Incontinence Treatment Step 1

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Urinary incontinence involves loss of bladder control.
Symptoms include urgency, frequency, lower abdominal fullness.
Often leakage occurs with laughter, sneezing, or coughing.
This is called stress incontinence and can affect both young and old.
Urge incontinence results from an overactive bladder.
The detrussor muscle (a smooth muscle around the bladder) under normal circumstances senses the bladder if full and contracts allowing the bladder to empty.
When overactive, the detrussor muscle contracts too much or too often causing leakage or accidents.
The following describes the first step in treating stress, urge or mixed (stress and urge) urinary incontinence.
Weight loss: 10% weight loss can improve incontinence by 50% Dietary changes:
  • eliminate caffeine, alcohol, smoking
  • eliminate fluids after supper
  • test elimating different foods such as corn syrup, soda, artificial sweetener, citrus and high acid foods
Bladder retraining: works well with urge or mixed incontinence
  1. Scheduled voiding: e.
    every 2 hours then increase by 30 minutes daily.
    Goal is voinding every 4-6 hours.
  2. Relaxation: With urge incontinence, breath deeply during urgency to urinate and imagine the bladder like a clenched fist relaxing.
    Once the sensation subsides then get up and go to the bathroom and void.
Pelvic floor muscle strengthening: Kegel exercises
  • Contract pelvic floor muscles slowly and hold 8 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets
  • Do Kegel sets 4-5 x a week.
  • Continue for 4-5 months.
Biofeedback: helps teach pelvic floor muscle retraining.
Consult a urologist, nurse, or physical therapist who specialize in incontinence biofeedback training For accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, please consult your family physician Reference: Treatment of urinary incontinence, Catherine DeBeaur MD et.
, Uptodate 2009
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