Elderly Urinary Incontinence

This is not normal and some cases have cures while the rest can be managed. It is caused by different reasons and the degree of incontinence varies. For instance, some may leak occasionally or constantly dribble or absolutely no control of the bladder or bowels. There are different kinds of incontinence as highlighted below:

  • Urge incontinence – Characterized by an urgent urge to pass urine which is lost before getting to the toilet. It is also known as an overactive bladder. It can be brought on by an enlarged prostate, strokes and constipation among others.
  • Stress incontinence – This happens when abdominal pressure is more than the pressure that closes the bladder such as during coughing or sneezing or climbing stairs. It is common amongst women due to pregnancy and childbirth. In post menopausal women, a decrease in estrogen can also bring it on. Prostate cancer patients are also plagued by stress incontinence.
  • Overflow incontinence It is rare. The bladder does not empty entirely, so the urge to keep going is there and often some leakage occurs. It is brought on by an obstruction of the urinary track or a bladder with weak contractions or an inability to contract. It can be brought on by fecal impaction, nerve damage and the related prostrate issues.
  • Functional incontinence – These are accidents that come as a result of not being able to unzip in time or a bad hip thus making one to walk slower to the bathroom. Neurological disorders and stroke complications are bound to bring it on.
  • Mixed incontinence – This arises when one has more than one kind of incontinence. Those with stress and severe dementia may have both urge and functional incontinence.

Treatment and management of Urinary Incontinence

Treatment includes behavioral therapy and drugs. For instance, adult diapers are used throughout treatment and management of incontinence:

  • Behavioral therapy – Includes bladder training, regular bathroom trips and pelvic floor muscle exercises. It bears no side effects.
  • Scheduled bathroom trips are effective for people with mobility issues or neurological disorders, even if this means someone else is in charge of taking you to the restroom.
  • Anticholinergic or antispasmodic drugs – These are for urge incontinence. They come with a common side effect of a dry mouth. Other side effects are unclear vision, constipation, and confusion.
  • Hormone replacement – This estrogen therapy is used to counteract the atrophy of the skin around the urethra and the vagina in menopausal women.
  • Antibiotics – They are used to treat urinary infections or an inflamed prostate gland.

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