Bladder Weakness Archives

Another term for urinary incontinence is bladder weakness, and it is a problem that affects millions of people throughout the world. Bladder weakness can occur in men and women of all ages, and while it is not actually a disease, it can be very disruptive to a person’s lifestyle. Typically bladder weakness is the harbinger of some other underlying problem, so it is a condition that should not be dismissed or ignored. While bladder weakness affects both genders, four out of five of those affected are women.

This higher incidence of bladder weakness in women occurs primarily as a result of stress and damage caused during pregnancy and childbirth. Because of this fact, incontinence, or bladder weakness, affects people of all ages, though it is still most prevalent in the elderly.

While it may be a challenge to deal with bladder weakness on a daily basis, the condition is completely manageable. However, there are some common problems shared by people suffering from bladder weakness, and these problems typically fall into one of three categories, which are physical, emotional and social.

While embarrassing leakage may be a physical problem, it does not cause any particular physical harm, but it may cause emotional or social harm. The physical challenges of managing bladder weakness is to maintain healthy skin keeping chaffing and infection at bay. Since the skin is often wet when a person is incontinent, it is quite common for some sort of skin irritation to occur, which can vary from a mild annoyance to a severe, skin infection. Another physical side effect of bladder weakness is the onset of infections, both the the urinary tract and to the bladder. Both of these types of infections are more commonly found in women than men. Another physical problem may show up as pain resulting from bladder spasms, which can cause a great deal of stress.

The result of the physical discomfort can also take an emotional toll on the person suffering from bladder weakness, and they may begin to feel isolated, depressed and hopeless. Adjusting to lifestyle changes may be difficult, as a person feels that they have no control over what is happening to them. Many people see bladder weakness as having one foot in the grave, and they never realize that when the underlying condition is treated, often the symptoms of bladder weakness disappear.

As a person feels the despair of hopelessness, they may also begin to withdraw from social activities, rather than face the risk of public embarrassment. For many, the condition of bladder weakness is a closely guarded secret, and the stress of guarding the secret can cause a person to completely isolate themselves from friends and family. Avoiding intimacy, opting out of social gatherings and losing self esteem can all contribute to a person withdrawing socially because of a problem with bladder weakness.

For these reasons it is important to seek the help of a medical health professional as soon as a pattern of incontinence or bladder weakness begins to appear. Since the condition can frequently be cured, consulting with a physician is extremely important for a person’s physical and mental health. The types of patterns that may be worth mentioning to a physician are constant urine leakage; a sudden, violent urge to urinate followed by an accident; and urine leakage as a result of laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting a heavy object. Other symptoms, like painful urination or blood in the urine, may not be classified as bladder weakness, but they probably indicate an infection, so it is important to have a doctor check them out as soon as possible.

There are many factors that may contribute to bladder weakness including injury, genetics, surgery, menopause, nerve damage, infection or weak muscles. When bladder weakness is caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, doing Kegel exercises is an effective way to build up the strength in these muscles so that they can properly support the bladder. Other times medication is used to treat the problem, and in the most extreme cases, surgery may hold the solution to a bladder weakness problem.

Dealing with incontinence is never an easy task, and this condition can affect anyone regardless of their age. While incontinence often occurs as a person advances in years, ageing is not the cause of bladder weakness or incontinence. Incontinence is a symptom of an underlying problem like weak or damaged muscles, illness, infection or genetic problem. So when faced with the onset of bladder weakness or incontinence, it is important to have a medical professional evaluate a person’s condition to make sure that the incontinence is not signaling a serious, underlying illness.

Regardless of the root cause of the bladder weakness, it still needs to be properly managed so that the person can live a full and active lifestyle. And while the doctor is treating any underlying medical conditions that may be causing incontinence, it is possible for a person to improve their overall condition by monitoring their diet and staying away from some specific food and drink items that are known to irritate the bladder. In many cases, as when weak muscles are the issue, finding the foods that aggravate the bladder may be half of the cure. While weak muscles still need to be strengthened, not aggravating the bladder may tip the incontinence scales in favor of continence.

Here are some of the most common foods that contribute to incontinence.

Alcohol
Since alcohol is a diuretic, it is one of the most common irritants when it comes to bladder weakness. Alcohol also dulls the senses, so it is possible that it may mask the sensation of needing to void the bladder, causing incontinence.

Artificial Sweeteners
A much overlooked ingredient in the recipe for incontinence, artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, can cause bladder irritation in some people. Sometimes this additional aggravation is just enough to take a bladder from continent to incontinent.

Caffeine
Like alcohol, caffeine has strong diuretic qualities, so drinking beverages like coffee and tea may actually be contributing to episodes of incontinence. Even if a person is not incontinent, they may notice that drinking beverages containing caffeine causes them to make more frequent trips to the bathroom. Since caffeine also irritates the bladder, it can increase the feeling of urgency that a person experiences when they need to urinate as well. A simple switch to decaf might be all that is needed to quiet the bladder spasms.

Citrus Fruits
While citrus fruits are so healthy for a person with all of their vitamins and antioxidants, foods like oranges and tomatoes also contain a lot of acid. The high levels of acid can be very irritating to the bladder, and this irritation can help contribute to bouts of incontinence.

Spicy Foods
Another common bladder irritant is spicy foods, which may be tough on the stomach as well as irritating to the bladder. When experiencing bladder problems, try cutting spicy foods from the diet for a short time to see if continence or problems with urgency improve.

Different foods affect people in different ways. What is highly irritating to one person’s bladder may not affect another person at all. That is why it is important for each individual to examine their own diet and assess if something that they are eating or drinking may be affecting their bladder. It is very likely when a person first reports new episodes of incontinence to their doctor that he or she will want to know what foods and drinks a person consumes. Keeping track of daily consumption in a bladder diary is a very helpful tool for both the person and the physician when diagnosing and treating incontinence. It is an easy, free, non invasive place to start managing the challenges that incontinence offers.

Affecting millions of people worldwide, bladder weakness is not necessarily an inevitable part of aging. Oftentimes bladder weakness is an easily treatable condition; however, if left untreated bladder weakness can progress to incontinence and leave its mark on peoples lives not only physically, but emotionally and socially as well.

While the physical limitations of bladder weakness are pretty obvious, the emotional and social ramifications are frequently marginalized. If you are dealing with bladder weakness and the incontinence that usually accompanies it, you know that this condition can isolate you socially and lead to low self-esteem and depression. Many times personal relationships suffer or are avoided in the first place, because the sufferer lives in fear of the embarrassment that would occur if their problem were exposed.

Bladder weakness symptoms are pretty hard to ignore. The most common symptom is the constant leakage of small amounts of urine as any pressure is exerted on the bladder. Or the bladder may suffer a spasm creating an overwhelming need to go to the bathroom followed by an incontinence episode. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms it is a good idea to discuss the problem with your doctor.

Disclaimer: All material published on the Incontinence.co.uk web site is for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by your doctor or health professional. Readers should always discuss health matters and review the information carefully with their doctor or health care professional. Extended Disclaimer
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