Prostate Problems in Men

prostate

A man’s prostate can cause incontinence symptoms.

Although statistically men experience urinary incontinence less than women, about six million men in America do experience urinary incontinence. About 17% of men over the age of 60 experience some form of urinary incontinence. In many cases, urinary incontinence in men is caused by prostate problems, or the methods used to treat prostate problems, such as surgery.Continue reading

Clostridium difficile and Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea

clostridium difficile

A Clostridium difficile infection can cause sudden bowel incontinence.

Bowel incontinence and diarrhea are commonly found in critical care areas of hospitals and long-term care settings. Diarrhea and bowel incontinence are major contamination risks in medical and care facilities. About 10-15% of all hospital patients develop antibiotic associated diarrhea – also called nosocomial diarrhea. This is diarrhea that happens when antibiotic medicine that is being used to stop or prevent an infection in a patient (examples: penicillins, cephalosporins, clindamycin, flouroquinolones) also kills good bacteria in their intestines that usually keeps bad bacteria under control. When the good bacteria is killed, it allows strong, antibiotic-resistant bad bacteria, which the patient may come in contact with in a hospital or long-term care facility, to multiply and grow out of control. This causes antibiotic associated diarrhea. Some antibiotic associated diarrhea is caused by a seriously bad bacteria called Clostridium difficile.Continue reading

Pregnancy and Childbirth

pregnancy

Pregnancy can put extra strain on the bladder and bowels.

It is common knowledge that pregnant women urinate more often. This is partly due to the extra weight on their bladder, but many do not know that women can experience urinary incontinence during their pregnancy. For some, urinary incontinence continues or worsens after delivery of the baby, but for most, symptoms will go away after giving birth or shortly after the birth. Continue reading

Obesity and Being Overweight

exercise reduces obesity

Exercising regularly, like walking, can help reduce your risk of becoming obese.

Men, women and children who are obese are at a higher risk of developing urinary incontinence. They also may have other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).  The extra weight carried around a person’s middle puts undue stress and pressure on to the muscles of the pelvic floor. This leads to the pelvic floor muscles getting weak and sagging. This in turn can lead to accidental leakage of urine.  Obesity (and being overweight) may also lead to Type 2 diabetes, which causes damage to the nerves that control the bladder.Continue reading

Neurogenic Bladder

Drawing of a brain, spinal cord, and bladder

Damage to nerves may cause a neurogenic bladder.

Injuries, surgeries, diseases and birth defects may affect the how the body’s nerves work … or don’t work! Some medical conditions that commonly affect how our nerves work include Spina bifida, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, spinal cord injuries (SCIs), Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. And each of these conditions may create a neurogenic bladder.  A neurogenic bladder is a disorder of the lower urinary tract that is the result of damage to — or diseases of — the nervous system leading to a loss of voluntary control of your bladder.  Continue reading

Hormone Changes in Women

hormones change as women age

Hormone changes occur  throughout a woman’s life time.

Women have the hormone estrogen in their bodies. Estrogen helps develop female characteristics, and is responsible for your monthly period by causing the lining of your uterus to build up before being released every 28 days or so.

Estrogen also helps your pelvic floor to be strong, supple and stretchy, which gives you greater control over your bladder and bowel function.Continue reading

Diabetes

autonomic nerves

Over time, diabetes will damage nerves.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where your body resists the effects of insulin (or does not produce enough insulin) to maintain a normal glucose level in your body.  Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, with about 95% of all people with diabetes in the USA having this form.  Type 2 diabetes increases your risk and severity for both urinary and fecal incontinence. Continue reading

Constipation

Picking fresh tomatoes

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables may help ease constipation.

Constipation occurs when stool becomes very difficult to pass from the rectum and out the anus. Stool that remains in the rectum for too long may stretch and weaken the sphincter muscle, allowing watery stools to leak around the lodged stool and then out of the anus – accidental bowel leakage (ABL).  Constipation may also cause you to strain. Straining while trying to pass stool may weaken your sphincter muscles, which can also increase your risk of bowel incontinence or ABL.Continue reading

Chronic Cough and Asthma

Coughing

A cough can put extra stress on your bladder.

Many people have urinary leakage when they cough, laugh or sneeze.  This is called stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In some cases, asthma or a chronic cough that lasts for many years can stretch the muscles of the pelvic floor and may make tiny tears in the muscles. These tears may cause stress urinary incontinence.Continue reading