Incontinence can be a taboo subject for people, especially women. But more than 4 in 10 women have some type of incontinence. The numbers could be higher as people don’t like to discuss incontinence and instead, they suffer in silence. Here are some things you should know and may even help you if you experience incontinence.
First off, incontinence is described as an involuntary loss of bladder/ bowel function. There are many different types of incontinence, the most common types being Stress and Urge Incontinence. Sometimes a person may experience a combination of types. But there are options and treatments to help sufferers live a more comfortable life.
Signs of Incontinence
There are several ways to identify if someone is experiencing incontinence:
Some physical indicators include:
● Odour of urine in the room
● Soiled undergarments or bedding
● Accidents while sneezing or laughing
● Irritated perineal area
An incontinence sufferer may also display emotional indicators, such as:
● Decline in social activities or a reluctance to participate
● Anger or Frustration
● Desire for Attention
If someone you care for is exhibiting these symptoms, you should encourage them to speak with their doctor.
Types of Incontinence
Functional Incontinence is the inability to reach the bathroom in time due to lack of mobility or mental illness. If a loved one is bedridden, wheelchair bound or uses a mobility aid, it is very common to experience incontinence.
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) occurs when the bladder unexpectedly leaks due to pressure from physical exertion. This can include coughing, sneezing, laughing, heavy lifting or exercise. Leaks can occur even during a minor movement! This happens when the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder have become weakened so they are unable to tighten enough to keep all the urine in. These leaks tend to be small but can be larger. This is the most common type of incontinence experienced by women.
Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) occurs when the bladder tries to empty despite its best efforts to prevent leaking. This happens because there is missing communication between the brain and bladder. UUI can cause large losses of urine and with an increased frequency. This is the most common type of incontinence for men and is commonly linked to an enlarged prostate. However, UUI can also be experienced by women.
Neurological Bladder Disorder occurs when a patient suffers from certain medical conditions such as a stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or MS. The Disorder is described as the brain failing to recognize the signals to urinate, often due to nerve damage caused by injury or illness.
Suggestions to Reduce or Prevent Urine Leakage
There are many things you can do to reduce urine leakage:
● Avoid Food Irritants
○ Citrus Foods
○ Tomato Based Foods
○ Spicy Foods
● Avoid certain drinks:
○ Caffeinated drinks
● Stay Hydrated - Drink 6-8 glasses of liquids a day
● But Also Pace Yourself - Drink liquids at intervals of 2-3 hours
● Do not drink liquids within 2 hours of bedtime
● Shape Up - Kegel or floor exercises can help
● Do not force yourself to urinate or hold your urine for too long
● Relax! - Do not strain yourself!
● Take a Seat! Do not hover over the toilet seat
● Change incontinence products 2-3 times a day
● Keep a positive attitude! Changes will not happen overnight. It can take up to a year for results!
Pharmacy options for Incontinence Support
● With light leakage, you can start with a pantiliner or liner placed in underwear or undergarments. Tena, Depends and Always are just a few of our brands
● There are incontinence pads that can help with all levels of leakage; light, moderate, or heavy. These products come in regular or long length. They are available for men as well as women.
● For full coverage there are sets of underwear that come in Unisex, Men’s and Women’s sizes. These come in different absorbency rates and sizes. They can be measured by your waist.
● Men may choose to wear bladder control briefs that also come in different absorbency rates, material and different technology used. Men’s briefs have a different fit than women.
● There are bed mattress protectors. They come in disposable or reusable. And many different sizes and materials.
● There are cleansing creams, wipes and protective creams available. And bathing gloves to use if not able to shower or would just like to clean yourself or others after wearing incontinence products all day.
We here at Orchardview Guardian Pharmacy will help you choose the best fit for your needs and wants!!
We would be happy to supply you with samples so you can try before you buy!!
Come visit us at Orchardview Guardian Pharmacy and check out Aisle 4 for Incontinence Products.