Urinary incontinence is a prevalent condition affecting more than two million Italians. Open discussions about this disorder are essential to help individuals realize they are not alone and to provide valuable insights into managing and preventing urinary incontinence.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence generally refers to the inability to control or hold urine, a condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. In rare cases, it may be an early symptom of more serious health issues, including chronic urine retention and bladder neoplasms.
Urinary incontinence can vary in severity and may worsen due to unhealthy habits. Therefore, seeking medical attention when experiencing symptoms is crucial. Early indicators of urinary incontinence include:
- Leakage during coughing
- Urgent need for urination, with or without pain
Types of urinary incontinence include:
- Stress Incontinence: Often due to reduced pelvic floor muscle elasticity, it primarily affects pregnant women, new mothers, and elderly women. Causes include hormonal changes, childbirth strains, and pressure on the bladder from the uterus.
- Urge Incontinence: Typically impacting menopausal women due to estrogen level changes, it can affect men with prostatic hypertrophy and bladder alterations. It requires specialist evaluation.
- Regurgitation Incontinence (Paradoxical Ischuria): Mainly affecting men with chronic urine retention.
- Postoperative Incontinence: A temporary condition occurring in men after prostate removal surgery.
Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can manifest through various symptoms, such as leakage following coughing, a strong urgency to urinate, an urge to urinate when hearing running water, and painful urination. Reporting these symptoms to a specialist is essential, and treatment recommendations should be followed.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Common causes of urinary incontinence include constipation, obesity, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, recurring cysts and urinary tract infections, neurological diseases affecting the brain-bladder communication, bladder neoplasms, and certain medications.
Habits to Prevent and Relieve Urinary Incontinence
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for preventing and managing urinary incontinence. This includes:
- Balanced Diet: Consume a diet that is balanced, low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in fruits and vegetables to combat constipation.
- BMI: Pay attention to your body mass index (BMI).
- Dietary Choices: Reduce consumption of bladder irritants like tea, coffee, and alcohol.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking, which can exacerbate the condition.
Urinary incontinence should never be underestimated, and individuals experiencing it should promptly discuss it with their physician.