Archive for the ‘Depends’ Category

Bladder Symptoms-Stop Depending On Depends!

April 1, 2015

Millions of American women suffer from urinary bladder problems. Unfortunately, they suffer in silence as women feel too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms with their physicians. This article will discuss the common symptoms of bladder control and what can be done about it that doesn’t require a diaper or Depends.
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The involuntary leaking of urine is a distressing symptom which is associated with loss of confidence, self esteem, relationship difficulties and sometimes depression. Some women deal with the situation by avoiding socializing with family and friends, wearing dark clothes and frequently changing their clothing, using scents, sanitary pads and even diapers.
Bladder difficulties can affect all age groups, but are more common in middle age and older women. It is likely that as many as one in five women experience incontinence at some stage in their lives. Approximately 70 per cent of urinary incontinence sufferers tolerate the symptoms and those who seek medical help wait for an average of four years because of embarrassment, shame and stigma.

Talking about these symptoms is difficult but women do not need to feel reluctant about seeking help as so many women can be effectively treated without surgery.

The biggest risk factor for women is damage to the pelvic floor especially related to pregnancy and child birth. Other conditions include extreme sports, chronic coughing and heavy lifting. Contributing causes include obesity, smoking and drugs that affect the bladder or the muscle that holds urine inside the bladder.
There are two main types of incontinence: stress and urge. Urine loss in the stress type is preceded by increasing the pressure within the abdomen such as occurs with laughing, sneezing, or coughing. Women experiencing urge incontinence have a compelling urge to pass urine, which is impossible to control and causes leaking.

Treatment can start with measures, which do not involve medication, but can be followed by pharmacotherapy if the conservative measure are not effective.

Initially patients are advised to decrease the intake of caffeine and carbonated drinks, smoking and avoiding constipation.
Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises, are the recommended first line treatment for stress, mixed and urgency incontinence and result in significant improvement in up to 80 per cent of cases. Bladder training and electrical stimulation are other effective ways of treating incontinence.

Bottom Line: Wearing a diaper to staying at home because of the loss of urine, is not acceptable to most women who suffer from incontinence. It doesn’t have to be that way. See your doctor and he\she can often find a solution that will make you dry, comfortable, and lead you to a healthy lifestyle.

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Urinary Incontinence – Don’t Depend on Depends!

March 12, 2015

Urinary incontinence affects millions of American men and women. Help is available. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

If you notice a few drops of urine dribbling out when you laugh, cough or even sneeze, you may need to consult a general practitioner as these could be symptoms of urinary incontinence, or loss of voluntary control over one’s urination. In some cases there may be a total loss of urine from the urinary bladder while in other cases there could be partial leakage too. Most commonly seen in elderly males and females, this is a condition that could cause great embarrassment and mental agony. As the person loses control over his or her urination, it drips into his inner clothes without his knowledge and this causes stains, bad smells as well as embarrassment to the person in question. This problem can prevent the person from socializing as he\she is always preoccupied with the thought that the urine might leak out and others may come to know about his or her condition. As this is a problem that often affects the elderly, it could cause severe mental agony and sometimes elderly persons may even develop depression because of it.

Causes of incontinence

Some cases of incontinence are temporary and often, these instances are caused by an external or lifestyle factor. Drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or too much of any fluid can cause a temporary loss of bladder control. Some medications — such as blood pressure drugs, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and some heart medicines — may also lead to a short spell of incontinence. A urinary tract infection may also lead to instances of incontinence.

Other causes of incontinence include:
Aging: As you age, your bladder muscles becomes weaker and incontinence becomes more likely. Any issues with your blood vessels will make this situation worse.
Vaginal delivery or surgery in the pelvis: Any damage caused to your pelvic floor muscles can lead to incontinence, since these muscles support your bladder. In some cases, they can be damaged or weakened by surgery—usually during a procedure to remove the uterus—or during childbirth.
Enlarged prostate: In nearly all men, the prostate gland enlarges with age. It is common for men to experience some incontinence as a result.
Cancer and stones: Prostate cancer in men, or bladder cancer in men or women can cause incontinence. In some cases, the cancer’s treatment will cause incontinence as a side-effect. A tumor, whether malignant or benign, can also cause incontinence by blocking the usual flow of urine. Kidney or bladder stones can also have the same effect, say experts.

Evaluation of the man or woman with incontinence
The condition is determined after a person records regular urine leakages. Diagnosis of urinary incontinence may involve a physical exam, an ultrasound, urodynamic testing and tests including cystoscopy, urinalysis and a bladder stress test. Sometimes, I may ask the person to keep a bladder diary.

Prevention
Although it is not always possible to prevent UI, one can lower its risk by practicing Kegel exercises, especially during pregnancy, following a healthy high-fiber diet, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding caffeine and acidic foods.

Treatment of this condition
Most cases of urinary incontinence can be treated with lifestyle changes and bladder training exercises but medication and other coping strategies like use of diapers (that can absorb the excess urine) are also used if the problem is due to urgency or mixed incontinence. There are a few effective ways to put an end to your battle with incontinence, such as –

• Drink fluids in moderation
• Empty the bladder completely
• Lose weight
• Avoid drinking tea and coffee
• Stop drinking alcohol
• Treat digestive problems
• Read labels on medications
• Apart from these, there is a therapy to improve the symptoms of frequency, nocturia, urgency, and urge incontinence.
Treatment options also include anticholinergics, antispasmodic agents, and tricyclic antidepressants (Tofranil). Pharmacologic therapy for stress incontinence and an overactive bladder may be most effective when combined with a pelvic exercise regimen.

Some surgical procedures like tape or sling procedures, bladder suspension, urethral bulking agents, artificial urinary sphincter in men with incontinence after prostate surgery and other surgical procedures are available as treatment.

Bottom Line: Men and women who suffer from incontinence don’t have to suffer in silence and wear diapers. Help is available. See your doctor to discuss an evaluation and treatment options.

Bladder Symptoms-Stop Depending On Depends!

November 28, 2014

Millions of American women suffer from urinary bladder problems. Unfortunately, they suffer in silence as women feel too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms with their physicians. This article will discuss the common symptoms of bladder control and what can be done about it that doesn’t require a diaper or Depends.
Share

The involuntary leaking of urine is a distressing symptom which is associated with loss of confidence, self esteem, relationship difficulties and sometimes depression. Some women deal with the situation by avoiding socializing with family and friends, wearing dark clothes and frequently changing their clothing, using scents, sanitary pads and even diapers.
Bladder difficulties can affect all age groups, but are more common in middle age and older women. It is likely that as many as one in five women experience incontinence at some stage in their lives. Approximately 70 per cent of urinary incontinence sufferers tolerate the symptoms and those who seek medical help wait for an average of four years because of embarrassment, shame and stigma.

Talking about these symptoms is difficult but women do not need to feel reluctant about seeking help as so many women can be effectively treated without surgery.

The biggest risk factor for women is damage to the pelvic floor especially related to pregnancy and child birth. Other conditions include extreme sports, chronic coughing and heavy lifting. Contributing causes include obesity, smoking and drugs that affect the bladder or the muscle that holds urine inside the bladder.
There are two main types of incontinence: stress and urge. Urine loss in the stress type is preceded by increasing the pressure within the abdomen such as occurs with laughing, sneezing, or coughing. Women experiencing urge incontinence have a compelling urge to pass urine, which is impossible to control and causes leaking.

Treatment can start with measures, which do not involve medication, but can be followed by pharmacotherapy if the conservative measure are not effective.

Initially patients are advised to decrease the intake of caffeine and carbonated drinks, smoking and avoiding constipation.
Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises, are the recommended first line treatment for stress, mixed and urgency incontinence and result in significant improvement in up to 80 per cent of cases. Bladder training and electrical stimulation are other effective ways of treating incontinence.

Bottom Line: Wearing a diaper to staying at home because of the loss of urine, is not acceptable to most women who suffer from incontinence. It doesn’t have to be that way. See your doctor and he\she can often find a solution that will make you dry, comfortable, and lead you to a healthy lifestyle.

Gotta Go Right Now? Here’s How To Discard Your Depends For Your Next Airplane Trip

December 20, 2012
Don't Depend on Depends

Don’t Depend on Depends

Many men and women suffer from urinary incontinence making travel difficult or nearly impossible. Here are 10 tips and tricks that you might consider before your next flight to lessen the embarrassment of urinary incontinence.

1. Request an aisle seat in back of plane so you have ready access to the restroom. Reserve your seat ahead of your departure dates. Plan to go to the restroom and empty your bladder before your plane departs. Once on board the aircraft and after take off plan to use the restroom before the drink cart come down the aisle as you may be sent back to your seat before you can use the restroom.
2. Explain your medical condition to flight attendant before take-off. The flight attendant can alert you before they turn on seat belt sign making it possible for you to use the restroom. The attendant can help you get off plane for connecting flight if you are at the back the plane.
3. Be aware that you cannot use the bathroom during ascent (short) and descent (long)
4. Wear adult diaper or protective underwear for the trip. You should have a carry-on duffel bag with extra undergarments, pads, antibacterial soap, and an empty plastic bag for soiled clothing.
5. Be mindful of your fluids. It is not a good idea to dehydrate yourself for long periods before departure. To do so will lead to a concentrated urine which is irritating to the bladder and may promote bladder contractions. Drink 6 cups of fluid per day but time it appropriately to your flight departure.
6. Avoid bladder irritants (coffee, alcohol, carbonate drinks, artificial sweeteners, citrus)
7. Suppress the urge by doing Turbo Kegels, which I will describe in the next blog.
8. Voiding by the clock. Don’t wait for your bladder to become full or over distended. Urinate every 2-3 hours especially on long flights.
9. Take your medications prescribed by your doctor. I suggest that you make sure to take at least for 2 weeks before travel
10. Use a waterproof skin barrier ointment (zinc oxide) to protect skin if you do have frequent accidents

Bottom Line: If you have urinary incontinence, you may have problems with airline travel. Applying a few of these principles may just make that flight more enjoyable and less stressful.

For more information on urinary incontinence, I recommend my new book,
The Complete Guide To Women’s Pelvic Health which is available at Amazon.com

New book on women's health

New book on women’s health

Wearing Diapers? Check Your Medications Which May Be The Culprit

December 20, 2012

Urinary incontinence affects millions of American men and women.  There are dozens of medications that can be contributing to the cause of incontinence.  Often times stopping these medications, with physician’s approval, or changing to another drug, also with physician approval, may help control the urine process. 

There are many types of urinary incontinence, the most prevalent being “urge incontinence” — an urge to urinate so sudden and strong that you often can’t get to a bathroom in time. When this type of incontinence has no identifiable cause, it’s called “overactive bladder.”

The drugs typically used to treat this condition include darifenacin (Enablex), fesoterodine (Toviaz); oxybutynin (Ditropan), solifenacin (Vesicare), tolterodine (Detrol) and trospium (Sanctura). These are all anticholinergics — drugs that block the effects of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with muscle activation, learning and memory.

Many commonly prescribed drugs can also cause incontinence or make it worse. Among them:

  • heart medications
  • blood-pressure medications      (amlodipine, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, lisinopril and furosemide,      for example)
  • antidepressants
  • muscle relaxants
  • diuretics
  • sleeping pills

I’d recommend that you work closely with your physician to determine; if at all possible, what might be causing her incontinence. Smoking or being overweight can be contributing factors, for example.

While it’s not always possible to pinpoint a cause, I find that adjusting a patient’s medications often resolves or, at least, substantially lessens the problem. Some simple behavioral techniques — including bladder training and scheduled toilet trips — can help, too.

Bottom Line:  Incontinence is a common problem.  Make sure your medications aren’t causing the problem or making it worse.  Check with your doctor.

 

Put Away Your Depends-Treatment Options Without Medication or Surgery

December 17, 2012

Losing urine that requires a woman to wear Depends is a very depressing situation.  It is very embarrassing for women to go to the pharmacy or grocery store and her box of Depends in her cart is very discouraging and a source of great anxiety.  There are nearly 13 million women who have incontinence and many of them have not talked to their doctor about the problem and suffer in silence.

 

Stress incontinence, which is more common in women, causes urine to leak when you laugh or cough. Overactive bladder, also called urge incontinence, is caused by urinary muscle spasms that cause an urgency to urinate. If you leak urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise, you have stress incontinence. Mental stress does not cause stress incontinence. The “stress” is pressure on the bladder. When your pelvic and sphincter muscles are strong, they can handle the extra pressure from a cough, sneeze, exercise, or laugh. But when those muscles are weak, that sudden pressure can push urine out of the bladder.

In stress incontinence, weak pelvic muscles can let urine escape when a cough or other action puts pressure on the bladder.

 

Some treatments are as simple as changing some daily habits.

I recommend that women try the simplest treatment choices first. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles and don’t require any equipment. The trick is finding the right muscles to squeeze. It is the same muscles that you contract to stop your urine stream or to prevent you from passing gas from your rectum.  After about 6 to 8 weeks, you should notice that you have fewer leaks and more bladder control. Use the pelvic muscle exercise log included with the Kegel Exercise Tips sheet  to keep track of your progress.

Timed voiding. By keeping track of the times you leak urine, you may notice certain times of day when you are most likely to have an accident. You can use that information to make planned trips to the bathroom ahead of time to avoid the accident. Once you have established a safe pattern, you can build your bladder control by stretching out the time between trips to the bathroom. By forcing your pelvic muscles to hold on longer, you make those muscles stronger.

 

Diet changes. You may notice that certain foods and drinks cause you to urinate more often. You may find that avoiding caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, or cola helps your bladder control. You can choose the decaf version of your favorite drink. Make sure you are not drinking too much fluid because that will cause you to make a large amount of urine. If you are bothered by nighttime urination, drink most of your fluids during the day and limit your drinking after dinner. You should not, however, avoid drinking fluids for fear of having an accident. Some foods may irritate your bladder and cause urgency. Talk with your doctor about diet changes that might affect your bladder.

 

Weight loss. Extra body weight puts extra pressure on your bladder. By losing weight, you may be able to relieve some of that pressure and regain your bladder control.

 

Bottom Line: Incontinence doesn’t kill a woman but it does steal her quality of life.  Often times these simple techniques will help reduce urinary incontinence.  If you have any questions.  See your doctor

 

I have also written a book, What’s Going On Down There-The Complete Guide To Women’s Pelvic Health, and there is an entire chapter on urinary incontinence.  The book is available from Amazon.com

 

 

New book on women's health

New book on women’s health