Those who suffer from incontinence can have difficulty travelling or planning holidays. This is, unfortunately as common concern with many people across Australia and around the world. Being in an unfamiliar environment, especially one that may have limited bathrooms or restrictions on when they can be used. As a result, this can create anxiety in anyone who has trouble with bladder control. Holistic Incontinence have the following list of 4 tips to travel confidently with incontinence.
Preparation is everything. Being comfortable in the knowledge that you have some backups in place is important. As a result it is recommended you think ahead about your trip and what you might need. How are you travelling? By car or flying? Each option presents its own challenges for those with incontinence.
If you are flying, plan and book ahead to grab an aisle seat where possible. This will give you easier access to bathrooms. Further, plan your route with designated bathroom stops so you are never too long without a break.
Further, there are actual resources to help you plan for your trip and deal with incontinence. In fact, Australia has a national public toilet map, which is a great online or downloadable resource. This map lists the information of over 16,000 publicly available toilets around Australia.
It is important, when packing for your holiday, to consider what you use on a daily basis to manage your incontinence. Be sure to always pack plenty of supplies or stock up, bring extra clothing, and extra absorbent protection or medication before leaving home.
Further, you never know when your travel plans may change. Whether it is due to a cancelled flight or a weather delay, you don’t ever want to be stuck without your incontinence management products.
Finally, if you’re staying with family, consider if you need to bring bedding protection. Waterproof pads can be the perfect item to bring with you, as well as laundry detergent or plastic bags. Planning ahead keeps you one step ahead of the game. As a result, you will have peace of mind no matter what your travels throw at you.
This is always a point where people differ. Some recommend you also limit your fluids, where safe and appropriate. Drink enough so you aren’t thirsty but don’t down a lot of fluid before you jump in a car or on a plane. If you use common sense while planning your trip, you will feel more comfortable and relaxed.
On the other hand, others warn against being tempted o reduce fluid intake. They argue that this does not reduce the risk of leakage. Instead, people recommend you choose your fluid wisely. It is important to avoid natural diuretics and bladder irritant, like caffeine. You should also ensure you drink plenty of water each day, not just on travelling days. By avoiding fluid intake you will reduce your bladder’s capacity and increase bladder sensitivity.
Travel can be one of the greatest joys of life. It is also, often, a necessity. Help make this time less anxious by planning ahead and creating a travel checklist, or use our one below:
Standing in line and travelling can be frustrating, but when you are suffering from incontinence it can be a nightmare. By planning ahead, you can travel without distress. Do not let incontinence keep you from the dream of travel.
Explore Holistic Incontinence’s range of products today so you, too, can get out and see the world!
For some, urinary incontinence is a temporary problem that is often resolvable. For example, if your incontinence is due to obesity it is easy to solve with weight loss. However chronic urinary incontinence cannot be fully treated. This is due to the fact that chronic incontinence is often linked to nerve damage, impaired control mechanisms, interstitial cystitis, or an inherited abnormality. Today we will discuss how to live with and enjoy life with chronic urinary incontinence.
Unfortunately, certain cognitive or neurological impairments, many of which start at birth, can impact someone’s ability to control of their bowels and/or bladder. This can make toilet management difficult. Further, many people with cognitive or neurological impairments simply do not know how to communicate that they need to use the bathroom, which causes confusion and accidents.
While many of us are aware of when we need to empty our bladder, some people do not or cannot register that their bladder or bowels are full. They might not even feel that their bladder is full.
Further, conditions like cerebral palsy that affect movement and coordination can lead to incontinence. A study into the prevalence, type and impact of urinary problems in those with cerebral palsy found that 45.7% of women claimed they had leakage that occurred 2-3 times per week. In men, incontinence was also reported by 45.7% of men. As a result, the study showed that there are high levels of incontinence in adults with cerebral palsy.
As well as other conditions, multiple sclerosis was also found to cause chronic urinary incontinence. MS damages the nerves that send messages to your muscles, making them difficult to control. Multiple Sclerosis causes scars that develop on the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. As a result specific symptoms depend on which part of the nervous system has been affected. For many, this means the nerves responsible for sending signals to the bladder are damaged.
Unfortunately many people are born with physical birth defects which cause life-long issues with incontinence. Spinal defects and injuries at birth often cause chronic incontinence issues. Neurogenic issues cause problems with nerve tissue, preventing them from stimulating muscle function properly. The brain and spinal cord are the chains of command that send signals to the bladder. Spinal cord injury or conditions like spina bifida do not need to be severe to cause paralysis below the injured spinal level.
Further, something as simple as spinal cord bruising or insufficient blood flow can affect someone’s ability to transfer nerve signals.
Unfortunately, many of these conditions cannot be fixed, leaving many to face life long medical challenges.
Chronic urinary incontinence can be difficult to live with. 70% of people with chronic incontinence admit that their quality of life is severely impacted. However, there are ways to make incontinence manageable and allow you to enjoy life.
It can be incredibly helpful to talk to those in a similar position to you. Finding support groups, societies or clubs, online and offline, can give you a base of support and understanding. Further, through these groups you can find more information to help you navigate your symptoms and issues. It can also give you the opportunity to socialise with others who understand you.
It is important that you are using urinary incontinence products that are both comfortable and absorbent. There are a wide variety of item available now for incontinence. These include pull up pants, pads and other incontinence wear. However, these products need a close fit to ensure leakage does not escape. You should also consider what material feels more comfortable, how discreet your incontinence wear needs to be, and what to use in the case of sensitive skin.
It is important to find yourself entertainment and hobbies that take your focus off your incontinence. From watching films you love to listening to calming music, to crafting, there is a wide range of activities that are both absorbing and distracting.
It is also vital that you spend time around positive people. These should be people who you can talk to about your problems with continence. If you attend to school or university and suffer from incontinence, it is important to discuss your problem with teachers and staff. They can ensure you are able to work around your incontinence issues without concerns or stigma.
Chronic incontinence does not have to take over your life. With proper management and products, many people find they are able to enjoy life normally. If you suffer from severe incontinence, Holistic Incontinence carries many products to make life easier for you. Explore our range today!
1 in 3 new mothers develop urinary incontinence. However, due to the taboo that still remains around incontinence, the condition remains frequently overlooked part of maternal morbidity. Further, many incontinent women feel ashamed in their body. Around 7 million women around the world have some form or degree of urinary incontinence.
Many are also too embarrassed to seek help, leaving the issue as a hidden societal and medical concern. Finally, more than a third of women who experience urinary or faecal incontinence are too ashamed to tell their partners. But it is important that women no longer suffer in silence.
Pregnancy dramatically changes the human body. As a result, many women have lingering issues which persist long after childbirth. The pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, bowel and uterus in women can be drastically weakened due to the weight of a baby during pregnancy and giving birth.
Further as the uterus shrinks in size after delivery it rests directly on the bladder. As a result, it is more difficult for the pelvic floor to function. Women who have had a spinal block or epidural can also experience incontinence due to the nerves around and inside the bladder feeling numb.
As a result, some women find they have little or no control over their bladder. In fact, it can be difficult to even tell when they need to use the bathroom.
Research has uncovered a number of specific risk factors which cause postnatal incontinence. These include:
There are a number of ways that you can improve or regain bladder control after pregnancy.
Exercising the pelvic floor muscles can help regain bladder control. Pelvic floor exercise can help to gradually strengthen your pelvic floor. You can start exercises as soon as you feel comfortable after having a baby.
It is important to remember that you may not be able to feel your pelvic floor at first. This is due to the fact that the nerves in that area have been stretched during delivery. So don’t worry if you can’t feel anything happening at first, you are still doing yourself and your body some good.
Researchers estimate that each increase in BMI is associated with an incontinence risk of 50%. Further, there is evidence to suggest that those who have been overweight for longer, or since early adulthood, more than double their risk of incontinence. With more weight gain, more stress is placed on the pelvic floor. Further, there are strong correlations between intra-abdominal pressure, intravesical pressure and BMI.
As a result, this suggests that obesity may cause a chronic state of increased pressure. A higher BMI also causes mechanical stress on the urogenital tissues. While weight gain after childbirth is inevitable, keeping weight gain moderate can help control incontinence after birth.
It is important that you don’t just settle for using sanitary pads to control urinary incontinence. Although many people feel embarrassed about finding incontinence products, they are far more efficient. They can also prevent you from having uncomfortable accidents. Further there are many online stores now that cater to incontinence products, allowing discreet purchasing. Explore Holistic Incontinence today to find the right products for you.
Thankfully, there are many ways health professionals can help improve incontinence after childbirth. This includes symptom screening and discussions of healthy bladder habits. Further, learning about muscle techniques can help women prevent symptoms from worsening. Many women do not understand why they have developed incontinence. As a result, education on pelvic floor injuries that can occur during childbirth are important.
Further, some of the risks for postpartum incontinence are treatable and worth investigating. It is important to always talk to your doctor and discuss any concerns you have. Suffering in silence will only prolong your symptoms and any mental health or emotional issues. Talking with your doctor might alleviate many of your fears, including the length of your urinary incontinence and what you can do to improve your symptoms.
For those who require ongoing support, Holistic Incontinence offers a wide range of products to help you manage your symptoms and get one with enjoying life. Explore the range today!
Incontinence pads and products are becoming an incredibly popular hygiene product. However, due to the frustrating social “taboo” that still surrounds incontinence, many people don’t know the best practices for their products and health. So join us today as we discuss how when to change your incontinence pads, incontinence pants and other products.
Incontinence briefs are made very similar to underwear, making them comfortable and often preferable to other incontinence products. However it is important to always change incontinence pants and briefs before they become too wet. This ensures you don’t experience any accidental leakage, no matter how small. Further it is important to remember that wearing wet incontinence briefs for too long can lead to poor skin hygiene and bad odour.
While most incontinence pants and briefs have inbuilt odour control features, recent studies show that odour is still a fear of most consumers. In fact the fears of odour, loneliness and social isolation are key consequences for most incontinence individuals. It is important to remember that incontinence products do feature odour control and that you can also purchase further odour control products for peace of mind.
Wet incontinence briefs or pants are likely to deteriorate more quickly, causing unwanted leakage. Further, reusing incontinence products put you at risk of developing skin conditions, like dermatitis.
If your incontinence pants aren’t absorbent enough, you may need to choose an incontinence product with a high absorbency. You can also add an insert pad for extra security.
If you use incontinence pads it is always advised that you change it often to protect your skin. This means changing your pad around 4-6 times a day.
Change Your Incontinence Pad When It’s Wet
You should always change an incontinence pad when it is wet. You should be wearing a pad that caters to your absorbency needs and most pads come with wetness indicators which will let you know when you need to change your incontinence pad.
Some incontinence pads are designed to only last 3-5 hours. Wearing them for longer leads to poor skin hygiene, bad odours, and uncomfortable fungal and skin conditions. You should change your pad frequently, wet or dry, to prevent your skin becoming irritated which will then lead to chaffing and can irritate underlying conditions like eczema.
If your pad does cause a skin irritation, it is important to treat it properly. First pat down the area with a dry towel to ensure it is entirely dry. Carefully wash the skin to decontaminate it and pat dry again. Then treat it with a protective cream or a similar product that will soothe the pain and heal the skin. Avoid using a thick, barrier cream on the skin as this can rub off and reduce absorption. Further, remember that skin irritations and infections can easily reappear, even if the area seems to have healed. If the irritation seems to be recurring, consult your doctor.
Sleeping, of course, gets in the way of changing your pad every 3-4 hours. For that reason there are pads with higher absorbency that are designed for overnight usage. These are not generally appropriate for use during the day as they are bulkier and, as a result, won’t sit as subtly under your clothing. It is also important to change your overnight pad as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Living with incontinence is already an uncomfortable experience. It is important to ensure you don’t make it worse by causing yourself distress through skin infections and personal health negligence. Protect your skin, keep odours contained and prevent accidental leakage by changing your incontinence pad as recommended. Seek recommendations from your health profession and explore the Holistic Incontinence website today to find the right product for you, your condition and your lifestyle.
And, finally, don’t forget to always treat your skin if it is dry or irritable and change your pads as recommended or as soon as they are wet.
Recently studies have shown that up to 20% of women report having quit their physical activities due to incontinence. Leaking due to exercise is an unfortunate symptom of incontinence, especially when pressure is placed on the bladder. As well as exercise, activities like heavy lifting and coughing can also cause symptoms. However, incontinence shouldn’t limit your ability to participate in activities and exercise. In fact, keeping healthy and exercising actually improve the symptoms of incontinence. So join us today as we discuss the best ways to get you exercising again, despite incontinence.
Panty liners are not going to properly address or contain your incontinence. You need to choose an appropriate incontinence pad to suit your level of leakage. Further, if your incontinence is a new development, it is important to discuss the issue with your doctor to find the cause, and see if anything can be done to improve the condition.
Many people find choosing the right incontinence product daunting. This can be due to embarrassment, uncertainty, and the concerns about what might happen if you wear an unsuitable, unsubtle or bulky product. However, researching for the right style and features for your activities can help you turn your exercise into a confident and relaxed activity!
Not all incontinence products have to be big and bulky! There are many versatile products on sites like Holistic Incontinence, offering pads that are both discreet and comfortable. When exercising, try to choose a pad in a small size but at the right absorption level for you.
The best way to feel comfortable is to feel like your incontinence product is discreet. Modern incontinence products are designed to fit the male or female shape, depending on what you buy. This means they provide maximum security, while allowing your skin to breathe as well as preventing leakage.
When exercising, you want to wear the most breathable material possible. The same is true when you choose incontinence pads for exercising. Not only is it more comfortable but it can help prevent a range of skin health problems associated with dermatitis and other infections.
If you wear incontinence pads on a daily basis, generally those you need a more absorbent version for exercising. For example. If you use a normal absorbency pad during the day, you may need an extra or extra plus for exercising.
Stretching and weakening the pelvic floor increases the risk of bladder and bowel control issues. Further, high impact aerobic and resistance exercises are more likely to place a strong downward strain on the pelvic floor which, over time, stretches and weakens the pelvic floor muscles.
Unless you already have a strong pelvic floor, it is important to avoid high-impact exercises like skipping, running or jumping, or sports that require quick changes of direction. These cause a greater downward force on the bladder, risking leakage and further damage to the pelvic floor. Try swimming, cycling, walking, water aerobic or other low-impact exercises instead.
Further excessive weights or intense abdominal exercises like crunches and lunges can exert too much downward force on the pelvic floor, also causing damage over time. Always ensure you have the appropriate posture, stance and contraction of the pelvic muscles when lifting. Avoid lifting or any exercises that cause strain or cause you to hold your breath. Finally, when doing squats or standing exercises, keep your legs no more than shoulder width apart and avoid deep lunges.
No muscle in your body is meant to be held tightly all the time. This includes out pelvic floor muscles. While it is good to exercise them and squeeze them, but it is also important to let them relax and soften. Too much tightening of the pelvic floor without relaxing can cause excessive tension and pain, causing further issues.
Modern core trainers are simply resurrected, modernised corsets. These days they are promoted for use during exercise to speed up waist-contouring and slimming. Many manufacturers claim that, by compressing the abdomen, a core trainer will “work around the core muscles, pushing them inward to achieve a slimmer waist while stimulating thermal activity, resulting in ramped up perspiration”. However, compressing the abdomen in this way forces the diaphragm high into the chest cavity, and the pelvic floor in the pelvic. This constant pressure puts additional strain on the pelvic floor increase the likelihood of incontinence or the increase in incontinence symptoms.
Explore the Holistic Incontinence range today to find the best incontinence products for your needs!
Incontinence is already a frustrating condition to work with at times. As a result, you want to ensure that you aren’t contributing to worsening your condition. While simple, unavoidable things like sneezing and coughing can bring on an incontinence accident, there are other lifestyle aspects that can affect you’re your incontinence. So join us today as we discuss the top 8 things that may worsen incontinence.
While sneezing and coughing are unavoidable parts of life, allergy season can make incontinence responses worse. Sneezing and coughing can bring on an incontinence reaction, which is something the tens of million who suffer from both allergies and incontinence must keep in mind. Ensure you are always wearing appropriate incontinence protection during allergy season. Also ensure you speak to your doctor about controlling your allergies to prevent or limit the amount of sneezing and coughing you suffer from.
Incontinence can be brought on by drinking too much, too quickly. A full ladder increases the likelihood of incontinence. So ensure you space your fluid intake out throughout the day, and ensure that the majority of your fluid intake is water. This ensures you remain appropriately hydrated without feeling the urge to go to the bathroom constantly. Dehydration can also cause an increase in incontinence, by forcing you to intake an excess of fluid at once, causing incontinence, that then requires you to refill with fluids, creating a vicious cycle.
Alcohol is a well known diuretic. This means it will cause you to produce more liquid. In addition to this, drinking alcohol to the point of being drunk as this will reduce your ability to control your bladder muscles. It is best to aim to drink only one alcoholic drink – or, better yet, less – a day to reduce your risk of incontinence.
Caffeinated drinks, like alcoholic drinks, are diuretics. As a result, you should avoid them when you can. Most coffee and tea based drinks have caffeine in them, but other foods and beverages also contain caffeine – including chocolate milk, chocolate bars, lollies, etc. As a result, you need to work hard to limit your caffeine intake.
Being overweight or obese can affect your incontinence. In fact, being overweight often put pressure on your bladder, weakening the muscles over time. A weak bladder cannot hold as much urine, increasing the likelihood of incontinence.
Bladder control issues can occur for those with long term or chronic constipation. Constipation and straining to have a bowel movement can out stress or pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. This, in turn, weakens the muscles and can cause urinary incontinence or leaking. Further, an unemptied bowel can press down on the bladder, creating the constant urge to urinate or cause involuntary leakage. If you are suffering from constipation, contact your doctor for treatment.
An infection can also increase the rate of incontinence. Infections of the urinary tract and bladder may cause incontinence for a short time or worsen an incontinence condition. Bladder control can return or improve when the infection goes away. It is important, as a result, to always discuss an increase in incontinence or the sudden appearance of incontinence with your doctor in case you are suffering from an infection that can be quickly and easily treated.
Urinary incontinence or an increase in urinary incontinence (if you already suffer from it) can be a side effect of some medications. This is especially true of diuretic medications, also known as “water pills” used to treat heart failure, hypertension, some kidney disease, and liver cirrhosis. The 4 top types of medication linked to urinary incontinence include:
Alpha-adrenergic or alpha blockers used in high blood pressure medications work by dilating blood vessels to reduce blood pressure. However in some people these can also relax the bladder, causing urinary incontinence or increasing urinary incontinence. If you are taking an alpha blocker and are noticing urinary incontinence or an increase in urinary incontinence, it is best to discuss the situation with your doctor. Do not stop your medications without speaking with them first.
Antidepressants are often an integral medication for much of the population. However, in some patients, they can worsen the symptoms of incontinence. Antidepressants can impair the ability of the bladder to contract, worsening overflow incontinence as the bladder cannot empty completely. Other antidepressants may decrease your awareness of the need to use the bathroom. If you feel your antidepressant is worsening your incontinence, it is important to discuss the situation with your doctor. Never stop a medication without speaking to your doctor first.
Also known as “water pills” diuretics work in the kidneys to reduce blood pressure by flushing excess water and salt from the body. It forces the body to make more urine. As a result, it increases the chance of incontinence or worsening an incontinence condition. If you need a diuretic, you often need to stay on it, so it is best to discuss with your doctor the best way to manage your symptoms better.
10% of patients with incontinence actually wet their bed at night. However sleeping pills can pose a problem for those who suffer from incontinence at night. Sleeping pills stop people waking up, even when their bladders are full, making the chance of accidental leakage higher. It is best to try and limit your caffeine and practice healthy sleep habits so you can sleep without the use of sleeping pills where possible. Again, never stop any medication without discussing it with your doctor first.
While it is all too often the butt of a joke, incontinence is not just part of aging or motherhood. And it won’t just go away on its own. Incontinence is incredibly common and affects more than 5 million Australians, women, men and children included. But fewer than 1 in 3 people actually seek help for incontinence.
Incontinence is known as any accidental or involuntary loss of urine from the bladder or bowel motion or wind from the bowel. This can be anything from a small leak to the complete loss of control. However incontinence can be managed, treated and, in some cases, cured.
Urinary incontinence can be associated with a number of causes, including:
Faecal incontinence/loss of bowel control/accidental bowel leakage is associated with a number of causes, including:
As a result it is little wonder that incontinence is a challenge for many Australians of all ages and genders.
Are You Incontinent?
If you’ve come to this blog you might already be suffering from incontinence or wondering if you are. If you are still researching your symptoms, consider these questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is possible you have a bladder or bowel control problem. It is important you discuss the issue with your doctor to get a treatment plan in place so you can manage your condition. Further, treatment is available with lifestyle changes, pelvic floor exercises, medication, surgery and aids including pads, guards and other incontinence aids.
Stress incontinence is defined as leaking small amounts of urine during activities that increase pressure inside the abdomen and push on the bladder. It occurs often when coughing, laughing, sneezing, walking, lifting or playing sport.
A sudden and strong need to urinate is known as Urge Incontinence. It is also referred to as unstable or overactive bladder. More rarely it is known as detrusor instability. The cause of urge incontinence is not fully understood, however it seems more common with age. Symptoms appear worse with stress, caffeine, soft drinks, and alcohol. It is also linked with strokes, Parkinson’s disease, MS, and other health conditions that interfere with the brain’s ability to send messages to the bladder via the spinal cord.
This occurs when the bladder is unable to empty properly and frequent leakage of small amounts of urine occurs as a result. There are several causes for this type of incontinence, including:
This occurs when a person does not recognise the need to go to the toiler or does not recognise where the toiler is. This means they pass urine or faecal matter in inappropriate places. Functional incontinence can be caused by:
If you or a loved one are suffering from incontinence or you suspect incontinence is a problem, seek medical advice. Further, incontinence products are available online for easy – and discreet – purchase for all ages and concerns. Explore Holistic Incontinence’s range today.
For many men it can feel isolating to suffer from incontinence issues. Your bladder can seem to have a mind of its own. But you are not alone. Incontinence is common and treatable, as well as manageable. Thankfully improvements in incontinence garments have led to products designed entirely for men, including male guards. Let’s discuss them today and help end the embarrassment of male incontinence.
Many men find it embarrassing buying pads or tampons for their partner. So encouraging them to buy incontinence wear for themselves, in store, can be downright impossible. However today’s technology not only gives us the option of male-specific garments but also discreet, online ordering. Online sites, like Holistic Incontinence, also give you all the information you need depending on your unique situation, including absorbency levels, fit, and material type. Male specific incontinence products can be tucked into every day, close-fitting underwear and are ideal for discreet wear. This allows men to manage their condition without stress.
Men can suffer incontinence from a range of different causes, including:
Muscles and nerves need to work together to hold urine until the time to release. As a result any injury, condition or disease can lead to urinary problems at any age. However the most common age is 40 and older. Diabetes, especially, can develop nerve damage that affects control of the bladder while nerve problems from stroke, Parkinson’s Disease or MS can also affect bladder emptying. But there are times when urinary incontinence occurs without an understandable reason. As a result, it is important to speak to your doctor to find the cause of your problem. Male guard protection can be effective in helping manage these incontinence issues.
A healthy prostate is the same approximate size of a regular walnut. This gland surrounds the urethra, just below the bladder. This gland also often starts to become enlarged in men over the age of 40. This condition is known as BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. As the prostate enlarges it can squeeze the urtethra, affecting the flow of urine. The most common symptoms are hesitant, interrupted or weak urine streams. Further symptoms include urgency, leaking or dribbling as well as frequent urination at night or urge incontinence. Managing incontinence can be made easier with a well fitted male guard, suited for your level leakage.
Speaking to your doctor can give you a lot of options for managing your incontinence issues. There are some medication options to relax the bladder or shrink the prostate. Surgical options can also help. Non-surgical and medical options can include male guards for leakage, spacing fluid intake throughout the day and cutting back before bed. Limit alcohol, soft drink and caffeine intake as these can increase bladder irritation. Spicy, acidic, chocolate and artificially sweetened foods can also cause issues.
These techniques and solutions are all easier said than done, especially when dealing with continence care. However, with practice you can learn to manage your symptoms.
It takes planning and a lot of patience but if you stay persistent, you can train your bladder. For example, start by going to the bathroom ever hour, on the hour, even if you don’t feel an urge to urinate. After time, you can gradually space out bathroom breaks by a few hours. Track your fluid intake and how often your are visiting the urinal. Note any leaks you have and what food, drink or activity occurred before it. This documentation can help you track down the source of your incontinence if your doctor clears any medical conditions. Wearing a male guard to help with leakages in the mean time can also help with any accidental leakage.
Unfortunately, it can be traumatic for all when a loved one becomes incontinent. However, sadly, it is a common symptom of dementia. Many find it is easier to manage if they are forewarned and know what to expect. So here are the symptoms of incontinence in dementia that you should be on the lookout for.
Many on this blog already know what incontinence is but for any new visitors, incontinence occurs when you involuntarily leak urine or faeces or both. In the case of urinary incontinence, you may find you have a sudden urge to pee and need to do so frequently. As a result, you may not always reach the toilet in time. Whereas faecal incontinence is less common and can happen when you break wind or sometimes pass faeces without realising.
When someone suffers from dementia there are many reasons why they can become incontinent, including age-related issues and others more specifically related to dementia. They can include the following:
It is impossible to say exactly when a person with dementia may experience incontinence. However, in most cases, it occurs when the illness has considerably progressed. Incontinence can occur at any point depending on pre-existing medical or health issues.
The issue of incontinence can be incredibly distressing for someone with dementia. They might feel frustrated, angry or embarrassed with themselves. This is due to the fact that incontinence is seen as a loss of control – we are taught to know and recognise when we need to visit the bathroom at a young age. As a result, it is normal and understandable for the person with dementia to feel all of these emotions. Further, dementia patients may try to hide the fact they have had an accident by hiding damp or soiled clothing without telling anyone.
It is likely that as a carer, especially for a family member, your first experience with incontinence will likely give you a shock. It can be very upsetting and you can feel just as embarrassed by it all when it first occurs. Further, many carers report feeling sad that their patient or loved one is suffering such an indignity. Other report feelings of frustrations, especially if they have asked their patient or loved one several times if they need the bathroom, only or an accident to happen anyway.
But it is important to remember that incontinence is not their fault. In most cases it is simply a side effect of the dementia, so patience is the key. Further, getting angry or upset will only create more of an issue, so keep calm. Try to overcome your own embarrassment or distaste by adopting a practical, matter-of-fact attitude. While it is not pleasant for you or your patient, it happens and it needs to be dealt with.
There are a lot of ways to help prevent accidents or to make them easier to cope with. Visit our store today to find out more about incontinence products that might help manage the problem.
Incontinence, unfortunately, still remains an uncomfortable subject. And above all, the most uncomfortable topic of all is accidental bowel leakage or ABL. ABL carries a stigma that is harder to shake than urinary incontinence. As a result it is incredibly important dispel as many of these myths as possible. So today we are addressing the 4 biggest myths regarding accidental bowel leakage.
While it is true that diarrhea can cause a strong sense of urgency and can lead to leakage, there ware other factors that come into play. Constipation can also cause ABL. This occurs when a large stool becomes stuck and watery stools leak around it. If you suffer from regular constipation this can stretch and weaken the rectum, making it difficult for the body to hold stools long enough to make it to a bathroom. Further, any damage that has occurred to the muscles or nerves around the anus can cause ABL issues. This includes childbirth, diabetes, haemorrhoid surgery, MS, stroke, or even spinal cord issues. It is important to discuss any signs of ABL with your doctor, especially if you have had any of these procedures or conditions.
Yes, age can play a factor in ABL. However, leaking stools can happen to anyone, at any age, who has experienced muscle or nerve damage to the anus. ABL is more commonly seen in the older population, though, due to a natural increase in muscle and tissue elasticity. As a result, the body makes it harder to hold on to a stool.
In fact, diet can play a huge role in how – and if – you will experience ABL. Each person’s triggers are different. They can include (but are not limited to):
Further, eating larger meals can sometimes have a negative effect on your body and your likelihood of ABL. The best way to track your triggers is to keep a bowel diary. This allows you to keep track of your food intake and your bowel problems. It will also help you see a trend in your eating habits that may lead to ABL.
Actually, ABL can and should be treated. Your first step is discussing the issue with your doctor to set a plan in motion. This could include watching what you eat, getting proper exercise – including pelvic floor exercises – taking appropriate medications, and making certain behaviour modifications.
Further, surgery can help correct the issue, which is something that can be discussed with your doctor. However the most important thing is to remember you do have options. You owe it to yourself and your happiness to discuss these options with your doctor.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) defines it as “the inability to hold a bowel movement until reaching a bathroom”. It is often associated with:
ABL is characterised by light to moderate leakage and is seen as a growing concern worldwide, particularly for the Baby Boomer generation. As a result, more and more research is being conducted to see what can be done to manage, reduce and treat ABL.
There are a number of causes for ABL across ages. These include:
There are treatments to help with ABL that can be discussed with your doctor. And there are products on the market to help with ABL issues. Explore Holistic Incontinence’s options today!