When Incontinence Disrupts Your Life: Here's What to Do About It

Many people experience mild incontinence from time to time. Perhaps a sneeze causes you to leak a little urine, or diarrhea makes you need to dash to the bathroom. These types of incontinence are not very serious health issues, don’t last very long, and the cause of the issue is known.

Incontinence that is more serious and persistent can be disruptive as well as upsetting. You may not know what is causing it to happen. You don’t have to live with incontinence, as many treatment options can help relieve your issues while addressing the underlying condition that is causing the leakage.

At Spinal Diagnostics in Tualatin and Newberg, Oregon, Dr. Robert Heros, Dr. Jason Anderson, and Dr. Vishal Khemlani are skilled physicians who offer a variety of services to manage pain and many conditions. They provide you with diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your incontinence and offer the latest and the best treatment options to resolve your incontinence issues. 

What is incontinence?

Incontinence is the inability to control your bladder or bowels completely. This can result in a disruption of your normal activities, cause embarrassing accidents, and make you feel stressed and distressed. 

Though people of any age can experience incontinence, it is more common for people to develop it in their later years — approximately 1 out of 10 people over the age of 65 experiences urinary incontinence.

Incontinence is not a disease, it is a symptom of a condition, and It can vary widely in its severity. Sometimes incontinence is just a small temporary experience of leakage, but sometimes it is more extreme, interrupting your normal functioning.

What causes incontinence?

Incontinence can be caused by several conditions, from nerve and muscle issues to hormonal changes, and by more severe illnesses like cancer. 

Causes of urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence can be caused by a large number of conditions, including:

Your doctor completes a physical exam and diagnostic testing to determine the causes of your urinary incontinence and provide you with appropriate treatment options.

Causes of fecal incontinence

Fecal incontinence can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

Whatever the cause of your urinary or fecal incontinence, there are some treatments to relieve your symptoms and let you get back to your regular life. 

What can you do?

Incontinence can be an embarrassing subject to bring up with your doctor, but it’s essential to do so for many reasons. Incontinence can severely affect your quality of life and can worsen over time. You don’t want to socially isolate yourself because of embarrassment about this issue.

Your doctor reviews your medical history and completes a full physical exam to check for any abnormalities that could be causing the incontinence. He orders diagnostic testing, including urine and possibly blood samples to look for anything abnormal. Other tests, such as a neurological exam or urinary stress test, might be necessary to determine a diagnosis.

It’s important to find the cause of incontinence to effectively relieve your symptoms and to treat any underlying conditions that might cause other problems.

Treatment options for incontinence

If you are experiencing occasionally mild incontinence and you know the reason why it is occurring, then it may not be cause for concern. However, if incontinence becomes a common occurrence, then it’s vital to get an examination by a doctor to determine the condition that is causing it. 

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