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Incontinence: Myths Exposed, and Helpful Tips

Aug 17, 2007
What exactly is incontinence?

Incontinence is an apparent loss of the body's ability to control fecal or urinal activity. People suffering from fecal incontinence are unable to control bowel movements, and are unable to keep the stool from involuntary escaping from their anus or urine drawing involuntarily from their bladder. Likewise, people suffering from urinary incontinence are unable to control the flow of urine from their bladder. This results to unexpected wetting and may expose one to ridicule.

Perhaps, as you reach old age, the idea of losing your control over urination, and defecation is starting to grow. It is a fact that the body loses its biological jurisdiction which allows control over bowel and urological movements upon reaching the post retirement stage. Research shows, however, that people of all ages suffer from this discomforting condition. It was previously thought that only unhealthy and older individuals, usually in the retirement age, are only afflicted with this condition, but that is just a myth. Incontinence can affect people their entire lives, or as young as 40. With extensive study, the facts and figures about incontinence are starting to unveil, providing more and probable causes on its onset, accompanying symptoms, and progression of incontinence, with fecal incontinence is the most frequent problem


- This can't happen to me

Approximately 2.2 to 6.9 percent of the general population is afflicted with this unmanageable fecal and urological status. The United States records 5.5 percent of the population is affected by incontinence.

- Incontinence only affects men

Although men constitute a greater number of individuals suffering from fecal incontinence, patients with urinary incontinence are mostly women

- Incontinence only affects the elderly

In hospitals, 45 to 47 percent of patients suffer symptoms related to at least one form of incontinence, regardless of their age. Incontinence can affect anyone, regardless of age, from a variety of causes.

What causes incontinence?

-Damage or injury to the sphincter (a part of the intestine).
-Giving birth (obstetrical trauma)
-Frequent or habitual urinary retention
-Urinary infection
-Muscular atrophy
-Normal sexual activity

Tips on living with incontinence:

People with this condition may find the following tips helpful in the management of incontinence. It should be noted that the advice of a medical professional is critical in the proper management of incontinence.

1. Check your diet

Some foodstuffs trigger and activate uncontrolled bowel or urinary activity. Food high in fat, and containing sugar that is poorly digested by the intestine causes intestinal discomfort and cramps thereby causing induced diarrhea or uncontrolled bowel and urine leak.

Some induces excessive gas production upon digestion causing a small amount of bowel to pass through the anus involuntarily (flatus) with accompanying fecal matter in it and urine flow.

2. Check your medications

Other forms of incontinence are caused either by a certain medical infirmity or a result of taking specific medication for a certain illness.

Diuretic drugs, and sedatives for example, may cause temporary urinary incontinence. Tranquilizers may also relax the muscles making up the entire bladder and may cause uncontrolled urination.

3. Stay hydrated

Certain behaviors account for the onset of urinary incontinence. People exhibiting early symptoms of this condition should not be withheld from taking fluids for the purpose of controlling wetting. This action contradicts the purpose of treating the disorder dehydration gives microorganisms the chance to multiply along the length of the canal where urine passes through, and out to the sex organ's opening. If this happens, various urinary tract infections will result and may cause the probability of bladder infection.

4. Avoid psychological Stress

Incontinence is mostly seen for people who are mentally excited. This mental stimulation is brought about by various activities such as laughing, anger, or sudden surprise.

5. Never hold your urine for too long

Holding your urine too long until it becomes unbearable can cause incontinence.

6. Expect the unexpected

Planning ahead of time will save you from the process. If you are suffering from frequent episodes of bowel or urinary incontinence, you may want to keep a portable commode or urinal to serve you whenever it strikes.

7. Get a physical regularly

The help of a professional medical doctor provides you with vital information and recommendations in the evaluation of your condition.

While the above tips are useful for the general population, the range of severity of this condition may vary from person to person and treatment with the help of a medical expert is essential to tailor individualize treatment.
About the Author
For more great incontinence related articles and resources check out http://incontinence.goldenhq.com
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