Posts Tagged ‘Depends’

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.

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.

Incontinence in Women-You Don’t Have To Depend on Depends!

August 6, 2014

Many women suffer in silence with their problem of urinary incontinence. About 1\3 of women between 40-70 have a problem of urinary incontinence and it is more common in women after menopause. This blog will discuss the problem and what are some solutions to this common condition that affects the quality of life of so many women.

Urinary incontinence, the loss of bladder control, is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine during a cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong it’s impossible to get to a toilet in time.

Having accidents as an adult can be deeply embarrassing and most women don’t want to talk about it, yet it is far more common than many sufferers realize.

And the condition not only affects women’s confidence – it can also lead to mental health issues. Half (51 per cent) of women with adult incontinence (AI) also suffer from depression.

Because of the embarrassment surrounding the condition 60 per cent never seek help from their doctors, and of those who do 28 per cent delay seeking treatment for up to three to five years because they are ashamed.
Yet this common phenomenon can happen to women at any age and for many reasons including childbirth, the menopause or strenuous exercise.
This condition can also affect patient’s sex lives, with more than a quarter admitting it made them worry about sexual intimacy with their partners.

A large majority women said they had to change everything from the clothes they wear, the bags they carry, the way they travel, where they go and how they socialize.
They don’t always realize that help is available and that there are the right products out there that offer the comfort and protection women need to live life to the full.

Low impact sports such as cycling, yoga or elliptical machine exercises are ideal activities for keeping fit without affecting a sensitive bladder condition.

Abdominal workouts such as sit ups, crunches or plank kicks place a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor. Opt for alternative exercises where breathing or the position itself supports the pelvic floor.

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
Pelvic floor exercises and targeted Pilates and yoga exercises can be particularly helpful. By practicing at least three times a day, they can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and give more control when needed..

DRINK JUST ENOUGH
There’s no need to avoid drinking in order to reduce the urge to visit the bathroom. Limiting water intake makes urine more concentrated, which boosts the chances of bladder irritation.

NO HEAVY LIFTING
Lifting heavy objects is particularly bad for the pelvic floor and back. Ask for help instead.
Just Say No To Caffeine
Caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks could be your new worst enemies. Try limiting coffee, tea and carbonated beverages for a week or two as they can irritate a sensitive bladder.

SET A SCHEDULE
Your bladder is trainable. If you need to pass water frequently and need to rush to the restroom, ask your PCP about a daily schedule for building up the bladder’s holding capacity. Remember, allow your bladder to empty completely each time you go to the toilet.

WEAR BACK-UP
A growing number of pads for day and night use as well as absorbent underwear and bed pads are available at high street pharmacy chains. Wearing one may be the difference between being stuck at home and feeling able to go out for periods of time.
Most cases can be improved with simple lifestyle changes and pelvic floor exercises as well as by finding the right products for you.

Bottom Line: By doing daily pelvic floor exercises, you can decrease your incontinent episodes and not only build your pelvic floor muscles but also build your confidence.

Urinary Incontinence-You Don’t Have To Depend On Depends

June 3, 2014

Probably nothing is more depressing to a man or woman than losing control of their bladder. We tend to take for granted the act of urination and being able to urinate into a toilet when it is socially convenient. When any man or woman has to resort to pads, panty liners, or diapers, that is a very discouraging and often a depressing event in their lives. This can lead to the person restricting their social activities, becoming reclusive and even becoming depressed.
For a person who has lost control over her bladder life can be very difficult. It means he\she would lead a restricted life, think twice before stepping out of the house, and will be unable to undertake journeys. In short, he\she will lead a life that is far from normal.
It is a debilitating ailment that can make life immensely difficult. Urinary incontinence that results in sudden loss of bladder control is both embarrassing and distressing. A sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate often leads to involuntary loss of urine in such people. However, lack of awareness and taboo associated with the problem often causes people to suffer in silence, when in fact, they should seek medical help.
Involuntary actions of the bladder muscles may be a result of damage to the nerves of the bladder, to the spinal cord and brain, or to the bladder muscles. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and injury can also harm bladder nerves or muscles. While factors like injury, stroke, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis are common to both men and women, what makes the disorder twice as common in women than in men is the fact that they deliver babies and suffer menopause.
During pregnancy, when babies push down the bladder and urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body that transports urine from the bladder to the toilet), this weakens muscles of the pelvic floor and the bladder. Labor can weaken pelvic floor muscles and damage nerves that control the bladder. After menopause too, women experience problems with bladder control.
Urinary incontinence is of different types and a large number of women suffer from some or the other form of this problem. In some people with urinary incontinence exercises can be helpful. Kegel exercises performed several times a day can strengthen the muscles in the pelvis and helpf with the control of urination. Botulinum Toxin can be helpful in treating the symptoms and can give relief for up to 10 months. In fact, FDA has recently given a go ahead for the use of Botulinum Toxin for treating symptoms of urinary incontinence in certain neurological cases.

Bottom Line: Incontinence is not a natural consequence of aging. It is not something you have to live with. Help is available. You don’t have to depend on Depends!

A Hop, Skip and a Jump May Just Help Women With Urinary Incontinence

April 9, 2014

Urinary incontinence affects millions of American women. It is a quality of life condition that can lead to embarrassment, anxiety, and even depression. Conventional treatment is medication, exercises, and surgery. Now a new study from Canada has shown that dancing may strengthen the muscles in the pelvis and help control urinary incontinence.

Women were provided a series of dance exercises via a video game console in addition to a program for pelvic floor muscles exercises. The results revealed a greater decrease in daily urine leakage than for the usual program (improvement in effectiveness) as well as no dropouts from the program and a higher weekly participation rate (increase in compliance).

According to the researchers, fun is a recipe for success. The researches suggested that the more you practice, the more you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The investigators quickly learned that the dance component was the part that the women found most fun and didn’t want to miss.

The dance period also served as a concrete way for women to apply pelvic floor muscle exercises that are traditionally weak an ineffective to help hold the urine in the bladder until it is convenient to empty the bladder in a toilet. Dancing gives women confidence, as they have to move their legs quickly to keep up with the choreography in the video game while controlling their urine. They now know they can contract their pelvic floor muscles when they perform any daily activity to prevent urine leakage. These exercises are therefore more functional.

This is the first time that it has been used to treat urinary incontinence.

Bottom Line: Dancing may be effective in helping women with a problem of urinary incontinence. If this is a problem that is affecting your life style, contact your physician. Help is available. You don’t have to depend on Depends!

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

Loss of Urine After Vaginal Surgery-You Have To Depend On Depends!

December 12, 2010

There are many women who will develop urinary incontinence after vaginal surgery.  For example if a woman has a protrusion of her bladder, uterus, or rectum into the vagina and needs a surgical correction, the surgery may result in the involuntary loss of urine with coughing and sneezing after the surgery.  The reason is that the protrusion or prolapse kinks or bends the urethra or the tube from the bladder that transports urine to the outside of the body before the surgical correction thus preventing incontinence.  Once the normal anatomy has been restored and the urethra is no longer kinked, urinary incontinence may occur.  It is estimated that more than 30% of women who are continent before surgery will develop incontinence or loss of urine after the procedure.

 

What to do?  Be sure that your doctor checks for incontinence in the office BEFORE you have the surgery.  This may require some testing or maneuvers in the office to reduce the prolapse or protrusion and check for incontinence.  If incontinence is unmasked, then the doctor can perform a small procedure during the surgery to repair the prolapse that will prevent incontinence afterwards.

 

Bottom Line:  Urinary incontinence is a significant problem that results in loss of self-esteem, confidence, and may lead to a reclusive life-style.  In most instances this can be cured and prevented in women who are undergoing vaginal surgery if the doctor is aware of this possibility before the surgery takes place.

 

Urinary Incontinence-Tests You May Need To Do

March 30, 2010

The purpose of the evaluation is to identify the cause of the incontinence, to determine the damage to the bladder and kidneys, and to select the appropriate treatment for the specific cause of the leakage. All of the tests can be performed in the office or as an outpatient at the hospital. All of the tests are associated with minimal discomfort. You can resume normal activity immediately following the procedures. The evaluation of urinary incontinence can include any of the following tests or procedures:

Cystoscopy – A local anesthetic is inserted into the urethra (the tube that drains the urine from the bladder). A small telescope is inserted in the urethra to examine the inside of the bladder. In women, a pelvic examination is performed at the end of the procedure. The examination takes approximately 5 minutes. After the procedure there may be a small amount of bleeding or mild burning with urination.

Flow Rate – This is a procedure to measure the efficiency of the bladder and the muscles or sphincters that hold the urine in the body. You will be asked to drink several glasses of water, When you feel that you have to urinate, you will be asked to urinate over a toilet that contains a recording device. The device will measure the volume of urine and the time it takes to empty your bladder.

Cystometrogram (CMG) – This is a procedure in which a small catheter (a plaster or rubber tube smaller than a pencil) is inserted into the bladder. The catheter is used to deliver sterile water or gas (carbon dioxide) into the bladder. You will be asked to describe the first sensation to urine and the strong urge to urinate. This procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes. After the cystometrogram the catheter is removed and you will be asked to cough, strain and then urinate. This test is performed to determine the extent of leakage. You can expect some burning or passage of air with urination,

Voiding Diary – This is a record of the amount and time of day that urination takes place and when leakage occurs, (The amount of urination should be recorded in ounces.)

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG) – This is an X-ray procedure in which a catheter is inserted in the bladder and the bladder filled with iodine. The catheter is removed and X-rays are taken while voiding.

Intravenous Pyelogram – This is an X-ray procedure that requires an injection of iodine into a vein and pictures are taken of the kidney at various time intervals. This determines the anatomy and the presence of damage to the kidneys. There is occasional nausea, bad taste in the mouth, or lightheartedness with the procedure. You will be asked to take laxatives before the procedure. (Please notify me or the radiologist if you are allergic to iodine or seafood.)

Not all of these diagnostic tests are required for each patient.