When many people think about incontinence, they think that only the oldest, most sick people have this problem. This is not necessarily true. Incontinence is a problem that affects people of all ages, health problems and both sexes. However, incontinence is more common in the elderly. Studies show that about 40% of women and 20% of men over 60 years old suffer from some form of incontinence. It is important to note that this is due to the fact that the most common conditions due to incontinence are more common in older populations.
Some of the most common causes of incontinence include, but are not limited to:
• Pregnancy and childbirth – This is the most common cause of incontinence in women. Due to the damage to the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and delivery, many women feel that they are dealing with incontinence. Unfortunately, incontinence can start years later if a woman has had children for a long time.
• Menopause and Hormonal Changes – Another common culprit for women with incontinence are hormonal changes that occur before and during menopause.
• Prostate Problems – One of the most common causes of incontinence in men is due to problems with their prostate. This can vary from an enlarged and inflamed prostate to prostate cancer.
• Neurological Conditions – There are also many different neurological conditions that can cause incontinence. Some of these include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, a brain tumor, neuropathy, or spinal cord injury that can interfere with the neural signals involved in bladder and bowel control.
• Aging – Although incontinence is not strictly the result of aging, the reality is that it often functions less efficiently as the body ages. Many people find that even if they extend the life of their bladder and bowels, they stop functioning because someone ever has to deal with incontinence.
The good news isn’t how old you are, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of age-related incontinence. Even if you are already dealing with incontinence, the things below can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. These items include:
• Change what you eat and drink – There are many ways you can reduce and reduce the risk of incontinence if you already have it. Eliminating alcohol, caffeine, and foods high in sugar can help with this. Some medications can also affect your incontinence. If you are on medication, you should consult your doctor if this is a possible side effect.
• Kegel Exercise – This exercise has been shown to increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and help reduce or eliminate incontinence. Start by finding the right pelvic muscles (stop a stream of urine) and then focus on shrinking and relaxing those muscles. Staying consistent and taking it over time can help reduce or eliminate incontinence symptoms.
• Stay in good health – Studies show that incontinence is more likely as overall health deteriorates. It is important that you maintain good health and contact your health care provider for recommendations on how to improve your health.
Finally, it doesn’t matter if you have symptoms of incontinence, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Today there are many different ways that incontinence can deal with this.