Experiencing leakage during the night often happens to individuals as they age. This can be a scary and embarrassing condition, particularly if your condition is heavy or severe. However, understanding the condition can make life much easier.
What Causes Nighttime Incontinence?
Often known as Nocturnal Enuresis, nighttime incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine that happens during sleep. Although this can happen during the day if the individual is napping, the condition most often occurs at night. The development of this condition after the age of 18 is often called adult-onset secondary nocturnal enuresis. The body of an individual with Nocturnal Enuresis unexpectedly receives a signal to release the urine while they are sleeping. This can be sent because the walls of the bladder have been weakened due to trauma or because of an underlying medical condition. Nighttime incontinence can also be caused by diseases that affect the nerves such as Strokes, Multiple Sclerosis and Dementia. Having a smaller-than-normal bladder capacity may also make you prone to wetting the bed. Levels of the antidiuretic hormone, a brain chemical that signals the kidneys to release less water, normally rise at night. However, in individuals with Nocturnal Enuresis, this hormone is lacking. Evidence has shown that people living in stressful home situations or institutions are more likely to wet the bed. Depression, sexual abuse, anxiety, stress and other psychological issues are known to cause bedwetting. Secondary nocturnal enuresis, which is bed-wetting that occurs after a period of staying dry, is more likely to be related to a medical condition. Examples of physical causes include a kidney or bladder infection or birth defects that affect the urinary tract. Often, consuming known bladder irritants such as alcohol and caffeine in excess can increase urine production.
Research has shown that nocturnal enuresis can even occur due to a genetic link. A recent study even showed that someone with two bedwetting parents has a 77% chance of also becoming a bedwetter. When one parent wet the bed as a child, their child was found to have a 40% chance of becoming a bedwetter. You are therefore much more likely to wet the bed if one or both parents have a history of bed-wetting as a child. Formal studies of the genetics of enuresis have been performed since the 1930s and molecular genetics since 1995, both highlighting the relevance of hereditary factors in the aetiology of nocturnal enuresis.
How can you reduce your symptoms?
Nighttime incontinence is a chronic condition. However, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the severity of leakages during the night. The first step to treating nighttime incontinence is to talk to your Doctor. Often, embarrassment is the reason so many people refuse to talk to someone else about their condition. However, a professional may suggest a life-changing technique to help you treat the condition. Most Doctors will understand that incontinence is never normal and is not a normal part of growing older. Doctors can prescribe medications such as Desmopressin and Imipramine to prevent night-time urination. These medications work in different ways to decrease incontinence at night time, and your Doctor can decide which medication is the most suitable for your condition. You should be prepared to tell the Doctor bow often the Nocturnal Enuresis happens, for example, whether it is a nightly problem or you struggle with incontinence at night time a few times a month. The Doctor will also need to understand the severity of your incontinence to assess which is the best solution for you.
Your Doctor may recommend you practice Kegel Exercises so you are more aware of your pelvic area and have better bladder control. These exercises require you to become aware of the muscles you use to stop urinating. To exercise these muscles, squeeze these muscles for up to 4 seconds, then relax the muscles for 4 seconds. You can gradually increase the length of time you are able to squeeze until you see a noticeable improvement in the strength of your muscles. For this method to be fully effective, it is recommended that you repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times per session. You should try and do this exercise 3 times every day if you are able to fit it into your daily routine.
An effective lifestyle change is to make some dietary changes. If your Doctor has helped you outline the underlying cause, you can begin to make lifestyle changes that will lessen the amount of nighttime incontinence you are experiencing. A good way to help your Doctor discover which foods and liquid you should stay away from is through making a list of everything you would consume on a normal day. You can then show this to your Doctor so they can recommend any food or restrictions. Your nighttime incontinence may even be due to hidden food allergies. According to the Urologist Los Angeles Community, a growing number of people are discovering that by avoiding certain trigger foods, they can stop nightly bedwetting episodes. There are also foods that are known to irritate the bladder and worsen nighttime incontinence. In a recent study, Doctors in Japan discovered that it is useful for people with Nocturnal Enuresis to cut back on salt. Researchers from Nagasaki University presented their findings at the European Society of Urology congress in London. They followed patients who had a high salt intake and sleeping problems for three months after giving them advice to cut back on salt in their diet. On average, trips to the toilet fell from more than twice a night to just one, improving their quality of life. Professor Marcus Drake asserted, “here we have a useful study, showing how we need to consider all influences to get the best chance of improving the symptom.” In addition to paying attention to your salt intake, you should also try and avoid known bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol. Do not forget the importance of hydration when creating your new diet plan. Being hydrated is essential for everyone, therefore you should not restrict drinking fluids throughout the day.
Using incontinence bed pads is a proactive idea to ensure you are prepared for any leakages. Bed pads instantly absorb liquid during the night, giving you complete peace of mind. Some bed pads feature tuck in flaps in order to position the pad securely. Alternatively, there are bed pads available without flaps for users wanting to protect only one side of the bed. Bed pads can be used both on top or underneath the mattress cover depending on your preference. You can choose either washable or disposable pads and various absorbency levels. Washable bed pads can be used multiple times, as they can easily be washed. This gives them a longer lifespan. Disposable bed pads often contain virgin fluff pulp for greater levels of absorption and have extra protection backing. In addition to buying bed pads for preparation, bedwetting alarms are another useful product that can help to prevent leakages. A bedwetting alarm is simply an alarm that can wake you up at timed intervals to go to the toilet every few hours, ensuring you will reach the toilet in time. There are also bedwetting alarms in the market that monitor your wetness and can wake you up as soon as you urinate. For nighttime incontinence that is severe and frequent, you should look for an all-in-one product to sleep in for maximum protection. However, if your nighttime incontinence is very light, you can purchase shaped incontinence pads to provide you with security.
You should remember that nighttime incontinence is not a choice. Do not be afraid to talk to specialists and the people around you yo seek advice and understanding.