Some Considerations In Determining What Causes Incontinence?
Some people believe that incontinence is a disease but it is not, it is actually a symptom of something else. Incontinence can be caused by your daily habits, medical conditions, or physical problems.
If you have continuing incontinence you may need your doctor to perform a medical analysis to determine the exact cause of your problem.
Causes of Temporary Incontinence
Temporary incontinence is usually caused by the daily habits of the individual in question. Temporary incontinence will generally only last a day or two, and can generally be stopped with a simple change of habit.
Let us take a look at some of the things that might be causes of incontinence that are temporary.
Many different foods, drinks, or medications can cause this temporary incontinence. Things like drinking too many cups of tea or coffee each day can cause this to happen. The intake of too much alcohol can also be one of the causes of incontinence that’s only temporary because it acts as a bladder stimulant and diuretic.
Taking in too much liquid of any type in a short span of time increases the amount of urine you bladder has to deal with. Like alcohol, any drink with caffeine also acts as a diuretic and stimulant to the bladder and can create a sudden urge to urinate.
Other foods that can cause temporary incontinence include anything that contains artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, anything that has a large amount of spices, sugar, or acids. Citrus fruits and tomatoes are good examples of this type of food, all of these things can have an effect on your bladder.
Medications can also be causes of incontinence that are temporary. Medications such as blood pressure medication, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and heart medications may also cause temporary incontinence. Changing your habits, as far as what foods you eat and drink, can have a great effect on incontinence.
As stated there are many things that can be contributing causes of incontinence, temporary or otherwise. For instance, many medical conditions can cause this problem. Many of them can be treated easily.
One if the biggest culprits in this category includes urinary tract infections. UTIs are responsible for many cases of incontinence. The infections irritate your bladder which causes you to have a strong urge to urinate.
These urges can easily result in an episode of incontinence, and they may be your only warning sign that you have a urinary tract infection. If you have a urinary tract infection you may also experience burning while you urinate and your urine may be foul-smelling.
Another of the causes of incontinence, especially temporary incontinence is constipation. Constipation can cause this because the rectum is located near the bladder and shares many of the same nerves as the bladder.
When you become constipated it causes these nerves to become overactive, which in turn increases the frequency and strength of urinary urges. Impacted stools can also create a situation where the bladder cannot empty completely. This adds to the frequency of urination and can even cause what is known as overflow incontinence.
Causes of Persistent Incontinence
Persistent incontinence lasts longer than temporary incontinence, it can range in length from a few weeks to many years if not treated. As with temporary incontinence there are many different things that cause persistent incontinence, and many of the causes are not as simple to treat.
Pregnancy and childbirth is a good example of something that causes incontinence that cannot be easily treated. Several different things can happen during pregnancy and childbirth that can be causes of incontinence.
Many pregnant women suffer from stress incontinence due to their hormones changing, their weight increasing, and their uterus becoming enlarged. Also, the stress of vaginal delivery of the child can weaken muscles that are necessary for bladder control.
The nerves and supportive tissue of the bladder can also be weaken or damaged during childbirth resulting in a dropped pelvic floor, also called a prolapsed pelvic floor. When this happens your bladder, uterus, rectum, and small bowel can possibly be pushed from their usual position and protrude from the vagina. This causes incontinence in many women after childbirth.
Your age can cause incontinence. As the muscles of your bladder age its’ storage capacity is decreased which can cause an overactive bladder. As the muscles weaken it can also reduce your ability to control your bladder.
The risk of incontinence increases if you have blood vessel disease. You can help decrease the symptoms of overactive bladder by not smoking, properly treating high blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy body weight.
For women, the produce less estrogen after menopause, this is a hormone that protects the lining of the bladder and urethra. Since women have less estrogen after menopause these tissues tend to deteriorate, which in turn leads to incontinence.
In women the bladder and uterus are in close proximity and share many of the same muscles and ligaments. During a hysterectomy, or any surgery on a woman’s reproductive system, these muscles and ligaments can be damaged.
This can lead to persistent incontinence. In older men an enlarged prostate can cause incontinence. This condition is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Another prostate problem called prostatitis can also cause incontinence. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland, which is located just below the bladder.
The increased size of the prostate gland can put pressure on the bladder which can cause incontinence. Although untreated prostate cancer can cause incontinence, actually cancer treatments are a more likely cause. If you have surgery, radiation therapy, or other treatments associated with prostate cancer they can also lead to incontinence.