Know All About Urinary Incontinence In Elderly


Are you concerned about urinary incontinence in old age? Are you keen on knowing how effective and helpful is Homeopathy for your Urinary incontinence problem? If you nodded along, take a moment to read all about Urinary incontinence in older people and how homeopathy can help to restore health.

Urinary incontinence is an involuntary passing of urine. It can be a mild nuisance for some, but, for some people, it severely hampers their quality of life. Women have a greater prevalence of urinary incontinence compared to men. According to the studies, 50% of women and 25% of men aged 65 years or older complain of urinary incontinence, and the rates increase with the age. Urinary incontinence is common in women because, during childbirth, the pressure causes pelvic tissues to stretch, and, during labor, there may be nerve and muscle damage that can contribute to urinary incontinence. The incontinence may not happen for several years after the childbirth, and, gradually, the complaints start after the age of 55 years. 50% of men report leakage due to the stress urinary incontinence following prostate surgery. The age-related changes in the urinary tract predispose the older person to incontinence. It may cause a problem in the filling, storing, or emptying the bladder or a combination of all of these. Recurrent urinary tract infections can make the urinary incontinence complaints worse, so it is important to address this issue too. Urinary incontinence can profoundly affect the social and emotional health of the people and often decreases their ability to maintain an independent lifestyle. Nearly two-thirds of women with urinary incontinence do not discuss their symptoms with a healthcare provider or even with their family members out of shyness and embarrassment.

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Urinary incontinence is common at both the ends of a person’s life that is during the infancy, because they are still in the development stage and old age, because of the various factors, such as changes in the age-related urinary tract. Also, certain other things trigger urinary and vaginal infections, such as nerve and muscle disorder, prolapsed uterus, rectum or bladder, certain medicines (diuretics, muscle relaxants, herbs like dandelion), constipation, a habit of alcohol, caffeine, excess of intake of sugar and citrus fruits, and, in some diabetic patients, a complication known as neurogenic bladder.

 

Changes in the Urinary Bladder with Aging: 

Here are some changes that occur in the urinary bladder due to aging and may contribute to urinary incontinence in elderly individuals.

  • Decreased bladder capacity
  • Reduced voiding volume
  • Reduced flow rate
  • An increased urine production at night
  • Detrusor overactivity
  • Benign prostate enlargement

 

Risk Factors for Urinary Incontinence:

Here are some common risk factors that may cause urinary incontinence.

  1. Old age
  2. Obesity
  3. Parity, common in multiparous women
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Hysterectomy
  6. Menopausal replacement therapy
  7. Smoking, menopause, pelvic, and perineal surgery
  8. Cognitive impairment
  9. Mobility impairment
  10. Anatomical abnormalities

 

Common Urinary Bladder Problems in Adults: 

Here are some common urinary bladder problems in adults include: 

  1. Frequent urination
  2. Rushing to the bathroom
  3. Wetting accidents
  4. Trouble urinating
  5. Dribbling after urinating
  6. Urinary tract infections
  7. Burning or discomfort before and after urination
  8. Occasionally blood in the urine which could be pinkish tinge or bright red

 

There are mainly two types of wetting accidents: 

  • Urge incontinence: 

When one simply can’t make time to go to the bathroom, the sudden and strong urge to pass the urine is called urge incontinence. It is also known as overactive bladder. Common symptoms are urgency and frequency of the same day or night. It may result due to stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and BPH with overflow.

 

  • Stress urinary incontinence: 

When one loses control over the bladder while coughing, sneezing, doing movements, such as bending, lifting, even moving from sitting to a standing position, walking, laughing, or do anything which increases the pressure on the bladder can cause leakage in some people. It is common in women with multiple childbirths.

 

Role of Homeopathy in Urinary Incontinence:

Homeopathic medicines aim to improve the tone of the weakened muscles as much as possible even though a complete cure is not possible. The medicines help to strengthen the detrusor muscles of the urinary bladder. And, also, it treats the underlying tendency of getting recurrent urinary infections.

 

1) Sepia:

Sepia is particularly suited to women who pass the urine involuntarily because of the prolapse of the uterus and chronic cystitis. When the women complain of bearing down sensation as if all the parts will come out and need to sit with cross legs, this medicine may help. When the patient loses urine from startling or fright, wets the pants from coughing of lifting the heavy things, and pass urine involuntarily in the first part of sleep, Sepia is recommended.

2) Equisetum:

The principal action of this remedy is in on the urinary bladder and Kidney. Equisetum is indicated in urinary incontinence resulting due to the problems related to kidneys. It is particularly suited to women who urinate frequently with pain in the right kidney and also complain of the pain at the end of urination accompanied by the involuntary passage of stools. Passing mucus with the urine also indicate this remedy.

3) Causticum:

Causticum is useful in treating stress urinary incontinence. When the patient won’t realize on passing the urine and experience paralytic affections of the bladder, this medicine is indicated. Passing the urine involuntarily while blowing the nose, sneezing, coughing, and, most of the time in the first part of the sleep, this remedy may help. The complaints turning worse in the winter season and better in the summer season are other characteristics that indicate this medicine. When the urinary complaints are accompanied by the anxiety and fear of something bad that will happen and passing the urine often from the slightest excitement, you may find relief with this remedy.

4) Baryta carbonicum:

It is suited to the elderly men who suffer from urinary incontinence because of an enlarged prostate with the complaints of sudden frequent urge to urinate, particularly at night, dribbling of urine, and burning in the urethra after urinating.

 

5) Conium:

Again, conium is one of the wonderful remedies for urinary troubles resulting due to benign prostatic enlargement. When there is trouble in initiating the urine, difficulty in voiding, slow and interrupted flow of the urine, and when urine flows and stops again, this remedy may help. The habit of alcohol in such patients may aggravate the symptoms. Also, celibacy is one of the important causes of the increase in complaints that indicate conium.

 

The choice of remedy will depend on various factors by considering the underlying pathology, type of urinary incontinence, the severity of the symptoms, associated diseases, and the emotional aspects of a person. One can take homeopathic medicines along with the other conventional medicines. The actions of both the medicines are different and they won’t interfere with each other.

 

In addition to medicines, it is important to bring lifestyle changes which will help in a faster recovery.

 

Strategies to Cope with Urinary Incontinence:

Here are some strategies which can help you cope with the discomfort and issues of urinary incontinence.

 

1) The use of pads

2) Practicing pelvic floor muscle exercises

3) Limiting the fluid intake

4) Eating foods abundant in fiber to prevent constipation

5) Avoiding bladder stimulants, such as caffeine and soft drinks

6) Avoid taking diuretic after 6 pm

7) Maintaining healthy sugar levels and weight

8) Stop smoking

9) Void regularly, about after every 2 to 3 hours

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