What Causes Incontinence – And What You Can Do About It

Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control isn’t a disease, but a symptom of something else that’s happening in your body. It could be caused by your habits, certain medical conditions or physical disabilities.

It’s an embarrassing problem if you can’t make it to the bathroom in time and either leak urine or have sudden urges that cause you to run to the toilet. Often, the urge is so strong that you don’t get there in time.

When urinary incontinence begins to affect your daily lifestyle, it’s time to see the doctor to receive a diagnosis and get help with whatever condition you have. Sometimes, you can make simple lifestyle adjustments to completely stop or alleviate the condition.

There are many possible causes for urinary incontinence – and just as many treatments – ranging from losing weight to bladder exercises. You need to know the most common causes of urinary incontinence, how they may be diagnosed and what you can do about treatment or managing the problem.

Causes and Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

You may experience urinary incontinence on a temporary basis from drinking too much alcohol, caffeine, decaffeinated or carbonated drinks. Artificial sweeteners and corn syrup or foods high in sugar or acids (predominately citrus fruits) may also contribute to incontinence.

If you have a medical problem for which you have to take sedatives, heart and blood pressure prescriptions and muscle relaxants or large amounts of vitamins B and C, you could also experience incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is usually divided into three categories – stress, urge and overflow. Stress incontinence is when you lose urine involuntarily when you sneeze, cough or lift something heavy.

Urge incontinence is classified as an involuntary and overpowering urge to urinate and overflow incontinence is when you urinate frequently and may dribble urine involuntarily. Persistent urinary incontinence indicates a more serious problem and should be treated by a physician.

Some incontinence problems such as a urinary tract infection are easily treatable. An infection in the urinary tract causes strong compulsions to run to the bathroom with little time between episodes.

You may also experience burning and itching sensations in the genital area and your urine may emanate a strong, unpleasant odor if you have an infection. If you’re constipated, you may have temporary incontinence because of the rectum’s close location to the bladder.

When your stool is compacted or hard, the nerves in that area of the body work overtime and can increase the need for frequent urination. Persistent urinary incontinence may also be caused by a pregnancy and the increasing weight of the uterus.

After childbirth, you may also experience incontinence problems if you muscles were weakened or the nerves in the bladder or tissues surrounding the bladder were damaged.

A prolapsed pelvic floor may also be a result of pregnancy and causes the bladder, rectum, small intestine or uterus to push into the vagina, which can also cause incontinence.

An aging bladder, menopause, certain surgeries such as a hysterectomy, enlarged prostate in men and prostate cancer in some men may be a reason for incontinence problems.

Tumors may also block the flow of urine and cause overflow incontinence and urinary stones may cause leakage. Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and a brain or spinal problem is often the cause of incontinence in both men and women.

You may be at risk for urinary incontinence if you’re overweight as the extra pressure of weight on your bladder may weaken the muscles around it. If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to suffer from stress incontinence caused by childbirth, pregnancy or menopause and men may experience incontinence through prostate gland issues.

As we age, the muscles in and surrounding the bladder and urethra tend to lose elasticity causing you to experience involuntary bouts of incontinence. Your bladder simply can contain as much urine as it did before.

Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause for incontinence and increases the sensitivity of your bladder. If you’ve inadvertently gained weight with diabetes, the extra pounds may contribute to urinary incontinence.

Chronic urinary incontinence may be manifested by frequent urinary tract infections, rashes and other skin problems from being constantly damp in the genital area. You may also experience profound and negative changes in your person life including work, social activity and relationships.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re experiencing urinary incontinence. Help can be found if you know the cause. Urologists specialize in urinary tract disorders or, if you’re a woman, consult with your gynecologist.

There are also some alternative methods of treating and managing urinary incontinence. You can pick and choose which solutions work best for your body and needs.

Learn more about your health online when you read the rest of our information here about: Incontinence- free online health guide and also download the free health report available there!

Warren Tattersall has been a full time nutritional consultant for over a decade and works with people all over the world to help them improve their health, increase their personal energy levels and to use supplements to assist with diet related health issues.

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