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Bladder and Bowel Weakness

incontAccidental bladder or bowel leakage – incontinence – is a problem which affects around 6 million people in the UK.

Despite this, it is not often talked about, mainly due to the stigma attached to the condition, and because many believe there is nothing that can be done about it. However, this is not necessarily the case, and many conditions can be improved or even cured.

There are different kinds of incontinence and different causes.

Urine Incontinence

This is when there is a sudden urge to pass urine without any forewarning, which can lead to accidents. It may be as a result of simply growing older, or may be as a result of stroke or other illness.

Overflow Incontinence

This happens when the bladder has not been completely emptied and a build up of urine results in overflow, which can be frequent leakage. The bladder many not completely empty as a result of an obstruction, such as an enlarged prostate gland in men, constipation, or other conditions such as muliple sclerosis. Most commonly however, it is simple the result of growing older.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when there is a sudden stress to the bladder, such as coughing or sneezing, jumping, or sometimes even just walking. This is usually caused simply by weak pelvic floor muscles and by being overweight.

Bowel Incontinence

The most common cause of bowel incontinence is constipation, where hard stools are difficult to pass, and small stools may be passed without warning. Constipation is often accompanied by stomach cramps and a feeling of bloatedness.

In the absence of a medical condition, the age-old problems of not eating enough fibre, not drinking enough water and leading a sedentary life are often the root cause for constipation.

Diarrhoea occurs when soft or fluid stools are passed frequently and without warning. It may be as a result of irritable bowel syndrome, an upset stomach or other bowel diseases. Also, as we grow older, the stomach and bowels become more sensitive to unusual or spicy foods, which can add to the problem.

Double Incontinence

Bladder and bowel weakness, or double incontinence can occur as a result of some chronic conditions, and as a result of operations where the muscles involved in the process become damaged. There are several methods of coping and minimising the discomfort of double incontinence, depending upon the root cause – a discussion with your doctor will enable you to find out what can be done for your specific condition.