Urinary inconvenience…just another euphemism for the elephant in the room. Yet a surprising 85% of men and women over the age of 40 experience inconvenient untimely urinary leaks in some degree or another. It’s no wonder supermarkets have shelves and shelves of panty liners and shields of all shapes and sizes. Yet for all the space those items take up in stores, carts, and closets, not much space is given in our conversations to learn more about this. Maybe its mention will make it worse? Maybe we’ll feel we’ve lost our youth? Maybe we didn’t realize that young’uns with a mere 40 years on them could have begun to lose bladder viability? Or that 85% of adults suffer with this? Whatever the hang-up about this subject, knowledge is power, so let’s learn a little more about this common condition. (Some of the tips below might seem like just plain old common sense, but I never thought #6 was possible. Is there one you’re surprised to see listed?)
In the September edition of TriVita’s VitaJournal, obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Brittany Stam provides considerable information and tips about this common problem. According to Dr. Stam, the involuntary leakage of urine is a problem affecting 200 million people worldwide. Of the 25 million Americans suffering from some form of this challenge, 75-80% of these are women. In Canada, this number is an estimated 3.3 million which is an astounding 10% of the population!
Don’t be like those other 11 people.
Despite the high success rates in treating incontinence, research shows that only one out of every 12 people affected seeks help. Don’t be like those other 11 people. According to studies by the National Association for Continence, on average, women wait six and one-half years from the first time they experience symptoms until they get a diagnosis for their bladder management problems. It’s apparent that many of us are embarrassed and remaining silent. The truth is that while this is twice as common in women as men, men are also affected. Among men, 11-34% of those over age 65 have some form of this “plumbing problem”. Still, medical literature indicates that only 22% of men will seek care for it, compared with 45% of women. What men and women both need to understand is that there are many effective management options for this dilemma.
THREE TYPES OF URINARY LEAKAGE, VARYING TREATMENTS
There are three basic types:
Stress: People with stress leakage of urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze or do anything that “stresses” the belly. Stress is most common in women.
Urge: People with urgency feel a strong, sudden need to urinate. Often the urge is so strong that they can’t make it to the bathroom in time.
Mixed: People with symptoms of both “stress” and “urge.”
The choice of treatment depends on the type and severity of the problem you have and what fits your lifestyle. The best approach is often to try natural methods and lifestyle changes first before moving on to medications and possibly surgery.
NATURAL METHODS TO DECREASE SYMPTOMS
1) Reduce the amount of liquid you drink, especially a few hours before bed.
2) Cut down on any foods or drinks that make your symptoms worse (alcohol, caffeine, or spicy or acidic foods).
3) Quit smoking.
4) If you are overweight, lose weight.
5) If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible.
6) Train your bladder by urinating on a set schedule; slowly extend the time between bathroom trips.
ONE SPECIAL EXERCISE
Exercises for your pelvic floor muscles called Kegels are a great way for women to help control symptoms:
• Locate your pelvic muscles by stopping the flow of urine midstream.
• Now that you know where those muscles are, a few times per day imagine that
you are trying to hold a ball inside your vagina and you don’t want to let it drop.
• Hold those muscles for a count of three. Do this 10 times.
• Your goal is to do at least three sets of 10 each day.
Depending on the severity of your incontinence, your doctor may feel that you would benefit from medications or surgery in addition to pelvic floor exercises. Remember: you are not alone, so discuss your problem with your doctor.
*Dr. Brittany Stam is an obstetrician/gynecologist at MomDoc in Chandler, AZ.
If you are interested in learning about TriVita’s new Bladder Shield™, HERE
Regarding the $50 Gift Card mentioned earlier, it can be to used towards any of TriVita products. (U.S. and Canada first time customers only). You only need to pay shipping & handling & taxes. To learn more, click HERE.
Have questions or want to chat? You can reach me at any time at 706-621-3717. I look forward to hearing from you.
Independent TriVita Business Owner #13873775
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Prevalence of urinary incontinence in men, women, and children. 2010; Urology, 76 (2): 265.
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-of-women-with-urinary incontinence?source=search_result&- search=urinary+incontinence&selectedTitle=1%7E150
This article is intended for educational purposes only