URINARY INCONTINENCE A Silent Disease
Urinary incontinence (UI) defined by the International Incontinence Society as “patient manifestation of urine leakage” is a very important medical and social problem for the person who suffers from it, with an increasing prevalence due to aging and greater population survival in developed countries.
It is a silent disease, which is usually hidden for cultural and social reasons, so although we know very reliable epidemiological data, it is much more frequent than the official data provide us.
In Spain, a well-designed epidemiological study (EPICC study) was carried out and supported by the Spanish Urology Association (Actas Urol Esp. 2009; 33 (2): 159-166).
The prevalence of URINARY INCONTINENCE in Spain is:
- close to 10% in women between 25 and 64 years old,
- it is around 5% in men between 50 and 65 years old
- it is superior to 50% in people over 65 years of both sexes.
Figures similar to the studies published in countries of our environment and level of development.
UI is not a life-threatening process for the patient, but it significantly impairs patients’ quality of life, limits their autonomy and reduces their self-esteem.
The impact of health-related quality of life (HRQL) on UI may even be greater than that caused by some chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Patients admitted to institutions for the elderly, etc., particularly women, represent a particular group of high UI prevalence, around 60%, with urinary incontinence being one of the major problems for the care of these people and the greater cause of reentry.
Causes of Incontinence
Incontinence can happen for many reasons. For example, urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, constipation, and some medicines can cause bladder control problems that last a short time. When incontinence lasts longer, it may be due to:
- Weak bladder muscles
- Overactive bladder muscles
- Damage to nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
- Blockage from an enlarged prostate in men
- Diseases such as arthritis that may make it difficult to get to the bathroom in time
The body stores urine in the bladder.
During urination, muscles in the bladder tighten to move urine into a tube called the urethra.
At the same time, the muscles around the urethra relax and let the urine pass out of the body. Incontinence typically occurs if the muscles relax without warning.
The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor.
He or she will give you a physical exam and take your medical history.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and the medicines you use. He or she will want to know if you have been sick recently or had surgery. Your doctor also may do a number of tests. These might include:
- Urine and blood tests
- Tests that measure how well you empty your bladder
- In addition, your doctor may ask you to keep a daily diary of when you urinate and when you leak urine.
- Your family doctor may also send you to an urologist, a doctor who specializes in urinary tract problems.
Types of Incontinence
There are different types of incontinence:
Occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, for example, during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. It’s the most common type of bladder control problem in younger and middle-age women. It may begin around the time of menopause.
Happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and aren’t able to hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. It may be a problem for people who have diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
Happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. A man can have trouble emptying his bladder if an enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra. Diabetes and spinal cord injury can also cause this type of incontinence.
Occurs in many older people who have normal bladder control. They just have a problem getting to the toilet because of arthritis or other disorders that make it hard to move quickly.
Urinary Incontinence WOMEN…
Today, there are more treatments for urinary incontinence than ever before.
The choice of treatment depends on the type of bladder control problem you have, how serious it is, and what best fits your lifestyle. As a general rule, the simplest and safest treatments should be tried first.
Bladder control training may help you get better control of your bladder. Your doctor may suggest you try the following:
- Pelvic muscle exercises (also known as Kegel exercises) work the muscles that you use to stop urinating. Making these muscles stronger helps you hold urine in your bladder longer.
- Biofeedback uses sensors to make you aware of signals from your body. This may help you regain control over the muscles in your bladder and urethra. Biofeedback can be helpful when learning pelvic muscle exercises.
- Timed voiding may help you control your bladder. In timed voiding, you urinate on a set schedule, for example, every hour. You can slowly extend the time between bathroom trips. When timed voiding is combined with biofeedback and pelvic muscle exercises, you may find it easier to control urge and overflow incontinence.
- Lifestyle changes may help with incontinence. You may benefit from: losing weight, quitting smoking, saying “no” to alcohol, drinking less caffeine (found in coffee, tea, and many sodas), preventing constipation, and avoiding lifting heavy objects.
Urinary Incontinence and ORTOHISPANIA:
It can be so discreet that the affected person tolerates this problem without consulting his/herdoctor even if it is intense enough to require the use of pads or swabs.
This problem has an impact on the social life of the patient.
Which may try to avoid any social relationship for fear of being discovered by the smell of urine, which can cause stress or anxiety or lead to depression.
At ORTOHISPANIA we have a wide range of technical aid products for incontinence from some of the better known suppliers…Ugari, DPM, Garcia 1880, Ubio,…You can take at these in our Tienda- On-line/Incontinencia