I have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and am shocked to see I am experiencing heavy leaks..during the day AND night. I’m finding it difficult to know when my bladder is full, which is leading to urine overflowing during the day!! I wasn’t told this would happen!! I am new to this.. what do I do?? How do I choose a product? I’m not sure I want to talk to a Doctor and would rather get an answer on here. I’m a 50 year old male.
Parkinson’s Disease is a common cause of incontinence. Bladder problems occur due to Parkinson’s affecting the nerves that control bladder emptying. Parkinson’s can also affect your ability to reach the toilet quickly before leakages. Painkillers commonly used for Parkinson’s such as codeine and anticholinergics prescribed for tremor can even cause incontinence.
You mention that you often do cannot detect when your bladder is full, which is due to a problem with the nerves that control bladder function. It sounds like the type of incontinence you are suffering from is overflow incontinence, which occurs when you cannot empty your bladder properly. This explains why you experience leaks randomly throughout the day without warning. In people suffering from overflow incontinence, post-void residual volume exceeds 200ml. In comparison, normal PVR is usually 50 ml or less. You may also find that your urine stream stops and restarts during urination.
You describe your leaks as heavy, therefore more protection is needed for you than an incontinence pad. Either protective pants or an all-in-one brief will be suitable for you. Belted all-in-one products are ideal if you are less mobile or immobile and would like a product that is easy to put on and off. They have velcro fastenings for fast removal and will keep you dry for longer than other product options.
Protective pants are ideal if you are independent and prefer this style to an all-in-one. They are designed with a soft and comfortable material and offer a body-close fit. For heavy leaks, you should be looking at incontinence pants that offer a “super” or “maxi” absorbency level.
You can talk to a Doctor or urologist about the appropriate method of treatment for you. You may be recommended a catheter, which is a tube made out of latex or silicone that is put into your bladder with the function of draining the urine out. You should ask your Doctor to teach you how to self-catheterize. This will help you empty your bladder fully and more smoothly. Double voiding is another method of treatment that may be suggested to strengthen and train your bladder muscles. To do this exercise, simply wait a few minutes after urinating and try to go again. Pelvic floor exercises are also effective in strengthening pelvic floor muscles that are weakened due to Parkinson’s. To do this, simply try and stop your flow of urine mid-stream to find the pelvic floor muscles. You should then contract the pelvic floor muscles for around 10 seconds and then relax and repeat.
You can read our blog on overflow incontinence symptoms for more information on the condition.
Take care and do not hesitate to ask other questions!