As we age we may begin to experience bladder issues whether age-related or not. it’s good to know medication for bladder control is readily available in many different forms, depending on the type of bladder control issue being experienced. Bladder control or Urinary incontinence is as common as it is embarrassing, ranging in severity from occasion leaks to sudden and strong urges to urinate.
Types Of Bladder Control Issues
Although it’s commonly associated with aging urinary incontinence is not an inevitability so if you are seeing bladder control issues there are ways to address the issue. Generally speaking, bladder control issues come in five flavors known as Stress, Urge, Overflow, Functional, and Mixed. let’s take a look.
Stress incontinence affects the sufferer when pressure is exerted on the bladder by sneezing, coughing, laughing, or exercising. Urge incontinence is generally caused by infection that affects the sufferer with a sudden urge to urinate followed by involuntary urination. Overflow incontinence is when the sufferer experiences a constant dribble effect. Functional incontinence is when the sufferer is unable to reach the bathroom due to mental or physical impairment. Mixed incontinence as the name suggests means the sufferer experiences more than one flavor of incontinence.
Cause Of Bladder Control Issues
The cause of urinary incontinence can vary as it in itself is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying issue whether that is a physical illness, lifestyle, or habit related causes. Examples of habit or lifestyle causes, otherwise known as temporary urinary incontinence, could be the heavy use of diuretics such as alcohol, caffeine, carbonated water, so to foods high spice, sugar, or acid. Medications for heart and blood pressure, and sedatives.
Other examples would be Urinary tract infection or constipation.
Physical conditions are responsible for persistent urinary incontinence, examples being pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy, prostate cancer, or obstruction of some description. An obstruction tumor anywhere along your urinary tract creating a blockage.
Less obvious conditions such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain tumor, spinal injury. Gender is also a key factor as women are more likely to have stress incontinence due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause. And let’s not forget the dangers of smoking which causes so many problems including incontinence.
Finally, we have age, as we get older our muscles in the bladder and urethra weaken and as we put on weight pressure is placed on the bladder and surrounding muscles, allowing urine to escape if we cough, sneeze or laugh.
Symptoms Of Bladder Control Issues
Symptoms of poor bladder control include leaking urine during everyday activities when lifting, bending, coughing, sneezing, or exercising. Sufferers can also have a sudden and overwhelming urge to urinate right away followed by urination. Other times leaking can occur without any warning or urge to urinate meaning no time to reach the bathroom. Some sufferers urinate in bed during sleep.
Exercises For Bladder Control
Learning how to control bladder leakage by exercising the pelvic floor muscle exercises, carrying out Kegel exercises is one of the best ways to improve and maintain bowel and bladder functions. The exercises can be done by men or women to increase the strength of your pelvic floor and to improve or even eliminate bladder leakage.
First, find the right muscles. If you imagine wanting to urinate and then hold it you have got the right muscle. Now relax and tighten the muscles and repeat. So next time you want to urinate, start going then stop. Feel the muscles in your vagina (for women), bladder or anus get tight and move up. These are your pelvic floor muscles. If you feel them tighten up, you have done the exercise right. Thighs, buttock muscles, and abdomen should remain relaxed.
Treatments For Bladder Control
We have learned a little about how to control bladder leakage, so, if you have cut down on your alcohol and caffeine, you have been exercising your pelvic floor muscles but you are still suffering from leakage then maybe it’s time to consider looking at medication.
There are medications available for sudden intense urges and leakage, but there are fewer available for those who leak due to coughing, sneezing or heavy lifting etc…
Let’s take a look at the most commonly prescribed medication for bladder control and its possible side effects.
This family of medication includes Oxybutynin, Tolterodine, Darifenacin, Solifenacin, Trospium, Fesoterodine which usually came as a pill but Oxybutynin is also available as a cream or patch.
Ongoing treatment will take up to 12 weeks before symptoms begin to improve, and possible side effects include dry mouth and constipation. Other less common side effects could be heartburn, blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, flushed skin, urinary retention, or impaired memory and confusion.
Mirabegron can be used to treat certain types of urinary incontinence by relaxing the bladder muscle which increases the volume of urine the bladder can hold, and increase the amount of urine released.
This medication can interact with other medications so please speak to your caregiver before using this product. It can also increase blood pressure which needs monitoring while using the drug, which can also have possible side effects including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, and headaches.
Onabotulinumtoxin type A (Botox)
This treatment uses botox injections to paralyze the bladder muscle to help people suffering from overactive bladder.
Side effects may increase urinary tract infections and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of adverse reactions including respiratory arrest and death may occur after the use of Botox for both approved and unapproved uses.
Used to in the treatment mixed incontinence which is a combination of urge and stress incontinence this works by relaxing the bladder muscle while causing the muscles at the bladder neck to contract. As it can cause sleepiness it is best taken at night so it’s useful for nighttime incontinence, so helpful for bet wetting children and not such a good fit for older adults.
Side effects although rare can include cardiovascular problems, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness or fainting from reduced blood pressure.
Supplements For Bladder Control
For those wanting a natural way to reduce or resolve incontinence using supplements Confitrol24™ is clinically tested and shown to reduce daytime urinary frequency, nighttime urination, bladder accidents and need to wear incontinence pads, and suitable for men and women.
This product promotes urinary tract health and anti-aging effects on the bladder.
Developed by doctors using only high-quality natural ingredients and clinically proven, the active ingredient called Urox® is shown to reduce nighttime urination by 50%, reducing the embarrassment, discomfort among its users.
The Take Away
Prevention is always better than cure so it’s always best to aim for avoiding urinary incontinence if possible, by practicing pelvic floor exercises, reducing bladder irritants such as caffeine, alcohol and acidic foods, maintain a healthy weight by eating more fiber, which can prevent constipation, a cause of urinary incontinence. It should go without says, don’t smoke either.
With this in mind, it may not be possible to avoid urinary incontinence so you should investigate if medication is the way forward, or if a natural supplement might be the best option for you. Of course, if you have any questions approach your health care provider for advice.
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