Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common condition; however, it is NOT normal! UI is defined as, "involuntary leakage of urine" and is classified into three different categories: stress UI, urge UI and mixed UI. UI affects 25 million adults in the United States and 300 million worldwide, and risk factors include, but are not limited to, age, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy, and obesity.
For the purpose of this article we will be discussing urge UI which is sometimes commonly referred to as overactive bladder (OAB). Urge is the involuntary loss of urine accompanied by urgency or the desire to void; it is often associated with triggers. Have you ever experienced that moment you put your key in the door and suddenly had to void?....that's urge. How about the moment you hear water running or experience the brisk winter air whip through your permeable clothing...did you have the sudden feeling you needed to void? These are all examples of potential triggers for urge UI.
You may be wondering why specific incidences trigger urge. Everyone's urge symptoms may be different but they all react in the same way. To put it simply, the bladder unexpectedly contracts forcing urine through the urethra. As the bladder contracts, muscles of the urethral sphincter relax to allow the urine to pass. If the urethral sphincters are weak or overactive (high tone) leakage can occur.
Urge UI symptoms can be better managed through proper nutrition and limiting bladder irritant foods/beverages. Bladder irritants are foods that irritate the bladder resulting in frequent urination. To better identify bladder irritant foods/beverages, we have complied a list of potential irritations:
* Carbonated beverages
*Caffeine: coffee, tea and decaf
* Milk and milk products
Limiting bladder irritants can reduce urge symptoms, but if symptoms persist, consider seeking pelvic floor muscle (PF) rehabilitation. PF rehabilitation can help restore normal bladder function by providing you with the education, knowledge and skills to be successful. Therapeutic procedures may include: internal/external manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, behavioral strategies, voiding interval diary and neuromuscular re-education. Consider Healthwise Care Center & Physical Therapy to help restore normal bladder function because while UI is common...it is NOT "normal"!