladder so fewer leaks happen.

3. Medications. There are medications that can be used to help with bladder and bowel control, but this must be determined by a physician.

Other options are also available, depending on the type and cause of incontinence. For example, surgery may be performed. The best treatment method or methods can be determined by working with a health care professional.

Further Reading: 

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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