By the time we’re thirty, we figure we have everything wired. We’re past being young, and we’re healthy and capable of handling most everything. One question is, however, when were we supposed to be dealing with incontinence?
Believe it or not somewhere around 30 percent of women and 10 percent of men suffer from incontinence. Those numbers go up as we age, but the good news is that now more than ever, dealing with incontinence is easy.
What Kind of Incontinence do You Have?
There are several types of incontinence: stress incontinence, overactive bladder or urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, and mixed incontinence.
- Stress incontinence is where we leak a little urine when we sneeze, cough, laugh, or even exercise.
- Overactive bladder or urge incontinence is when we have a sudden urge to go and can’t make it to the bathroom in time. We may get a few minutes of warning, or maybe a few seconds.
- Overflow incontinence happens when we can’t fully empty our bladders and continue to dribble our urine.
- Mixed incontinence happens when we have more than one incontinence symptom.
What is Causing Your Incontinence?
Now that you know the major types of incontinence, the next step is to pinpoint why we have this problem. That requires going to the doctor and talking to him or her about our problem. You see, many people have incontinence, and most of the time it’s completely manageable.
If you’re a woman who has had a child, chances are the pelvic floor muscles in your bodies were weakened from childbirth. These can be strengthened with a group of exercises known as Kegels. Practice these exercises regularly to improve incontinence.
Diseases can trigger the onset of incontinence as well. These include urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Sometimes fibroids, that is, noncancerous tumors that grow on the uterine walls can cause our incontinence. Lastly, if we’re obese, we suffer from incontinence more frequently than those who are thinner.
Dealing with Incontinence
Going to the doctor is the first step to dealing with incontinence. Once we find out what’s causing it, we can take steps to cure it. In the meantime, we can eat a healthy diet filled with fiber, and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Reducing our water intake can actually cause more harm, as this can cause urinary tract infections, which can prolong our symptoms.
Wearing special incontinence underwear and putting down incontinence bed pads help to stop soiling our clothes. Knowing where the restrooms are before we go somewhere will help as well.
Your thirties don’t have to change because of your condition. Feel empowered, and know that there are many practical ways to treat and manage your incontinence.