Male vs Female Incontinence

16, December 2019

Urinary problems are one of the most common problems we face. This is especially true as we age. And, like many things in life, incontinence affects men and women differently. As a result, working with the condition changes depending on the gender of the person. This is important, not only for carers to keep in mind but also those suffering from incontinence. Today we are discussing male vs female incontinence.

Anatomical Differences in Incontinence

The bladder is a stretchy, muscular sac that sits in the bottom of the pelvic. The bladder muscles are stimulated to relax or contract thanks to a complex system of nerves which are controlled unconsciously. While the urinary system functions in the same way for men and women, there are some physical differences.

For men, the urethra is about 18-20cms and runs through the prostate gland. This is why prostate issues can impact continence.

For women, the urethra is shorter – around 3-4cms. The pelvic floor muscles, which help with urine retention, can be weakened or damaged which can cause incontinence issues. This is why male and female incontinence products need to be as varied as the treatment options.

Further, the bottom of the bladder has a small sphincter that relaxes and opens as we will it to do so. However, for women, this muscle is not a complete circle. As a result, it is not as strong for women as it is for men. This is why pregnancy and damage to the pelvic floor can weaken the bladder, making women more prone to incontinence.

Male vs Female Incontinence Types

The prevalence of bladder issues, like frequent urination, or a strong and sudden urge to urinate, is similar for women and men, However, incontinence is almost three times more likely among women.

Women are more likely to experience stress incontinence. Further, women with a BMI over 30 are 22 times more likely to have urge incontinence than women with a BMI under 24.

Men, however, are more likely to have urge incontinence or “mixed” incontinence. Further, men with a history of prostate problems have a higher incidence of frequency and urge, but without urinary incontinence.

Finally, the symptoms of incontinence increase with age at about the same rate for both women and men. As a result, you need to take age and incontinence types into consideration when choosing male and female incontinence products.

When to Seek Medical Help for Incontinence

If you have symptoms of incontinence, you should discuss the issue with your doctor. In the case of men, incontinence can be linked to an underlying prostate issue. S a result, these symptoms should not be ignored or set aside as “part of getting older”.

For women, incontinence can be linked to a weak pelvic floor, prolapse or other physical conditions. As a result, you need to have a doctor investigate the issue. Never ignore incontinence as it could be a symptom of a bigger issue. You might also find you can treat, cure or manage your condition.

In many cases, the good news is that there are a number of effective solutions for bladder problems. There are medications for overactive bladders and even bladder stimulants. Further, there are medical procedures to help with anatomical issues.

And, if you need help managing your incontinence, there are amazing options available.

Managing Incontinence – Male vs Female Incontinence

If necessary, your doctor may recommend you use incontinence products to help manage your condition. These products are designed to absorb and contain the fast flow of a weak bladder. Incontinence products assist, not only in managing your condition, but keeping your dry and comfortable.

The choice of products is not only based on your type of incontinence but also the heaviness of the flow and your gender. While there are plenty of products that are unisex and easy to use, there are also specialist products for men and women.

For example, Holistic Incontinence carries a range of male guards that are designed for male anatomy. Further, the shape of incontinence underwear is different for male vs female incontinence.

How to Keep Your Bladder Healthy

Want to try and lessen your risk of incontinence? We have some tips below to keep your bladder healthy.

1: Do Not Smoke!

While we are bombarded with the connection between smoking and lung cancer, few people realise it affects your bladder. In fact, smoking increases your risk of bladder cancer.

2: Limit or Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is a known diuretic. That means it not only makes you thirstier, faster, it also increases the frequency of urination. This will also occur with alcohol. Further, too much fluid intake can make an overactive bladder, worse.

3: Tips for Men

For men, especially those with enlarge prostates, it is recommended that you stop taking in fluids a few hours before bed. This reduces the need to get up frequently in the night.

4: Tips for Women

For women, it is important to practice your Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and even the bladder sphincter. This is especially important if you have been pregnant or plan to be pregnant.

Do you need help managing your incontinence? Holistic incontinence has a wide range of male and female incontinence products online. Enjoy the discretion of online buying and shipping.

Urinary incontinence is the clinical term for inconvenient, involuntary urine leaks. Many women experience urinary incontinence and it is far more common than most people would expect. In fact 1 in 4 women over 18 will experience urinary incontinence.

Unfortunately, even though there are plenty of treatment options available for urinary incontinence, there are a lot of widespread myths about urinary incontinence in women. Today we are going to discuss the top 5 myths about urinary incontinence.

Top 5 Myths About Women’s Urinary Incontinence ageing

1: Urinary Incontinence is Part of Ageing

The most common myth when it comes to urinary incontinence is that it is inevitable. Too many people think that, as they age, their bodies are bound to lose the ability to hold urine. While ageing is a risk factor for incontinence, it is not a normal part of ageing.

Unfortunately, incontinence is one of the most common reasons older women end up in nursing homes. Incontinence, however, is not the end of the road. Incontinence can be treated and even reversed. Further, there are plenty of incontinence items that can help you manage your condition available.

2: Incontinence Can Only Be Managed Not Treated

Unfortunately, too many people assume that there are no treatment options available for urinary incontinence. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. But this myth keeps women from going to their doctors to seek an answer and treatment.

While there are plenty of incontinence products available to help you manage your condition, it is important that you discuss your concerns with your doctor. They might be able to help you better treat or even cure your urinary incontinence.

3: Incontinence Can Only Be Fixed with Surgery

While some people don’t believe there is any cure for incontinence, others believe that super invasive surgery is the only way to fix incontinence. However, there are plenty of non-surgical options for urinary incontinence. Behavioural therapy is one of the most important non-surgical treatments for incontinence.

These behavioural therapies include:

Pelvic floor training

Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises can help you build muscle control and prevent urinary leakage.

Bladder training

Bladder training involves gradually extending the length between bathroom trips in order to help control issues with urge incontinence.

Relaxation exercises

Relaxation and meditation are important in your life, no matter what you are dealing with. It is most important when it comes to urge incontinence. For example, taking slow, deep breaths can help calm the urge to urinate until you reach a bathroom.

Dietary modifications

You would be shocked how many diuretics you consume every day. This includes tea, coffee and soft drinks. Caffeine can also cause urge incontinence. Decreasing the amount of caffeine and diuretics can help reduce your risk of leakage.

Medications

This is why it is important to discuss your condition with your doctors. There are some medications available that can help control your incontinence, including bladder muscle control.

4: Doctors Can’t Help with Incontinence

Some women may want to seek treatment for their urinary incontinence. However, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Your first step is to discuss the issue with your GP. If you are not experiencing incontinence due to a side effect of medication, then your GP can refer you to a specialist.

This specialist is known as a urogynecologist. They specialise in both the urinary system and gynaecological treatments. These specialists can help you live better, with improved quality of life.

This is a relatively new field and a unique speciality. This is the reason why the average person doesn’t know to contact a urogynecologist. Speaking to your doctor can save you issues in the future, improve your quality of life, and help you find a better treatment option. Your incontinence could be easily reversible. Put aside the embarrassment of talking to your doctor and embrace a better quality of life!

5: You Need to Run to the Bathroom

If you suffer from urge incontinence, then you likely feel like you need to make a beeline for the bathroom. However, when it comes to urge incontinence, it is unlikely that you can make it to the bathroom in time.

If you feel you have a strong urge, then stop and take a deep breath. Use a strong Kegel contraction to contract your pelvic floor muscles.  The contraction will break the bladder spasm. Then, you can walk safely to the bathroom. If you are still practicing your pelvic floor and Kegel exercises, then you can wear some incontinence pads to add some extra protection.

What is Stress Incontinence?

Stress incontinence refers to the leakage that occurs when you exert yourself. This can mean leakages when you cough, laugh, sneeze, etc.

What is Urge Incontinence?

Urge incontinence is described as sudden leaking for no apparent reason. You simply get a very strong urge to urinate.

Are you suffering from urinary incontinence? Explore the range from Holistic Incontinence today. Our team can help you choose the right product for your needs and they can be discreetly shipped to your home!

Unfortunately, many women with incontinence decide to use sanitary pads to control their incontinence. For some women, this is due to the fact they don’t know what products to use. For others, it is the embarrassment of being seen buying and using incontinence products.

Menstruation is becoming less and less of a taboo topic and it is considered normal for women to buy pads. However, with incontinence still seen as an awkward and taboo subject, finding the right products can be difficult. Today we’re going to discuss the difference between incontinence pads and menstrual pads.

Absorbent Polymers

The absorption level and rate of incontinence and menstrual pads differs wildly. Incontinence pads feature super absorbent polymer fibres that allow the pads to absorb fluid more quickly and efficiently. Even a small number of these fibres offer excellent absorbency. These fibres can also absorb and retain a large amount of liquid relative to their own mass. Finally, super absorbent polymer fibres absorb liquid at an extremely high speed, which is important for incontinence.

In comparison, the flow of menstruation is much slower than incontinence. As a result, menstruation pads feature a lower absorption power. While some menstruation pads claim to manage incontinence as well, most are only capable of holding 50-100ml. So it is cheaper to buy incontinence pads in the long run.

Incontinence Pads Help Prevent Infections

If your incontinence is not managed properly, it can lead to long term health issues. From urinary tract infections and renal disorders to skin irritation and pressure sores, you need to manage your condition carefully. Menstrual pads do not protect the skin against urine, putting you at a higher risk of infection.

Odour Control

In menstruation pads, the deodorant in them masks the odour. This does not always work for urine. Incontinence pads pull urine away from the skin and neutralises the pH levels. This not only eliminates odours but can also help prevent against skin irritation.

Design

Incontinence pads are designed with a top sheet and distribution layers specifically for the rapid flow of urine. Menstrual pads, however, have an open design for thick liquids. Further, the top layers of menstrual pads are porous, allowing the gradual blood loss to be pulled away. In incontinence pads, the distribution layers work to quickly wick fluid away, keeping you dry.

Elastic Barriers

Incontinence pads utilise an elastic barrier that is made of a non-woven material with elastic inside. As a result, this helps prevent leakage onto the skin, which ensures better skin health. Further, the non-woven material prevents contact with the poly edges.

Menstrual pads, on the other hand, do not feature elastic which means they are less effective for preventing leakage.

While you may be tempted to use menstrual pads to help with bladder leakage. However, they don’t offer the same level of protection as bladder control pads. Generally, they are not going to keep your skin dry or prevent odour issues.

If your incontinence is not managed properly, it can lead to longer-term health risks, such as urinary tract infections, renal disorders, skin irritation, and pressure sores. As a result, wearing the wrong product can also cause more harm and emotional distress. It is important to wear the right incontinence products, like incontinence pads, to maintain your confidence and prevent embarrassing leaks.

Finally, using the right product has an enormous positive impact on your quality of life. By seeking out menstrual pads, instead of incontinence products, you are missing out on optimum protection by dodging incontinence products.

Looking for the right incontinence pads for you? Holistic Incontinence has pads available in a variety of sizes, lengths and absorbencies. Explore our online store, today, and enjoy our discreet shipping!

If you, or someone you love, is dealing with incontinence then you’ve likely heard of pelvic floor exercises. However, many people are unsure how to do their pelvic floor exercises properly and how often to do them. Today we will discuss some frequently asked questions regarding pelvic floor exercises.

1: How Often Should I do Pelvic Floor Exercises?

It is important to establish a habit when it comes to pelvic floor exercises. Doctors recommend performing them around 30 times a day to establish a good habit. This is important to establish a good pelvic floor habit to help improve your issues with incontinence. In particular, you should remember to contract your pelvic floor muscles before and during lifting or coughing.

2: How Do You Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises?

When performing pelvic floor contractions, you should feel a lift and squeeze. Always remember to relax your breathing while you do your pelvic exercises. The important part of pelvic floor exercises is to increase the endurance – or length of hold – of those muscles.

As you improve your awareness of your pelvic floor muscles, and you have built up your strength, you can utilise your pelvic floor during other movements and exercises. This will further enhance your strength through resistance.

3: Should I Start Pelvic Floor Exercises Without Supervision?

If you are suffering from incontinence or pelvic pain, it is important to have a consultation with a health professional who knows how to examine muscles internally. Ask your doctor to recommend a pelvic health physiotherapist before you embark on an exercise programme.

You need to work with a physiotherapist as your issue could be due to overactive pelvic floor muscles. As a result, doing too many may increase pelvic pain or make emptying your bowels or ladder more difficult.

Proper assessment and a treatment plan can help you learn how to relax your muscles completely, assisting with pelvic pain. From there you can work on a strengthening programme for the pelvic floor. By working with a professional, you can ensure you are doing the right exercises.

4: Do’s and Don’ts for Pelvic Floor Exercises

There are many pitfalls when it comes to pelvic floor exercises, especially when you’re first learning them. Here are some things to remember when performing pelvic floor exercises:

  • Don’t use your inner thigh muscles
  • You should feel a lift and squeeze of the pelvic floor
  • Don’t tilt your pelvis
  • Your lower stomach may draw gently in as you exercise
  • Don’t clench your buttocks
  • Initially, gentle movements are better than trying too hard to ensure correct activation
  • Don’t strongly contract your abdominal muscles
  • When you are sure you have the correct activation, you can add some maximal contractions
  • Don’t hold your breath or flare your ribs
  • Always remember to let go and relax your pelvic floor after exercising them
  • Don’t bear down

5: How Long Should I Do Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Many people ask how long they have to do pelvic floor exercises. Unlike other physiotherapy exercises, the pelvic floor is one we must do for life. As we pass through life, many things can affect our continence, from hormone changes to aging. To help guard against pelvic floor issues later in life, you need to exercise everyday. It should be as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth.

Do you struggle with incontinence? Do you need incontinence aids as your incontinence is treated? Explore the Holistic Incontinence range, today, to find out more!

There are things people find difficult or embarrassing to discuss with their doctors. Incontinence is often one of them. However, it is important to remember that your doctor is professionally trained in handling health issues, including toilet habits.

Your doctor would rather you discuss any health issues you have, even if they’re of an intimate nature, before the problem gets worse.

To help you get the conversation started, we’ve got a list of questions you can ask your doctor.

How to Start an Incontinence Discussion with Your Doctor

Did you know that most of the time, incontinence can be improved or cured? The first step to improving your condition is to begin the discussion with your doctor. Your doctor can’t begin to help you if you don’t tell them what’s happening. Come to your appointment prepared with the information you want to discuss about your bladder of bowels. This helps you remember all the issues you want to discuss and gives your doctor a good overview of your symptoms. Remember you know your body, routines, and any changes. Your input is vital in the process of getting better.

What to Consider Before Seeing Your Doctor

Before attending your appointment, it is a good idea to think about the things you want to discuss with your GP. This might include:

  • Is it bladder or bowel incontinence?
  • Do you know when it started?
  • How often are you incontinent?
  • When is your incontinence worse?
  • How heavy is the incontinence?
    • Is it a small amount of urine or faeces or full saturation?
  • Have you noticed a fever at all?
  • Is it painful to use the toilet?
  • Are you taking any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications?

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

One you have considered the points above, it is a good idea to think about the specific questions you might want to ask your doctor. These might include:

  • What type/s of incontinence could this be?
  • Could my incontinence be associated with lifestyle, medications, pregnancy, menopause, childbirth, hereditary issues, or another medical condition?
  • Would hormone replacement therapy help treat my incontinence if it is related to menopause?
  • If my incontinence is related to a medial condition, will treating the condition improve my incontinence?
  • Should I keep a bladder or bowel diary?
  • What type of tests will I need?
  • If I choose not to undertake treatment, will my symptoms get better or worse?
  • How can I reduce my risk of odours, rashes, and other issues associated with incontinence?
  • What diet and lifestyle changes will I need to make to manage my incontinence?
  • Should I do pelvic floor exercises?
  • If you do recommend pelvic floor exercises, do you have a guide on how to do them or recommend a therapist?
  • Why do you recommend this particular treatment?
  • What can I expect before, during and after this treatment?
  • If this treatment is unsuccessful, what are our other options?
  • What are the potential side effects of incontinence medications?
  • If I experience severe side effects, what should I do?

Questions Your Doctor May Ask

So you feel more comfortable having this discussion with your doctor, we’ve have added a list of questions below that your doctor may ask. As with all medical issues, your doctor will ask for your symptoms, medical history, surgical history, and family medial history. These questions might include:

  • Do you have issues with bladder or bowel control?
  • Are you constipated?
  • Do you have trouble holding your bowels or urine?
  • How often do you wake up at night to use the bathroom?
  • Do you feel that you empty your bowels or bladder completely?
  • How often do you use the bathroom during the day?
  • Do you experience leaks when doing physical activities like exercising, lifting, coughing or sneezing?
  • How much do you drink during the day?
  • Have you felt a sudden urge to urinate or loose your bowels that didn’t allow you to get to the toilet fast enough?
  • How much urine or faecal matter do you lose during these times?
  • Is it painful or uncomfortable to use the bathroom?
  • Do you feel any dropping of the bladder or uterus, or do you feel any building from your vagina?
  • Is there a pulling or pressure in your pelvis, especially if you’ve been standing for a long time?
  • Have your sexual habits changed?
  • Do you wear protective pads to try to control your leakage?

Holistic Incontinence carries a wide range of supplies to help you manage your incontinence. Explore our products today or have a friendly chat with our team today. We can help you find the right options.

Incontinence can affect anyone at any age, for a variety of reasons. And while incontinence can be difficult for adults and the elderly to deal with, it can be even harder as a teen. It is a challenge that can leave a child or teenager embarrassed and socially isolated. Today we’re going to discuss how incontinence can affect teenagers, why it occurs, and how you can manage it.

What Types of Incontinence Can Teenagers Suffer From?

There are three main categories of teenage incontinence. These are:

Stress Incontinence

This occurs when the bladder muscles are put under stress. This stress is usually caused by pressure on the bladder. Leakage occurs when you cough or exercise.

Urge Incontinence

With urge incontinence, you will feel an overwhelming urge to urinate. Leakage can occur before you reach a bathroom.

Nocturnal Enuresis/Leakage

This occurs when involuntary leakage happens during the night. It can also present as the urge to urinate as soon as one wakes up or can wake you up during the night.

What Can cause Incontinence in Teenagers?

As with adults, there are a variety of reasons why a teenager may develop incontinence. These include:

Congenital Abnormalities

According to pelvic reconstructive surgeons and urogynaecologists, one of the reasons why teenagers can suffer incontinence is due to congenital abnormalities. There are a number of different congenital abnormalities in children and teenagers such as:

  • Chromosome abnormalities
  • Single-gene abnormalities
  • Genetic issues
  • Conditions during pregnancy

This is why it is important to discuss the issue with your doctor. While not all congenital abnormalities can be fixed, your doctor can help you improve your symptoms or better manage the condition.

Urinary Tract Infections or Cystitis

If you develop incontinence after becoming sexually active, this could be the sign of a UTI or bladder infection. UTIs and cystitis can create an urge to empty your bladder, however you can only pass a little urine at a time. It can also cause leakage before you reach the bathroom.

Painful urination, stinging or burning sensations are all signs of a UTI. It can also result in cloudy or bloody urine. If left untreated, UTIs and cystitis can lead to permanent issues with emptying the bladder, overflow incontinence and even over-distention.

Again, it is always important to see a doctor if you’re suffering from any of these issues, as treatment is generally very easy.

Medications

If you are taking medications for other conditions, incontinence can be a side effect. Both sedatives and muscle relaxants can reduce bladder control. Medications for the heart or blood pressure can also impact the bladder. If you notice the onset of incontinence occurring after starting a new medication, contact your doctor immediately. Do not stop your medications as this can cause many more issues. Your doctor will be able to advise you if this is a temporary side effect, or if you need to try another medication.

Chronic Illnesses and Auto-Immune Conditions

Unfortunately, chronic illnesses, disease and auto immune disorders can occur at any age. And some of these conditions present with incontinence as a symptom. These can include nerve damage, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, colitis, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, chronic constipation and more. If you haven’t discussed this with your specialist or if this symptom has just begun, it is important to talk to your doctor. It could be a symptom of your condition or a side effect of your medication, and it could be treated.

Injuries or High Impact Sports

One of the most common causes of urinary incontinence is sports injuries from high impact sports such as running or gymnastics. Any sport where you hit the ground with force. This is can cause damage to the pelvic muscles over time. Further, this can also occur if your pelvic muscles are weaker than average, due to biological/genetic issues or because the pelvic floor isn’t exercised enough.

Obesity

Unfortunately, being overweight or obese can increase the chance of incontinence or increase its severity. This is because excess weight can put pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor. Not only does it weaken the pelvic floor, but it increases or causes stress incontinence.

Poor diet can also affect incontinence. Overindulging in foods and drinks that contain caffeine can cause or increase incontinence. This is because caffeine is a diuretic, making you need to urinate more. Discuss the situation with your doctor on how to improve your diet and lose weight healthily.

How Incontinence Affects Teenagers

Incontinence can have serious affects on teenagers in their most important, formative years. Not only does it cause embarrassment, many teenagers shut themselves off from friends, relationships and more.

While some teenagers can hide their issues, others struggle to do so.

Relationships

If you’re suffering from incontinence, making friends and dating can seem terrifying. Going out with friends or going on a date can seem like an incredible hurdle to pass. Further, the stress of not knowing where a bathroom is or how long you’ll be gone can make matters worse. Having someone come too near and finding out your problem can feel both scary and humiliating.

It can help to know that many people who suffer incontinence have long, fulfilling relationships – including intimate ones. And while it might seem unobtainable, it will happen.

While it might seem lie a terrifying concept, but talking about your incontinence can help. Seeking help from family and doctors might lead to treatment or cure for your incontinence, rather than suffering in silence.

School and Studying

Research has shown that teenagers with incontinence are at a greater risk of underachieving at school. Further, they need more support to remove barriers so they can reach their academic potential.

Incontinence is one of the most common paediatric health problems. However, it is commonly believed that incontinence problems will resolve with age in all children. But severe incontinence in childhood can persist into adolescence. There are around 3-4% suffering from urinary incontinence and 1% suffering from bowel incontinence.

Many teenagers feel that there are in danger of bullying and stigmatising, if they disclose their issue to friends or teachers. This feeling of not being able to disclose means that supporting young people at school is difficult. Teachers and school staff need increased awareness of incontinence issues in young people and how to provide guidance as needed.

Students find that their education is also disrupted by having to leave class for frequent toilet visits. Some have to leave class 3 or 4 times. As a result, many would fall behind in their lessons or lose time in exams because they had to step out.

For those where bathroom leave was denied, their concentration was affected due to their continence needs or anxiety about possible accidents. This is particularly difficult for teenagers as school will have a direct impact on further education and employment.

As a result, many agree that work needs to be done to improve school life for young people with incontinence.

How to Manage Incontinence as a Teenager

Thankfully, there are many ways to help support a teenager through incontinence issues. These include:

Choosing the Right Incontinence Product

Finding the right product is important. There are products designed to manage heavy incontinence, light incontinence, day and night-time incontinence, and more. Holistic Incontinence carries a wide range of products that you can browse through, to find the solution right for you.

Lighter Incontinence

If your incontinence is lighter, you can start with more discreet options, like small pads or pull up pants specifically designed for incontinence. It is important not to use panty liners or period pads as these are not designed for urine or faecal incontinence.

Heavier Incontinence

However, if your incontinence is heavier, choose more absorbent pull up pants or all-in-one pads. People prefer pull ups as they allow more freedom of movement. However, all-in-ones generally have more absorbency.

Faecal Incontinence

There are products specifically designed for faecal incontinence. For heavy faecal incontinence, a highly absorbent product is best.

See a Doctor

If you are experiencing any type of incontinence, it is important that you see a doctor. Incontinence can be cured in many cases, some cases require medication adjustments and, in other cases, methods of managing your incontinence can be suggested. It is important to remember that this condition is more common than your think. And there are ways to improve your life.

Explore Holistic Incontinence today for more information on our products.

Obesity and Incontinence

23, September 2019

We all know that being overweight impacts our health. And while scientists and researchers are still trying to discover exactly what extent it impacts or health, it is generally agreed that obesity contributes to a wide range of medical conditions. These include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Prediabetes
  • Joint problems including arthritis

Being obese can also reduce quality of life. It limits mobility, makes travel difficult and has been found to diminish self-esteem.

However, one of the less known side effects of obesity is incontinence. This occurs when your weight presses on the bladder, causing urinary incontinence. It can also make existing incontinence, worse.

Diet also attributes to bladder control. Join us as we discuss in more detail how your weight can affect or cause incontinence.

How Weight Affects Bladder Control

Researchers have shown a clear association between obesity and urinary incontinence. It shows that obesity is a strong risk factor for urinary incontinence. In fact, for every 5 units increase in weight, the odds of developing incontinence increase by 30-60%.

Further, the same study reveals that there may be a strong association with excess weight and stress incontinence, as well as mixed incontinence with an overactive bladder. However, it shows that women with stronger muscles and better grip strength are less likely to develop or continue experiencing incontinence.

Losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce bladder leakage, including stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is linked not only to pregnancy, childbirth, obesity and menopause, but also with diabetes and prediabetes. Studies have shown that prediabetic patients who lose weight also reduce their chance of developing both diabetes and incontinence.

How Diet Can Affect Bladder Control

While many people who experience bladder leakage attempt to control it by reducing fluid intake, this can actually worsen the problem. It creates highly concentrated urine that makes you need the bathroom – or feel like you need the bathroom – more frequently. Not drinking enough can also create excess bacteria growth, which also leads to bladder infections.

You should also avoid bladder irritants as much as possible. Removing the following irritants from your diet might help improve bladder control and function:

Alcohol

Both a diuretic and stimulant, alcohol increases the amount of urine your produce. It also increases feelings of urgency.

Caffeine

Another diuretic and stimulant. Replacing them with herbal teas (remember to check as some teas also contain caffeine) to improve your symptoms.

Carbonated drinks

Soft drinks and sparkling water make an overactive bladder worse. Choose spring or tap water instead.

Artificial sweeteners

These are known bladder irritants and are terrible for your health. It is best to eliminate them where and when you can.

Chocolate

Another stimulant that can increase the feeling of urgency. Find a replacement for chocolate when you can.

Acidic fruits and juice

Acid can irritate the urinary tract. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, tomato-based products, berries and more all contain acid. Where possible, replace high acid foods with low-acid ones, like banana or avocado. Tomatoes can be replaced by tamarind, capsicum and eggplant.

Drink More Water

This might sound counter-intuitive but staying hydrated is important to reducing incontinence. Water is essential to your digestion, and controls your nutrient absorption, temperature regulation, bowels and other bodily functions. In fact, the best way to avoid triggering urinary incontinence is to drink water steadily through the day. If you are constantly dehydrated, you will find yourself gulping down large quantities of water, which your body can’t process so quickly.

Remember, everyone’s water needs are different. The 8 glasses of water a day rule has, in fact, been long seen as a myth. Further, your water needs are met, not just by water, but by the non-diuretic drinks you have and the food you eat.

How Else Can I Control Bladder Leakage?

There are also additional methods to controlling your incontinence. These include:

Kegel Exercises

The muscles of your pelvis floor and urinary sphincter are integral to urination control. As such, regularly doing Kegel exercises will help strengthen these important muscles. As a result, you have improved control of your urinary incontinence.

Managing Medications

Some medications, like high blood pressure, heart, antihistamines, diuretics, sedatives, antidepressants and others can have incontinence side effects. Do NOT stop any medication without discussing it first with your doctor. They will be able to prescribe a better option for you.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is terrible for your health, so its no surprise that heavy smokers are likely to develop complications. This include chronic coughing which can trigger incontinence.

Constipation

Chronic constipation and straining to use the toilet can damage the pelvic floor. Exercise regularly, drink water and eat a high fibre diet to stay regular.

Exercise

You should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. This is not only important for your health, it may also reduce incontinence.

Incontinence, Body Fat and Weight

A recent study has suggested that not only your weight, but also body composition, may play a role in incontinence. Stress and urge incontinence were found to be twice as common in patients with the highest BMIs or the greatest proportion of body fat. Further, patients who lost grip strength, which is an indicator of reduced muscle mass, also saw increased episodes of incontinence.

Those who reduced their BMI or body fat by at least 5% were less likely to have persistent incontinence than those who did not lose weight or fat. This suggests that while weight alone may help alleviate both forms of incontinence, it is also important to increase exercise to build muscle mass.

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Many people identify incontinence as an embarrassing problem experiences only by the elderly. However, you may be surprised to find that incontinence affects people of all ages and genders, for a wide variety of reasons. So join us today as we debunk what your mother has told you about incontinence!

Why Do I Leak a Little Bit, Sometimes?

The mother of all incontinence myths is that all women leak a little, that it isn’t incontinence. However, incontinence is defined as ANY accidental or involuntary loss of urine, faeces, or wind. That means even a little leakage is defined as incontinence. While clever marketing is at the root of the “light bladder leakage” or “LBL”, it is important to remember this is not normal. It is incontinence, and it can be treated or improved.

Can I Get Incontinence If I Haven’t Been Pregnant?

Too many women believe that pregnancy alone causes incontinence. And while pregnancy can increase the chances of developing incontinence, incontinence actually affects 1 in 5 women. This includes women who have never had a baby.

Does Incontinence Run in Families?

Incontinence is not a genetic issues, most of the time. It can be a symptom of a genetic condition, but not the sole issue. Just because you have family members who suffer from incontinence, that doesn’t mean you will as well. In fact, incontinence can be prevented by adopting simple lifestyle habits, like a better diet and more exercise. If you do develop incontinence, most cases can be cured or well managed. But incontinence is not normal and is not an inherited problem you have to put up with.

Will a Caesarean Prevent Incontinence?

It doesn’t matter what type of delivery you had, pregnancy itself can put you at a higher risk or incontinence or prolapse. This is because pregnancy puts additional weight on the pelvic floor and increases your hormones.

Who Can Experience Prolapse?

It used to be thought that prolapse was a rare condition that affects the elderly. However, prolapse is not rare. As many as 1 in 4 women have one or more symptoms of pelvic prolapse. This is where the bladder, uterus or rectum protrudes into the vagina. The most common symptom of this is urinary incontinence.

Further, age plays a limited role in the causes of prolapse and symptoms may surface during pregnancy, after childbirth or due to menopause.

Do Men Have Pelvic Floors?

Another myth in much need of debunking is the idea that only women have pelvic floors. Men do, in fact, have pelvic floors that require as much maintenance as women. This regulates good bladder and bowel health. As both men and women age, the muscles surrounding the urethra can lose their tone, resulting in leaking urine. Regular pelvic floor exercise can help avoid this and are useful in treating incontinence after prostate surgery.

Do I have Incontinence?

About 4.8 million Australians (1 in 4) aged 15 and older have incontinence. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have bowel or urinary incontinence. Do you:

  • Sometimes feel as if you have not completely emptied your bladder?
  • Feel like you need to rush to the bathroom?
  • Often feel anxious about losing control of your bladder or bowels?
  • Wake up twice, or more, during the night to urinate?
  • Leak before you get to the toilet?
  • Sometimes leak I you lift a heavy object, exercise, sneeze, cough or laugh?
  • Leak when you stand up after sitting or lying down?
  • Strain when you use the toilet?
  • Occasionally soil your underwear?
  • Plan your daily routine around the nearest toilet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should see your doctor to discuss if you have urinary or bowel incontinence. Incontinence can be cured or improved under doctor’s supervision with diet and medication adjustments.

Who Can Help with Incontinence?

Incontinence can be cured, prevented or better managed in most cases. Discussing your condition with your doctor means you can alter your diet and any medications (if possible) to eliminate or improve incontinence symptoms.

Further, there are now a wide range of discreet, comfortable and affordable incontinence products on the market today. These are ideal for managing incontinence that cannot be cured with diet, exercise, or medication adjustment. Holistic Incontinence provides a wide range of products online, which can be discreetly shipped to your home. View our products today so you can start feeling more comfortable.

When you or a loved one need overnight or full day protection, it can be daunting to find the right product. You need something that is wearable, highly absorbent, and comfortable. Do you choose pull up nappies or adult diapers? And what is the difference? Join us as we discuss the difference between adult pull ups and adult diapers!

Adult Diapers vs. Pull-up Nappies

The major difference between incontinence nappies and incontinence pull-ups is the side panels. Adult diapers have tab closures that can be opened and closed easily ensuring changes. Pull-ups, however, function like underwear but also feature tearable side panels to make removal easier.

Pull-ups, once opened, cannot be closed again. Further, while both diapers and pull-up nappies can be removed without removing the user’s pants, only diapers can be put on again without removing pants. Many users, however, feel that adult pull up incontinence pads are more dignified as they are similar to underwear.

Adult Diapers

Adult diapers have been around for years and have common features, including side tabs, absorbent cores and stretchy waistbands. They are generally not gender specific and come in a wide variety of sizes. Adult diapers also come with leg cuffs and are ideal for both urine and faecal incontinence.

Pull Up Underwear

Pullup incontinence have elastic waistbands, making wearing them more comfortable. Breathable and absorbent, they generally have standing leg cuffs to prevent leakage. Pull ups are great for incontinent people who are always on the go. They fit perfectly under your clothing and are gender neutral as well.

If you need extra protection, you can always add a “booster” incontinence pad inside your briefs. Further, pull up incontinence pads come in feminine colours and patterns.

Key benefits:

  • Snug, close and comfortable fit
  • Discreet appearance like normal underwear
  • Flexibility and freedom
  • The choice between washable and disposable
  • Comfortable, elastic waist
  • No rustling or noise during use
  • Great for an active lifestyle
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Soft and comfortable

Pull Up Nappy Sizing

Getting the right size pull up pants is important. They need to fit snugly to contain leaks. Measure your hips and waist, then take the large of the two. You can live an active lifestyle and forget you’re wearing an incontinence product.

Who Will Do the Changing?

Another important aspect to consider is who will be changing the diaper or pull ups. Will it be the user or a caregiver?

If the user is mobile and entirely – or at least mostly – independent, incontinence pull ups are usually the best choice. They provide an easy option for self-changing, and more dignity.

However, if a carer is responsible for changing, incontinence nappies with tabs are easier to manage over pull up diapers.

What are Incontinence Briefs?

Incontinence briefs are the same as adult nappies. Many people prefer the term incontinence briefs over nappies or diapers as it has less of a stigma. If someone is referring to “incontinence briefs” than you can assume they’re referring to diapers or nappies with tabs. Products “incontinence underwear” are generally adult pull up nappies.

When Should I Consider Incontinence Nappies?

Using incontinence products is a constantly changing process. It takes some testing and patience to work out what’s right for you. Many people wear light incontinence pads, liners, or disposable pull up underwear when they first become incontinent. These items can bring a level of comfort and familiarity when adjusting to incontinence products.

However, it is important to know the signs to look for that indicate it’s time to switch to a diaper. Wherever you are on your journey with incontinence, it is normal for your needs to change. Few people use the same product for their entire life with incontinence.

1: Leakage While Sleeping on Your Side

Side sleepers may notice leaks around the leg openings of your incontinence garment. This means you may need to switch to stronger, anti-leak protection. Fitted incontinence pull ups and nappies offer a tighter fit around the leg. Nappies especially provide a better fit because the side tabs can be adjusted as needed.

2: Strong Odours

Bowel incontinence can cause stronger odours than urinary incontinence. Nappies with tab sides also offer a protective plastic back sheet that helps contain odours better than pull ups which are more breathable.

3: Increased Output

If you notice that your urine or faecal incontinence output has increased, you may need to switch to a new product. Pull up adult nappies are not as absorbent as incontinence products that have tabs.

4: Mobility

Older users and those with medical issues ma have restricted mobility. Those who are wheelchair bound, have trouble moving, or have difficulty getting up from sitting or laying down positions may benefit more from tab-style incontinence diapers. This helps you, as well as any caregivers, and easier time during changes.

5: Schedule

For those who are mobile, tab-style adult diapers can also be more convenient. This means there’s no need for you to take off your shoes and pants in restrooms. Instead, the easy remove style of tab-sided adult nappies allows you to change anywhere, as you need.

6: Medical Products

For those who need to use an ostomy bag, feeding tube or catheter, tab style briefs can better fit across or around these products better than pull ups. Depending on your body type and size, tab style options fit snug around these medical products.

7: Decrease in Comfort

If you no longer feel comfortable wearing your current incontinence product, then it may be time for a change. Leaking, rubbing, or scratching around the groin, stomach or waist can cause irritation and discomfort. Listen to your body and be mindful of what bothers you.

Explore our range of products today, to find out what works for you!

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.

Travelling with Incontinence

1: Preparation for Travelling 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.

Travelling with Incontinence

2: Packing for Incontinence

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.

Travelling with Incontinence

3: Fluid Intake While Travelling

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.

Travelling with Incontinence

4: Create a Travel Checklist

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:

  1. Plan 6-8 weeks in advance of your trip
  2. Discuss your travel plans with your GP – they might have important aides, as well as vaccinations or booster shots you might require
  3. Talk to your GP about any medications you may also be taking with you. Check your prescriptions are up to date and whether you need a doctor’s letter to travel with your medications. Also remember to keep your medications in their original packing when travelling overseas
  4. Book your trip early and advise your agent on any needs you might have. Ensure they book you aisle seats where possible, near a toilet or near the front of the plane or vehicle so you can exit quickly on arrival
  5. Plan each stage of your trip as appropriate
  6. If you wear absorbent pads or underwear for bladder leakage, carry more supplies than you need for unexpected delays
  7. Check whether you may need an extra luggage allowance when booking, especially if you are carrying a large supply of continence products
  8. Inform airline staff of your needs so you can board first. This way you can calmly organise and arrange the products, clothing and carry-on luggage you need
  9. Wear dark coloured clothing to disguise any leakages and ensure they are easy to remove and comfortable to wear. A sarong, jacket or cardigan can also be tied around the waits to disguise an accident
  10. Take a small toilet bag as part of your carry-on luggage, as well as a change of clothing. Disposable wipes are handy
  11. Eat light meals so you don’t feel bloated, queasy or uncomfortable. Travelling can upset your digestion and body clock
  12. Avoid bladder irritants and natural diuretics like coffee, tea, chocolate drinks, soft drink, sports drinks, and alcohol. It is also best to avoid spicy or acidic foods
  13. Walk and stretch as much as possible to help with circulation and digestion. You can do a range of exercises while seated

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!

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