Dec 6th, 2011 | By | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Urinary Incontinence Explained

There are roughly 13 million Americans who suffer from urinary incontinence, and one in five individuals over the age of forty suffer from an overactive bladder or frequency symptoms, which results in involuntary leaking of urine. This condition affects people at any age but is more common among older adults.

Urinary incontinence can occur in people who have spinal conditions and other neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis. A weak bladder can cause urinary incontinence, so it is good idea to always exercise and choose an activity that lets you use your legs. Symptoms of a weak bladder could include less energy to do what you want throughout the day, inability to drink large quantities of water without running to the bathroom and, for senior men, a harder time getting an erection.

Urinary Incontinence takes several forms:

  • Urge Incontinence: Seniors with urge incontinence experience involuntary contractions of their bladder that cause difficulties in stopping their urine.
  • Stress Incontinence: Occurs when abdominal pressure overcomes the closing pressure of the bladder.
  • Overflow incontinence is the rarest form of UI. This is caused by bladders that are unable to contract or have very weak contractions.
  • Functional Incontinence comes next where seniors are unable to reach the bathroom in time. The individual cannot plan to go to the bathroom but they can still feel they have to control their urine.
  • Mixed incontinence is a generic diagnosis that includes two or more types of incontinence.

New Treatment Recently Approved

Recently, the FDA has approved Botox as a treatment for urinary incontinence in people with neurological conditions like Multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury only. Botox is injected into the bladder to provide increase for storage capacity and decrease in incontinence. Injection is performed though the use of cystoscopy.  Cystoscopy is a medical procedure described here.

Botox was proven to be effective as a treatment for this condition in studies which involved 691 patients that had urinary incontinence that resulted from spinal cord injury. Patients have shown significant decreases in the frequency of incontinence in the Botox group vs. the placebo. Read more from The FDA News ReleaseAs always, be sure to consult with your primary care physician for medical advice related to your unique health conditions to determine the best treatment for your urinary incompetence.

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