Urinary incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of urine or bladder control. While it is very common, especially in women, urinary incontinence can lead to self-consciousness and humiliation. Bladder incontinence can be treated, however, before your doctor can recommend an effective treatment option, they need to diagnose the cause. Here are some causes of both short-term urinary incontinence and permanent causes.
Temporary urinary incontinence may be the result of consuming too much caffeine, blood pressure medications known as diuretics, dietary supplements that irritate the bladder such as vitamin C, excessive alcohol intake, and spicy foods. Other causes of short-term urinary incontinence include certain pain medications that relax the bladder and urinary tract infections.
Pregnancy is also another temporary cause of bladder incontinence. It can cause accidental loss of urine in a couple of different ways. In early pregnancy, hormones may be responsible for frequent urination and incontinence, however, in later pregnancy, incontinence may be caused by the uterus putting pressure on the bladder.
Avoiding or lowering the dosage of the medications responsible for incontinence can resolve your bladder problem, however, do not stop taking your prescribed medications until you discuss it with the prescribing physician. Resolution of your urinary tract infection and limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol may also help prevent urinary incontinence.
If you experience incontinence on a regular basis, your bladder problems may be the result of a neurological disorder such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. While certain medications and even physical therapy can help reduce the number of incontinence episodes you have throughout the day, incontinence related to neurological diseases may be permanent and difficult to manage.
Menopausal women may experience persistent and permanent urinary incontinence as a result of low estrogen stores. When this happens, the bladder and surrounding structures can lose muscle tone, leading to bladder prolapse and involuntary urine loss.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate gland) and prostate cancer can also cause urinary incontinence. Not only can these disorders cause obstructive urinary incontinence, but their treatments can also cause involuntary loss of urine in some patients.
If you experience loss of bladder control, make an appointment with your primary care doctor for a checkup. If your physical examination does not reveal the reason for your incontinence, your family physician may refer you to a urologist. Once your incontinence is well-managed, you will feel more confident going out in public and you will enjoy participating in social situations more.
For more info about urinary incontinence, contact a local doctor.
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