Urinary incontinence isn’t exactly a disease, but it is more closely related to a symptom. A lot of times, things that people do every day can actually cause urinary incontinence, or it may also be something that is a direct result of another health problem. Of course, if by taking notice of some of the symptoms can help to avoid urinary incontinence, then let’s pay close attention to this list of potential causes. However, before trying to guess or judge what might be causing this problem for you, be sure to consult with a physician who can easily pinpoint from where the symptoms have originated.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections can induce urinary incontinence, due to the constant urge to urinate, which is associated with this condition. The symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection are generally caused by the infection to the bladder and its abnormal pressure, placing unnatural demands. The first typical symptom of a UTI is usually the urge for very frequent urination. When you have a urinary tract infection, you may also experience a burning sensation when you urinate, as well as urine that has a strong or somewhat odd smell. These infections may be easily treated by a physician.
Constipation is another condition that can cause urinary incontinence. For a little lesson on the human body, the rectum is located very close to the bladder. Therefore, when a person is constipated and cannot release hard stool, this puts unnecessary pressure on the bladder, causing the need for frequent urination. Constipation can sometimes be treated with over-the-counter medications that can be found at your local drugstore. However, if the problem persists, it is definitely a good idea to make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible, as that severe constipation can lead to a long list of other health problems.
Pregnancy can definitely cause urinary incontinence. If you’ve ever heard a pregnant woman say that she has to cross her legs when she sneezes, it truly isn’t a joking matter. During pregnancy, the weight of the uterus can press on the bladder, causing the need for frequent urination, as well as for those “false alarms” that are so famous amongst pregnant women. Urinary incontinence can also be caused by the stress of the pregnancy, along with rapidly changing hormone levels. While urinary incontinence is somewhat normal during pregnancy, be sure to mention it at your next office visit if it is becoming more of a problem.
Giving birth vaginally may also cause urinary incontinence to set in. This type of delivery can even somewhat weaken muscles that are key components for bladder control. Vaginal delivery may also damage the nerves of the bladder and surrounding areas. This can sometimes lead to what is called a prolapse when the small intestine, rectum, bladder or uterus are pushed deeper down into the body and into the vagina, which will lead to urinary incontinence. While these conditions can frequently occur after childbirth, be sure to manage them before the urinary incontinence becomes severe.
Having a hysterectomy causes a lot of symptoms within the body, and one of those is urinary incontinence. For women, any surgery that is performed on the reproductive system can damage the pelvic muscles. Since the bladder and the uterus share many of these muscles for support and proper functions, urinary incontinence may typically add to the recovery process of a hysterectomy. These symptoms generally tend to lessen after a woman has completely recovered, but every case is different, and sometimes urinary incontinence can take a little longer to lessen its hold.
Menopause is yet another cause for urinary incontinence because, once a woman has entered into menopause, her body will begin to produce less estrogen, actually one of the key factors for menopause setting in. However, one of the most important jobs of estrogen is to keep the bladder and the urethra in healthy conditions. When these tissues begin to break away and deteriorate over time, it can cause urinary incontinence. Women should always see a physician when they suspect that they are experiencing symptoms of menopause, as that there are a myriad of medications that can assist in curbing the symptoms.
Prostate cancer can also set off the symptom of urinary incontinence, either through urination induced by stress, whether associated to cancer or caused by other conditions, or from urination that occurs due to the constant urge. In fact, urinary incontinence is one of the main and most obvious symptoms of prostate cancer. However, once a patient has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, some of the treatments and medications may also promote urinary incontinence. This symptom may also appear in men with enlarged prostates. This is why it is imperative for men, especially those over 40, to have regular prostate examinations.
Any obstructions near or around the bladder can cause urinary incontinence, and there are several types that can apply in this situation. If an individual has a tumor anywhere along the urinary tract that can somehow block any flow whatsoever of urine, this can cause the bladder to overflow, leading to urinary incontinence. Hard stones that are often found in the bladder, often referred to as urinary stones, can also cause incontinence. Both of these conditions can be very serious, especially when left untreated, so be sure to see a physician as soon as possible if you are having one or more of the symptoms associated with these obstructions.
Neurological disorders may also be a platform for urinary continence. The bladder works from nerve signals, and if these signals are not reaching their mark or are no longer being sent altogether, then urinary incontinence can occur. Some neurological disorders that can produce this symptom are Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, tumors, spinal or brain injuries, strokes and even some psychologically induced disorders. If you have one of these conditions, chances are that your physician may have already spoken to you about the chances of developing urinary incontinence. However, be sure to mention it again, should the symptoms become more severe.
Drinks or Foods
Sometimes ingesting certain drinks or foods can kick off urinary incontinence. However, you’re in luck, because this incontinence is usually temporary and should diminish over time. These foods, drinks and even medications can cause the bladder to become over-stimulated. Some of these may include: alcoholic drinks, including red or white wine, anything containing caffeine, decaffeinated teas and coffee, sodas and other drinks with carbonation, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners like Equal, foods high in citrus fruit, acidic foods and overly sweet foods or drinks. Medications that can trigger urinary incontinence are heart medications, blood pressure pills, muscle relaxers, and sleep agents.