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.
What Can Cause 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.
Cerebral Palsy and Incontinence
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.
Multiple Sclerosis and Incontinence
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.
Physical Abnormalities and Incontinence
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.
Enjoying Life with Chronic Urinary Incontinence
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.
Talk to Other People with Incontinence
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.
Ensure You Are Using the Right Products
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.
Distract Yourself with Music and Entertainment
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.
Find a Social Circle You Can Trust and Rely On
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!