Do you find yourself rushing to the loo often? Did you know that urine can be an involuntary action? Which can happen when one is excited, stressed, laughing or through any of the daily activities. Then the medical term given to this condition is urinary incontinence.
In basic terms, urinary incontinence
is the term used for loss of bladder control. It could vary from a slight loss
of urine after one goes emotionally and it can be also an experience where the
urge is uncontrollable. The condition could be chronic or temporary. Though it
is mostly observed in old age, it is not a compulsory side-effect of aging and
is neither limited to old age people. Aging is only a reason when the muscles
that support the bladder tend to get weak and this can further lead to urinary
Some types of urinary incontinence
In this case, urine leaks when pressure is exerted on the bladder due to
coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.
incontinence:A sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by
an involuntary loss of urine. In this case, the person may need to urinate
often, even including throughout the night in some cases. This could happen
because of any minor condition, such as infection, or a more-severe condition
such as a neurologic disorder or diabetes.
incontinence: Frequent or constant dribbling of
urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely is likely to be
experienced in this situation.
This happens when a physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to
the toilet in time.
In this scenario, more than one type of urinary incontinence occurs.
Something people tend to on is urinary
incontinence is not a disease, it’s a symptom. It can happen because of
everyday habits, or due to underlying medical conditions or physical problems.
A thorough evaluation by the doctor can determine what’s behind the respective
Urinary incontinence is can leave the
person embarrassed, affecting his/her daily activities. When the condition gets
frequent, the patient should not hesitate to seek medical advice. For most of
the people, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can reduce discomfort
or even stop urinary incontinence. Medical advice is crucial because urinary
an indication of a more-serious underlying condition
your activities and limit your social interactions
the risk of potential accidents
Some of the causes that can meddle
with nerve signals involved in bladder control and further cause urinary
incontinence include urinary tract infection, constipation, persistent urinary
incontinence, pregnancy, hormonal changes, increased weight of the fetus,
childbirth, changes with age, menopause, hysterectomy, any surgery involving a
woman’s reproductive system, enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, obstruction
like a tumor, urinary stones, neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis,
Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, a brain tumor or a spinal injury can
Some factors that tend to increase the
risk of a person developing urinary incontinence are:
Gender: Women are more likely to have this issues
especially stress incontinence because of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and
normal female anatomy. When it comes to men, those with prostate gland problems
are at increased risk of urge and overflow incontinence.
Age: As one gets older, the muscles in the bladder
and urethra lose some of their strength. Also in the older one’s the capacity
of the bladder decreases leading to this involuntary condition.
Being overweight: Extra weight adds more pressure on
the bladder as well as the surrounding muscles, which makes them weaker them
and leads to leaking out of the urine when a person
Family history: If a close family member has had
urinary incontinence, especially urge incontinence, then the risk of developing
the condition is higher.
Other diseases: Several medical conditions like
neurological disease or diabetes can also increase the risk of incontinence.
Few complications that can arise if a
person suffers from chronic urinary incontinence include:
problems like rashes, skin infections and sores tend to develop because of
constantly wet skin.
risk of repeated urinary tract infections.
in the person’s personal life as urinary incontinence mostly affects the
social, work and personal relationships of the person.
Hence to avoid these complications, it
is important to take necessary precautions. Even though urinary incontinence is
not always preventable but it is treatable and preventions can surely decrease
the risks. Some preventions to be kept in mind are:
a healthy weight
practice pelvic floor exercises
bladder irritants like caffeine, alcohol and acidic foods
your fiber intake to prevent constipation which is a cause of urinary
smoking and stay away from tobacco
While urinary incontinence might not appear as a big health risk, it can cause problems and it must be addressed. Preventions along with good health and timely medical interference can be helpful in controlling the condition and providing a solution.
Contributed by Dr. T Manohar, Chief Urologist, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur