If you can’t make it to the bathroom on time, and the urine passes out, you may be suffering from bladder control problems. A professional health practitioner can help you understand the causes and treatments.
This condition is also known as incontinence. It is a common problem with elders and women post-childbirth.
Weak Bladder Control Causes
Incontinence is a symptom of many causes, and some of those are:
- Side effects of any medicine – these include calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, sedatives, sleeping pills, caffeine- intake, and water pills. Sometimes the medications used to control incontinence can worsen the problem. Thus, visit a doctor for the right guidance.
- Urinary tract infection
- Bladder irritation
- Blocked or damaged urethra because of an enlarged prostate in men
- Pelvic surgery
- Nerve damage or any neurological diseases like stroke, spine injury, etc.
Many causes like urinary tract infections are temporary. As soon as the medical condition is treated, incontinence goes away.
Factors Contributing to Weak Bladder Control
Following are the contributors of urinary incontinence:
Smoking – There is no apparent clear connection between incontinence and smoking, but it is said to irritate the bladder.
Constipation – Regular strain on the bowel movements can weaken the urinary muscles.
Diabetes – It can damage the nerve and sense to urinate.
Excessive body weight – It can reduce the toning of muscles that controls urine.
Disability – Those who have problems like arthritis make it difficult for them to reach the toilet in time, leading to urine leak.
Spinal cord injury – Damage to the spinal cord can obstruct the signal between the vesicle and the brain.
Hysterectomy – Women having hysterectomy may suffer from incontinence.
Bladder disease – Any disorder of the bladder like cancer can cause incontinence.
Symptoms of Problematic Bladder Control
Incontinence is the uncontrollable urge to urinate. There are different terms used to describe this problem like:
- Hesitancy – Difficult to get the urine stream going
- Urgency – The sense of urinating quickly
- Frequency – Having the urge to urinate often
- Hematuria – Blood traces in urine
- Nocturia – Having to wake up frequently to urinate at night
- Dribbling – A continuation of urine leaks even after urinating
- Straining – The need to put a strain on the sphincter to urinate
Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence
The doctor uses physical tests and medical history to find the cause of your incontinence problem.
You may be embarrassed to discuss your urinary incontinence with the doctor, but feel free to let him/her know every detail so that he/she can guide you better.
The doctor may ask you about your:
- Eating and drinking habits
- Pregnancy and childbirth history
- Past or current surgeries
- Prostate problems
- Bowel habits
You may also be asked to keep a bladder diary before the doctor’s visit so that the professional can help better:
Make sure to include:
- When what and how much liquid you drink?
- When and how much you urinate?
- How frequently do you leak?
- Do you feel the strong urge to urinate before urine leak?
- If you leaked while doing any physical activity
You may be asked to take the following lab tests:
- Blood test
- Urinary tract imaging
- Bladder function tests
Treatments for Weak Bladder Control
The treatment options for urinary incontinence depends on the severity of the condition. The doctor may first ask you to undergo self-care treatments.
The doctor may ask you to reduce the severity of leaks with the following lifestyle changes:
Drinking The Right Amount Of Liquids – Ask your doctor how much fluid to drink daily. Ensure you follow what the professional says and do not limit liquids to the point that you become dehydrated.
Keep Your Weight In Check – The doctor will tell you the right and healthy weight according to your age and height. Follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain or lose weight. Losing weight can lead to fewer leaks.
Stop Smoking – Quitting smoking is good for your vesicle. If you want, you can take help from a professional to stop smoking.
Be Physically Active – You may not want to exercise when suffering from UI, but staying physically active is essential to keep your weight in check.
Bladder training is scheduling when to urinate. Your doctor will suggest you the right time to urinate based on your diary.
Gradually, the doctor will ask you to increase the time intervals between urination to widen your bladder so that it holds more urine. Record your daily bathroom visits and remember to show your diary to the doctor for further guidance.
You can make your pelvic floor muscles strong to hold urine better by doing kegel exercises. You need to tighten and relax your muscles while urinating. Women who follow this exercise have seen improvement in the frequency of leaks compared to those who do not train themselves.
A doctor can help you practice the exercise in the right way to strengthen your core muscles.
If none of the self-care tips help, you may be given medicine or asked to use medical devices to control urine leak. If none of the treatments work, surgery is the last option considered by the health practitioners to treat incontinence.
Tips to Control your Bladder
Learn the different steps you can take to reduce the risk of incontinence accidents.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine have a diuretic effect on your body. It increases the amount of urine your body produces. Thus, if you have a problem controlling your urine, these drinks may be contributing to incontinence.
Avoid Bladder Irritants
Following are the foods that may irritate your bladder and contribute to incontinence are:
- Spicy foods
- Foods having corn syrup
- Citrus fruits
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
A few artificial sweeteners like acesulfame K, aspartame, and sodium saccharin, may contribute to incontinence. They act as a diuretic, thus consume foods that do not contain artificial sweeteners.
As per the National Association of Continence, consuming stevia-sweetened products is a good option because it does not contribute to incontinence.
Bladder Control Frequently Asked Questions
How can I Strengthen my Bladder?
Following are the tips to keep you healthy:
- Drink enough liquids
- Limit caffeine
- Quit smoking
- Restrict alcohol
- Avoid constipation
- Regular exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Kegel exercises (pelvic floor muscle exercises)
- Use the toilet frequently and when required
What Causes Loss of Bladder Control?
A few physical activities cause stress incontinence. For example, your bladder may go out of control when you are sneezing, coughing, or exercising. These activities exert stress on the muscles that hold urine, and if the muscles are weak, urine leak occurs.
Is it Normal to Pee Every 30 Minutes?
It is normal to urinate around ten times in 24 hours. If you visit the bathroom more, it means you are drinking too many liquids or caffeine than required by your body.
How can I Stop my Bladder from Leaking?
Following the self-care tips and lifestyle changes can help stop urine leaks and get rid of incontinence.
- Avoid weight lifting
- Quit smoking
- Lose excess weight
- Eat healthy foods
- Regular exercise
- Cut down caffeine
We hope to have helped you know the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for urinary incontinence. If you have any questions, contact one of our experts to know about BTL Emsella, a revolutionary way to bladder control. Schedule an appointment today.