Incontinence can be an uncomfortable subject to discuss, but it doesn’t have to be.
Dealing with incontinence (aka bladder leakage) is NOT a problem that ONLY affects women…
While it is certainly more commonly thought of as something women deal with, men can also suffer from it.
This can cause pain and significant physical discomfort, and the pain is so severe that up to half of affected men seek out medical help soon after they start noticing symptoms. Incontinence can range in severity, but men should be aware that it is an issue they can face, too.
When it comes to a bodily issue, such as dealing with incontinence, the key is to catch any warning signs as soon as possible.
Dealing with Incontinence – Warning Signs
- bladder leakage, especially when coughing or sneezing
- being unable to make it to the bathroom in time
- waking up at night due to needing to go
- and/or difficulty starting and stopping urine stream
These signs may be mild yet can progress if left untreated, so don’t delay, don’t resort to dealing with incontinence on your own. Heavily consider making an appointment with a medical professional — there are effective treatments that can help you get back control over your life (and bladder) again! Asking for medical advice will ensure the best treatments available are explored as quickly as possible to bring an end to pain, suffering and potentially,
There are several pain-free forms of incontinence that one can suffer from – each with its own particular causes and treatments. However, each type of incontinence can potentially lead to pain, as well as embarrassment, if an individual does not seek proper medical attention and treatment. embarrassment.
But keep this fact in mind…
You’re not alone!
The statistics related to incontinence among women are quite staggering: over 50% of women over the age of 20 have to deal with the pain and frustration that comes with this condition.
While many associate urine incontinence with either postpartum women or the elderly, it’s affecting people of all ages and often feels like a burden no matter the circumstance.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to feel helpless when faced with something as unwieldy as urinary incontinence, but if you do seek help and support, it can make a world of difference.
The Four Types of Incontinence
Oftentimes caused by weakened pelvic muscles or nerve damage, incontinence is the accidental or involuntary release of urine or stool. Depending on the severity and underlying cause, there are actually a few different types of incontinence.
- Stress incontinence happens when pressure is placed on the bladder, such as through physical activity, or your body experiences a rush of adrenaline when laughing, coughing, jumping, etc., resulting in possible leakage due to lack of muscle control over your bladder. It’s typically associated with pregnancy or menopause.
- Urge incontinence arises from an overactive bladder which makes you feel the sudden urge to go without warning, often highly frequent, even though there may only be a small amount in the bladder.
- Overflow incontinence captures cases where one experiences leaking due to an inability to empty the bladder completely. This could be caused by certain medications or from nerve damage connected to diabetes.
- The least common type of incontinence is functional which occurs when physical limitations make it difficult for an individual to reach a toilet in time.
Incontinence can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable experience, but pain doesn’t always have to be part of the equation. In fact, there are different types of incontinence that don’t involve pain at all!
The Marvelous Bladder
The bladder is a marvelous body organ whose main function is to store waste in the form of urine. It can hold as much liquid as two cups, expanding and contracting like an accordion to accommodate fluctuations in volume.
One fascinating fact about the bladder is its pain receptors, which activate if it gets too full or if there’s pain due to infection or inflammation. Its pain receptors help us distinguish between an intense need for the bathroom and discomfort that requires medical attention.
The truly inventive design of the bladder shows that nature’s solutions are often simpler than we might expect.
What you can do?
Experiencing pain when you laugh, sneeze, or cough is no fun! Unfortunately, bladder leakage is a common reality for many individuals.
Bladder leakage generally results from weakened pelvic floor muscles due to childbirth, aging, or other physical activity or surgery.
The good news is that there are several strategies available to help strengthen these muscles, lessen pain, and effectively manage the problem.
- Strengthening exercises using yoga poses, kegel exercises, pilates classes, and more
- paying attention to what you eat and drink
- exercising regularly
- doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen affected muscles
These are all great approaches that can work together to stop bladder leakage and pain in its tracks. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process either: for instance, simply contracting the pelvic floor muscles for three seconds, then releasing them will do the trick.
- Eating acidic foods or those known to irritate your bladder can be a major cause of bladder leakage, so try cutting back on them if you notice seasonality or regular bladder issues.
- Drinking enough water and getting enough exercise can help stabilize bladder control.
- Talking to your doctor about medications that may be helpful in keeping leaks minimized further.
Bladder leakage can be a pain – both literally and figuratively. As embarrassing as it is, it’s actually quite common, so you’re not alone in dealing with it! It’s easier than ever these days to tackle this issue head-on; rest assured you’re not without options!
Foods and Supplements that can help
Foods like bananas and oatmeal are high in potassium and fiber, respectively, helping to normalize your digestion and prevent accidents.
Supplements like flaxseed oil have also been found to decrease episodes of incontinence as they reduce inflammation within the bladder.
Btw, “holding it” isn’t good for your bladder…
The topic of “holding it” when you really need to use the restroom might seem like a silly question, but there actually could be some implications in doing so.
While it’s often seen as merely an inconvenience if you have to run to the restroom, forcing yourself not to go when your body is telling you otherwise can have consequences – especially when done frequently or for long periods of time.
Scenarios like these can possibly increase bladder pressure, which then leads to potential urinary infections and further complications.
So overall, do yourself a favor and heed your body’s call – you’ll thank yourself later!
AND… what’s up with…
The Sound of Running Water?
Water running is an interesting phenomenon that seems to trigger a powerful response in the human body…
That sound does indeed have a distinct effect, particularly on the bladder.
It’s a strange phenomenon that has plagued mankind since the invention of running water.
The truth is, our brains are wired in such a way that the sound of running water immediately triggers the need to urinate.
This effect is believed to have originated as a survival mechanism for early humans; instinctually associating running water with accessible drinking supplies, so urgency was triggered whenever nearby bodies of water were found to ensure that it was not missed if opportunities arose.
To this day, we still possess this primitive reflex – except we no longer have wild streams and rivers to enjoy, meaning this response is almost exclusively triggered when we hear the sound of faucets, or showers, which explains why stepping into one can make us rush.
While we can’t pinpoint why that is, scientific research points to pain aversion theory. This pain aversion theory suggests that the sound of running water triggers an instinctive fear of pain in humans, as it may relate to an event happening in the past such as pain associated with a house fire or flood incident.
To protect against possible pain, our bodies instinctively tell us we need to respond if we hear that sound. While this isn’t always the most pleasant experience, pain aversion theory helps explain why the sound of water makes us feel the urge to find a bathroom quickly!
Okay well, dealing with incontinence was probably not a subject you were expecting, right?! Or was it?
Learning about nutrition to overcome biological, physical and mental challenges through dietary and lifestyle changes are what we are all about. I hope you will explore more topics with us. In fact, why don’t you start at the beginning and get a fuller picture?