Understanding The types and causes of incontinence
Urinary incontinence is a common distressing condition characterized by involuntary urine leakage. The symptom for this condition varies from mild urine leaking to uncontrollable wetting and can happen to anyone both male and female.
Urinary incontinence should not be considered as a disease, but a symptom for an underlying treatable disease. This condition occurs because of problems with the nerves and muscles responsible for releasing and holding urine.
Normally, urine is stored in the bladder and when urinating the bladder muscles contract forcing urine out, at the same time the sphincter muscles relax allowing urine to pass.
Urinary incontinence occurs when your bladder muscles contract suddenly or the sphincter muscles become less strong, losing its ability to hold urine back. If the muscles are damaged then urine will escape with less pressure.
Causes of different types of urinary incontinence
1. Stress incontinence– this is characterized by urine-leakage which is caused by increased abdominal pressure from coughing, sneezing, climbing stairs, laughing among other physical stressors on your abdominal cavity and thus pressure on the bladder.
2. Overflow incontinence is when you find out that you cannot stop your bladder from dribbling constantly for some few seconds after you have passed urine. A combination of urge and stress incontinence causes a condition called mixed incontinence which is common among the elderly.
3. Urge incontinence- this is involuntary urine leakage accompanied by an urgency to urinate.
4. Structural incontinence is a rare occurrence and is usually diagnosed during childhood like ectopic ureter. This can also be caused by gaenocologic and obstetric trauma, this trauma (fistula) include ureterovaginal fistula and vesicovaginal fistula.
5. Transient incontinence is a temporary condition initiated by mental impairment, medications, adrenal insufficiency, restricted mobility plus stool impaction.
6. Functional incontinence: is a common condition which occurs when someone wants to urinate but cannot go to the bathroom. This type is caused by poor mobility, poor eyesight, poor dexterity, dementia, confusion, depression, drunkenness, anger or even anxiety.
Other common types of urinary incontinence include giggle incontinent which is common in children and is caused by laughter.
Common Causes of persistent urinary incontinence
1. In males over 40 years this condition is caused by prostate cancer. The drugs used to treat prostate cancer or radiation can also result in this condition. Prostatitis inflammation of your prostate gland can also cause this condition.
2. Enlarged prostate common among older men is a condition caused by a benign prostatic-hyperplasia can also cause this condition.
1. Normally for ladies the uterus & bladder lie next to each other and are mostly supported by various similar muscles & ligaments, therefore any surgery like the hysterectomy which affect the reproductive system can damage the muscle of pelvic floor resulting in this condition.
2. Past menopause the production of estrogen reduces, this hormone is responsible for maintaining the lining of the urethra and the bladder. This results in deterioration of these tissues thus causing incontinence.
3. Normally, pregnant ladies experience some hormonal changes & increase in weight, this stress caused by enlarging of the uterus can cause this condition. During child birth the changes that occur can damage the nerves of the bladder and supporting tissues resulting in dropped pelvic-floor. This will result in movement of the rectum, uterus and bladder from their usual places and protrusion of the vagina which is related with incontinence.
1.. Various disorders can interfere with the bladder’s nerve function, including spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke and Parkinson disease.
2. Aging of your bladder muscles reduces your bladders capacity for holding urine thus increasing various overactive-bladder symptoms. This can initiate this condition.
Causes of temporary incontinence
1. Heart medications, sedatives, blood pressure drugs, and muscle relaxants among others can initiate this bladder issue.
2. Alcohol and caffeine which is a stimulant can cause the urgent need for urination.
3. Various urinary tract infections can also cause this condition, continuous incontinence episodes can be a major sign of urinary tract infections.
4. Excessive production of urine can also cause this condition, this can be caused by primary polydipsia, nephrogenic diabete insipidus, central diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus.
This is one of the most embarrassing conditions, as it can affect an individual’s social life and his hygiene. Urinary incontinence affects both males and females of any age, but is more common with the elderly.
This condition can be treated, so you do not need to suffer the embarrassment for your entire life. This condition can be treated by either surgery or physiotherapy means. A change of diet is necessary and using of various anti-incontinence devices.