Today, we’re talking about incontinence. I have a wonderful guest post by James Trotter. James Trotter is a marketing assistant for HARTMANN Direct. HARTMANN Direct are specialist suppliers of incontinence products. For more information on HARTMANN Direct, please visit their website.
Urinary stress incontinence is when urine is released involuntarily. You may find this happens during exercise, or when you laugh, cough or sneeze.
Although it is often made light of and the butt of many jokes, it is an embarrassing problem and one that people who suffer from it are conscious of. This is why they will often use incontinence pads; these pads are available for light incontinence, to pants that offer all round protection.
And yet, with a few simple changes, you can reduce the problems associated with stress incontinence. In some cases, the condition can be eliminated completely.
It is the most common type of incontinence, especially in women. It can affect both genders, however, and can be an issue at any age.
Tip 1 – Understand why stress incontinence happens
The first step in managing, controlling, reducing and eliminating stress incontinence is understanding what it is.
It occurs when the pelvic muscles that control the release of urine weaken. These muscles can become weaker as we age, but can also suffer damage or changes to it during pregnancy, childbirth and so on.
Tip 2 – Understand how your overall health impact on stress incontinence
There are times when illness or medication can impact on the incidences of stress incontinence. For example, many people find that once they tackle the following, their incontinence improved immensely:
• Urinary tract infections – known as UTIs, when you have an infection of this kind, it can make incontinence worse
• Obesity – being overweight is known to place extra pressure on the abdomen and the organs contained within it; losing weight may help if you feel it does have an impact
• Frequent coughing – people who smoke or those who suffer from bouts of coughing may find that the pressure of coughing causes them to involuntarily leak urine
• Some medications – some medications work by increasing urine output and this can lead to the patient needing to manage incontinence
• Diabetes, Parkinson’s and other illnesses and diseases – some illnesses can cause the loss of control of muscles and nerves, leading in some cases, to urinary incontinence.
Tip 3 – Seek treatment
Stress incontinence can be seen as ‘funny’ or, as in many cases, many women and men keep their stress incontinence a secret. Likewise, some people believe that it is an inevitable part of aging and that some people suffer from it, whilst others do not.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who are incontinent can be treated successfully and that there is no need to suffer in silence.
Tip4 – Finding out more about your stress incontinence
Some GPS will work with patients directly with incontinence whilst others may take the opportunity to refer to a specialist incontinence nurse or clinic.
There are various tests, all of which provide useful information and none are painful nor invasive:
• Urine sample – many GPS will check for urinary tract infections as a matter of routine
• Post-void residual test – also known as a PVR test, this quick scan shows how much urine is left in the bladder after visiting the bathroom
• Cystometry test – this test measures the pressure in your bladder and also measures the flow of urine
• X-rays with a special dye – this can show any abnormalities in the urinary tract.
Lowering the risk in stress incontinence
Maintaining a good pelvic floor is tantamount in maintaining control over your bladder and muscles as you age.
Opting for ‘clench and release’ pelvic floor muscles exercises, help to keep the muscles strong and can be performed at any time of the day, whether you are sitting at your desk, in your car or shopping.
Some lifestyle changes can help too, such as not drinking as much coffee or tea, cutting back on alcohol and so on. It is not a problem to be ashamed of and in many cases, can be manageable if not eliminated completely.
HARTMANN Direct supply a range of incontinence product to private customers and healthcare professionals. As well as pads and pants, they can also provide other products that make managing urinary and bowel incontinence easier.