If you suffer from incontinence, you should know that you’re not alone—in fact, approximately 13 million Americans have some degree of incontinence, 85% of whom are women. Fifty percent or more of elderly persons living at home or in long-term care facilities have incontinence issues. If those numbers seem rather large, it’s because they are. Incontinence is a very common affliction and if you or a loved one suffer from it, you should know that there are now all kinds of incontinence supplies, adult briefs, pull-ups, pads, bed chucks, peri wipes, and perineal sprays that offer leak protection and help control and manage the incontinence that makes everyday living more comfortable and stress-free.
What is Incontinence and What Causes Incontinence?
Too many people who suffer from incontinence experience emotional as well as physical discomfort. Many people affected by the loss of bladder or bowel control isolate themselves for fear of ridicule and lose self-esteem. Again, you should know that there is now a wide range of incontinence supplies that offer leak protection and allow you to live comfortably.
Incontinence is a problem of the urinary system, which is composed of two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood and continuously produce urine. The muscular, tube-like ureters move urine from the kidneys to the bladder, where it is stored until it flows out of the body through the tube-like urethra. A circular muscle, called the sphincter, controls the activity of the urethra. It is not a part of the urinary system but can play a role in incontinence.
Normally the bladder stores the urine that is continually produced by the kidneys until it is convenient to urinate, but when any part of the urinary system malfunctions, incontinence can result.
There are several different types of incontinence
- Stress incontinence occurs when pelvic muscles have been damaged, causing the bladder to lead during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or any body movement which puts pressure on the bladder.
- Urge incontinence, the urgent need to pass urine and the inability to get to a toilet in time, occurs when nerve passages along the pathway from the bladder to the brain are damaged, causing a sudden bladder contraction that cannot be consciously inhibited. Urge incontinence is a major symptom of Over Active Bladder.
- Mixed incontinence is very common and occurs when symptoms of both stress and urge types of incontinence are present.
- Overflow incontinence refers to leakage that occurs when the quantity of urine produced exceeds the bladder’s holding capacity.
- Reflex incontinence is the loss of urine when the person is unaware of the need to urinate, it may result from an abnormal opening between the bladder and another structure, or from a leak in the bladder, urethra, or ureter.
- Incontinence from surgery follows such operations as hysterectomies, cesarean sections, prostatectomies, lower intestinal surgery, or rectal surgery.
Incontinence becomes an unfortunate fact of life for many. APA Medical offers a wide variety of incontinence supplies to help make everyday living more comfortable. We also offer a personal and discreet home delivery service, as we understand the sensitive nature of having to use incontinence products.
APA Medical is proud to be an incontinence supplier of the following products:
- Adult Wipes—Incontinence is simply a reality for many—adult wipes offer comfortable and sanitary clean up with thick quilted fabric for better cleaning.
- Bladder Pads—We offer a wide variety of bladder and booster pads. Our large array of bladder pads are designed to make life with incontinence more comfortable and manageable and come individually wrapped.
- Chucks—Disposable bed pads with extra-heavy absorbent polymer and odor-controlling agent that provide maximum incontinence protection and neutralize odors. Designed to protect beds, chairs, and other surfaces with a waterproof moisture barrier.
- Hygiene & Applicants— A variety of hygiene creams and applicants to make living more comfortable and sanitary for those who suffer from incontinence issues.
- Pull-Up Underwear— Incontinence issues can be uncomfortable and inconvenient for many. We offer pull-up, adult underwear in three varieties: men, women and unisex.
- Tabbed Briefs—We offer tabbed briefs for those with incontinence issues. These disposable tabbed briefs offer heavy absorbency and skin-smart fabric made with aloe and chamomile for skin wellness.
- Exam Gloves— We offer multiple-use exam gloves for a variety of bathroom and hygiene issues.
In addition to incontinence supplies, there are some simple ways to help limit your issues.
Before you go out, think about the day ahead of you. A little foresight can make living with urinary incontinence less stressful.
For instance, if the stair-climbing machine at your gym makes you leak, try the bicycle instead. If you know you always shop longer than you plan to, consider one of the many urinary incontinence products, such as panty liners or pads.
Know where the bathrooms are when you are out and about. Try to use them as often as possible.
It sounds simple, but it might be all you need to make an improvement. Try to limit your daily liquids to around 7 glasses per day. You don’t want to get dehydrated, though. And you do get water from foods, like fruits and vegetables. So start to cut back on how much you drink and see how you do. Your doctor can also suggest how much is enough.
Avoid Your Triggers
Notice which foods and drinks make you need to go, like those that have alcohol and caffeine in them. Spicy foods, high-acid foods such as citrus fruits and juices, and carbonated drinks can also bring about the need to pee.
If you find that your incontinence gets worse after you have any of these, cut back or quit them.
It can be a challenge but try not to let your condition bring you down. Some people get stressed or depressed, especially with urge incontinence because it is so unpredictable. Know there are plenty of treatment options available for you to try on your own or with the support of a doctor.
Talk about what’s going with your partner and others close to you. It could make your life easier if they know, and they will want to be there for you. If you and your friends and family focus on solutions, you’ll probably feel better.
If you’re a little shy about talking openly, that’s understandable. There’s support online available. You can find out how people with the same condition have found solutions at the National Association for Continence. You can ask questions on message boards as well as find doctors who specialize in incontinence.