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Understanding Bladder Control Issues and Problems
Millions of people deal with bladder control issues or problems (incontinence); it is a condition that can be the result of a number of causes. Depending on what the symptoms are, there may be different solutions to the problem. Some as simple as taking a medication, while in other cases, the individual who is dealing with the bladder control issues might require surgery to take care of the problem. Either way, getting the right help and answers is something that should be done, in order to take care of the issues.
Some of the main causes of bladder control issues include:
- urinary tract infection (UTI);
- side effects from medications (alpha blockers, antidepressants, narcotics, etc);
- impacted stool (when the stool becomes so packed it makes it difficult to control the bladder);
- weakness in the muscles surrounding the bladder;
- an overactive bladder;
- a blocked urethra (usually due to an enlarged prostate);
- bladder irritation;
- chronic constipation;
- neurological disease;
- former surgeries which make it difficult to control the bladder; and,
- several other issues which may in turn lead to bladder control problems.
There are various types of bladder incontinence, and in many cases, the individual who is struggling with bladder control may be the victim of one or more of these types. Two of the most common types are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Common Incontinence Issues -
Stress incontinence occurs when you do anything which strains the body (from something as simple as laughing, to more serious cases which result from child birth or any types of surgeries you may have had). Urge incontinence is the sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate, no matter how much (or little) is in the bladder. A combination of stress and urge incontinence is one of the most common bladder control issues.
Other common bladder control issues include:
- neuropathic incontinence (results from problems affecting the nerves);
- traumatic incontinence (injury to pelvis will spark this);
- obstructions to urine flow; and,
- other less common issues usually occur with certain individuals who have bladder control issues.
When to get medical care & attention -
For those who have a constant problem, or individuals who have to get up more than twice during the evening, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor, in order to discuss the bladder control symptoms, and possible solutions to the problem.
In some cases the problem is caused by a medical condition, which your doctor is going to be able to diagnose. Once diagnosed, he will be better equipped to address solutions to the problem. If you have kept track of how often you go, when you go, and how uncomfortable it is, you will want to share this information with your doctor.
You should also notify your physician of any and all medications you are taking, so that he/she can offer the best solution to your bladder control issues, and the best way to properly treat the problem.
Diagnosis by your health care professional -
In order to properly diagnose the bladder control issues, your doctor will probably ask:
- about any medical conditions you have;
- medications you are taking;
- how often you use the restroom (and how strong the urges are);
- whether you have had any major surgeries in the past; and,
- more than likely will conduct an examination of the pelvis, abdomen, and the nervous system (and prostate in men), in order to properly diagnose the condition.
In some cases you may be referred to a specialist, which might conduct a series of tests, in order to properly diagnose the issue. The cystoscope is the most commonly performed test (where the specialist will look inside the bladder, to see if they can spot problem causes).
Upon a diagnosis of the bladder control issues, you will have a few treatment options. In certain cases behavioral therapies are enough to take care of issues which are not as severe.
In certain cases medication might be prescribed to an individual, if the incontinence is caused by something medication can heal. And, in certain cases, surgical procedures are required, depending on the severity of the bladder control issues, and what is causing them.
Regardless of how minor or major the issue seems, it is wise to have your physician run the necessary examinations and tests to determine the extent of the problem. Determining the proper diagnosis is vital to providing treatment for poor bladder control. Not to mention it will provide peace of mind in knowing the type and severity of incontinence you are dealing with.