Feel like you need to go all the time? You’re not alone
Thursday, August 7 2014 2:42 AM
As we age, trips to the restroom can become more frequent. When we are no longer able to make it to the restroom on time, accidental urinary or bowel leakage can lead to emotional, physical, social and economic stress for many people.
In fact, according to a recent government report, more than 50 percent of seniors living in the U.S. experience some form of incontinence. Older adults receiving home care services reported struggling with bladder and/or bowel control on a regular basis.
Incontinence usually develops as muscles weaken, but conditions like nerve damage or prostate problems can exacerbate the issue. Although incontinence increases with age, it shouldn’t be thought of as an inevitable part of the aging process.
If you are struggling with urinary or bowel incontinence, here are 10 things to keep in mind as you seek support:
- Stress incontinence may happen when you sneeze, laugh or exercise.
- Urge incontinence is the result of a sudden need to go that results in slight leakage.
- Overflow incontinence is a slight amount of dribbling because the bladder hasn’t been completely emptied.
- Functional incontinence occurs when a physical or mental challenge (like a tumor or a stroke) make it difficult for you to go as needed.
- Diet and medication can lead to temporary incontinence. Check with your doctor to see if a medication switch might alleviate the problem.
- Urinary tract infections can irritate the bladder and force you into the restroom more than you’d like.
- Menopause changes the amount of estrogen produced. Estrogen helps maintain a healthy bladder lining, so you might be experiencing a hormonal imbalance.
- An enlarged prostate, prostate cancer or prostate canter treatments can lead to an increased need to urinate.
- Uncertainty as you seek help is understandable, but a physical checkup can lead to treatment or even help in finding a more serious problem.
- Treatment in the form or exercise, drugs or training is available. Although incontinence can limit your activities of daily living, there are solutions for managing this challenge.
Click here to learn more about the services available from the Good Samaritan Society.
Visit the Mayo Clinic online for more information. Statistics from the Center for Disease Control also contributed to this article.
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