Urinary Incontinence or loss of bladder control is an underlying and underdiagnosed medical problem, which has become a silent struggle for a large number of people worldwide. Over 200 million people in this world suffer from this problem, according to statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Although this condition is more common in people over 40 years of age, even younger people, especially women who have given birth via forceps, can get affected. The magnitude of this disease ranges from leakage of urine during coughing and sneezing loudly to having an irresistible desire to urinate, which ultimately leads to leakage.
The good news is that it can be cured by undergoing medical treatment and simple changes in lifestyle. But to combat this ailment, it is imperative that you are familiar with its types and causes.
Types of UI
Urinary incontinence is classified into three main categories. However, it is not unusual if you experience a mix of all three types.
1. Stress Incontinence – This type arises when you are involved in certain physical activities, such as exercising, sneezing, coughing, or heavy lifting. The activity puts pressure on the sphincter muscles and causes involuntary leakage.
2. Urge Incontinence – As the name suggests, when you get a strong and involuntary urge to urinate, loss of bladder control may occur which ultimately leads to leakage. It may occur due to a sudden change in position.
3. Overflow Incontinence – This type occurs when you urinate but are unable to empty your bladder completely. Later on, you might lose some urine, which is also known as dribbling.
Causes of UI
A few cases are temporary and can get triggered by beverages, such as alcohol, citrus juices, caffeine, carbonated drinks, etc., or heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives, mood enhancers, or even recreational drugs.
· Damage – If the pelvic floor muscles are damaged in any way, incontinence may occur because these are the muscles that directly control your bladder.
· Aging – As you grow older, your bladder muscles tend to get weaker, which increases the chances of involuntary urination.
· Prostate – In almost every man, the prostate gland expands with age, which in some cases can cause a problem.
· Other Causes – There are many other causes of this ailment, such as pregnancy, removal of the uterus, complications in surgery, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), etc.
Although this condition is not worrisome, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor for effective guidance and treatment. You can pay special attention to your diet by avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and acidic drinks.