What is urinary incontinence?
Unexpected loss of urine, also known as urinary incontinence, is a medical syndrome that affects millions of individuals across the globe. The severity of urinary incontinence can range from small episodes of bladder leaks throughout the day to larger surges of volume leakage that can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life. Unlike popular belief, urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging. If you experience any symptoms consistent with a leaky bladder, contact your primary care provider for further evaluation.
What are the causes of urinary incontinence?
There are many factors that may contribute to urinary incontinence including medications, medical conditions and daily lifestyle habits. Certain blood pressure medications (diuretics and ACE inhibitors), and sleep medications (sedatives) have been known to cause bladder leaks in some individuals. Menopause, pregnancy, and other medical conditions, such as diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and stroke, have also been linked to incontinence. Additionally, lifestyle habits, such as drinking alcohol and consuming large amounts of caffeine, can also play a role in the development of this syndrome. It is important to determine the underlying cause that is contributing to your incontinence. By determining the underlying problem, you might be able address the cause and prevent the need for drug therapy.
Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to prevent bladder leaks from occurring?
Yes! Before medication is prescribed to control the symptoms of urinary incontinence, healthcare providers often recommend that you make lifestyle changes to potentially eliminate the need for drug therapy. Losing weight, eliminating caffeine from your diet, drinking smaller amounts of liquids throughout the day, and avoiding drinking before bedtime are all ways that you can take your health into your own hands to reduce the frequency and severity of your bladder leaks. However, not all individuals successfully respond to lifestyle modifications. If you are still experiencing bladder leaks after making lifestyle changes, follow-up with your primary care physician, as it may be necessary to begin treatment with medication.
Are there any products that I can wear during the day to maintain my bladder leaks?
Bremo offers a variety of absorbent products for men and women that provide protection against episodes of bladder leakage. Products are available in a variety of shapes and sizes that are designed to meet your individual needs. Absorbent products allow you to manage your symptoms of urinary incontinence while staying comfortable and dry throughout the day. If you would like to learn more about absorbent products, stop by the pharmacy or call your pharmacist for more information. We carry many more products and equipment than can be listed here, please stop by or call us at 804-288-8361 and we can find what you are look for.
I would like to learn more about urinary incontinence. What resources are available for me?
If you are interested in learning more about urinary incontinence, the Urology Care Foundation contains more information regarding this syndrome.
Please visit, http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=143, for more information.
As always, your pharmacists at Bremo are available if you have any questions regarding your health. Feel free to contact us at 804-288-8361.
Created by: Danielle Beale, PharmD candidate class of 2015