Incontinence is a common problem that results in the loss of control of the urinary bladder. It can often be not only a medical concern, but an embarrassing experience for the one experiencing the incontinence. The level of incontinence can vary, from being very mild, such as leaking a small amount of urine when sneezing, to severe, being unable to control one's bladder before reaching the restroom.
There is a wide spectrum of factors that may cause incontinence. Many foods and beverages can act as diuretics, which can cause stimulation of a person's bladder. Some foods include: alcohol, coffee or caffeinated beverages, and foods that are high in spice. Incontinence caused by food is usually only temporary. Persistent incontinence, which is caused by physical changes in the body, can be more long term. An example of a cause of persistent incontinence is pregnancy.
Treatments for incontinence normally coincide with being more lifestyle changes and exercise. By managing diet and fluid intake, restroom trips can be less frequent. Electrical stimulation has also been shown to help control the bladder. There are medications such as anticholinergenics that can help to calm the bladder. Lastly, one basic way to help control incontinence would be to use an absorbent pad such as a diaper to reduce trips to the restroom.
It has been shown that acupuncture may be a method to help treat incontinence, but further research is needed to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. By doing exercises to strengthen the muscles in the region of the bladder, it can help to control incontinence because there is greater muscle control in the area. Another of the simplest methods to help control incontinence is to maintain a healthy weight. By losing weight, there is less pressure on the bladder caused by excess weight, helping to reduce incontinence.