Incontinence is a term that describes any accidental or involuntary loss of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowel motion, faeces or wind from the bowel (faecal or bowel incontinence).
Incontinence is a widespread condition that ranges in severity from just a small leak to complete loss of bladder or bowel control. It can often be a sign of other health problems. Sometimes it can be cured and other times it can be managed better with the right advice or treatment.
If you are experiencing bladder or bowel control issues, you need to first seek medical advice. There is a range of management options available, and your doctor or healthcare professional is the best person to discuss which course of action is best.
There are many types of incontinence:
- Transient or reversible problems
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Retention / overflow incontinence
- Functional incontinence
- Mixed Incontinence
Whatever how light your bladder leakage maybe we recommend you speak to a healthcare professional or your Dr even if you have only experienced a couple of episodes. If you are experiencing more than one episode regularly, we suggest keeping a diary and record time, date and the amount of fluid loss. Refer to the Continence Foundation Of Australia who have developed a questionnaire to help you determine if you have incontinence.
Incontinence is not just a problem for older people, anyone at any age can develop some form of incontinence and it should not be considered normal. However, women are more prone to incontinence than men.
Most people think that incontinence is a female condition, but in fact, one in ten Australian men experience regular bladder leakage.
Men: Incontinence isn’t just a “female problem”
Incontinence can be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating.
Men are often uninformed about the issues, the chance of embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many activities, including exercising, and causes emotional distress. According to the National Association for Continence* (NAFC), between 2% and 15% of men ages 15 to 64, and 5% to 15% of men over 60 who live at home have incontinence.
A useful aid is the Ontex Continence Care Tips booklet. The booklet provides tips on living with incontinence and how to continue to live a full and active life.
For a free copy of the booklet use the contact us form on our website or if you are a healthcare professional contact your local Business Development Manager on 1300 788 601
For more useful tips and advice, we recommend reaching out to The Continence Foundation of Australia. They have a free call helpline 1800 33 00 66 or go to their website www.continence.org.au
National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/
Choose iD for a complete range of light to heavy absorbency incontinence solutions. All iD products are approved by dermatologists.
Choosing the right incontinence product is critical for comfort and security.
Incontinence products come with different features. Each feature helps to effectively handle incontinence; the key is to choose the ones that best meets your needs. Consider the following features:
An incontinence product which is either too small or too large is never effective when it comes to managing fluid leaks. Therefore, it is always recommended to check the size of your waist, thighs and hips before you buy.
The continence product suitable for you will be based on your incontinence needs. If you are among those who experience light leakage, then a shaped pad would be suitable.
However, if you experience constant loss of bladder control, especially at night, it is advisable to select a product with a higher absorbency.
We can help you to choose the right products for your needs by using our Product Finder (add link) for women and men and order a sample online of the selected product.
With our products, there’s no need to stay at home, withdraw from activities, gym, tennis, social activities or travel.
Traveling or merely going out in public can be quite stressful for people with various bowel or urinary conditions. The first thing to remember is there is no real reason why you can’t go away as long as you prepare carefully and plan everything in advance.
Plan ahead and know where the toilets are located for your journey and/or destination. Find out where the closest toilets are and how accessible these are to you. The Department of Health and Ageing has a National Public Toilet Map – this shows the location of more than 16,000 public and private toilet facilities across Australia.
Know how long you will be away from home and make sure you have all the things you may need including a good supply of all the items you will need – pads, pants, creams, wipes, etc.
We have developed a product selector tool on our website to help you choose the right product for your needs (add link to finder). This easy to use online product selector tool has been developed in conjunction with leading Australian healthcare professionals and is designed to help you navigate the many options available from our wide range of continence care solutions. Our goal is provide you with a product that will give you security and comfort to live life to the fullest.
Another useful aid is our iD Continence Care Brochure. The iD Continence Care Brochure contains our complete range from light pads, pants to slips and also tips on product use for security and comfort.
A further useful aid is the Ontex Continence Care Tips booklet. The booklet provides tips on living with incontinence and how to continue to live a full and active life.
For a free copy of either brochure use the contact us form on our website or if you are a healthcare professional contact your local Business Development Manger on 1300 788 601
For more useful tips and advice we recommend reaching out to The Continence Foundation of Australia. They have a free call helpline 1800 33 00 66 or go to their website www.continence.org.au
Urinary Incontinence (UI) affects more than 423 million people worldwide. That’s 8.7% of the world’s population. Among those diagnosed with UI, almost half over the age of 65 depend on the care of others at home or in a nursing home.
Urinary incontinence is a symptom of other health conditions, many of which are physical. Although certain neurological disorders – such as dementia – can also contribute to UI, mental health is often overlooked when providing care.
Supporting mental health in someone with urinary incontinence requires identifying symptoms of psychological distress and taking steps to reduce it when possible. Lowering someone’s mental illness symptoms usually entails providing emotional support, but it also involves knowing what products – such as clothing, bedding, and incontinence pads – will help your patient live a fulfilling life.
How Does Urinary Incontinence Affect Mental Health?
Urinary incontinence is a life-changing diagnosis that involves significant re-adaptation to one’s surroundings. These changes may result in feelings of stigma, frustration, and shame, as well as feelings of anxiety and depression.
Not all individuals with urinary incontinence are aware of how severely a new diagnosis can affect their mental state. In fact, over half of all urinary incontinence patients do not seek mental healthcare, despite reporting symptoms of mental distress. As the partner or caregiver of someone with urinary incontinence, look for the following mental health symptoms:
Decreased Interest in Exercise or Sports
Individuals with urinary incontinence tend to become less physically active, primarily due to a fear of others discovering their condition. Other factors include concerns about bladder leakage and the need to find a bathroom . A sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity and type II diabetes, especially in elderly people. Furthermore, giving up an exercise hobby or sport may contribute to psychological distress in once-active urinary incontinence patients.
Reduced Intake of Foods or Liquids
People with urinary incontinence may decrease the amount of foods they eat or liquids they drink in an attempt to make their bladder leakage less noticeable or more manageable . However, decreased fluid intake can lead to constipation and urinary tract infections.
Decreased Interest in Social Outings
The potential for leaks and smell leaves many urinary incontinence patients and caregivers homebound. Travel is also a concern for people with urinary incontinence, due to uncertainty of whether toilets will be accessible at travel destinations or on public transport. Decreased social interaction may contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression in both parties.
Increased Irritability and Anger
Urinary incontinence patients may become irritable and angry due to a perceived inability to master their urinary incontinence, or from the negative impact that urinary incontinence has on their lives. Anger may be the product of lack of sleep, a lack of social interaction, or feelings of shame.
These are four of the most common ways in which urinary incontinence patients express mental distress. However, psychological upset may present itself in a variety of ways. If you observe behaviors that seem maladaptive or out of the ordinary, consult a professional.
How Can Caregivers Support Mental Health in Urinary Incontinence Patients?
As a caregiver, supporting your patients’ mental health is as important as supporting their physical health. Here are some ways to support your patient’s mental well-being:
• Support them in engaging in light to moderate physical activity for at least an hour per day. Suggest going to the park, going shopping, or even going to the gym.
• Encourage them to get enough fluids. The recommended intake is 1.5 to 2 liters per day.
• Tell them the importance of maintaining contact with their friends and loved ones. Assist them in organizing small social gatherings, as well as attending interest-group meetings with like-minded individuals.
• Ask them about their levels of frustration or anger, especially following a new diagnosis. Remain available to help them in their adjustment to a life with urinary incontinence .
Other Supports for Urinary Incontinence Patients
Being diagnosed with urinary incontinence means re-adjusting to life, but that adjustment doesn’t have to be difficult. A waterproof mattress cover, as well as easy-to-remove clothing, are inexpensive solutions for avoiding unwanted leaks and making toilet trips less urgent. The result can be less sleep interruptions, as well as reduced feelings of anxiety in social situations.
Your choice of incontinence pad also matters. Discreet packaging, odor control, and compact design all make it easier for you and your patient to manage urinary incontinence at home and in public. iD incontinence pads meets these criteria. Coming in many sizes and absorbencies, they allow any and all people with urinary incontinence to discreetly manage their condition.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that gradually destroys the dopamine neurons of the brain's dark substance. Dopamine is a chemical that transmits signals to the part of the brain that controls movement. When there is a loss of dopamine in the brain, it cannot co-ordinate with the rest of the body.
The 3 major symptoms
Parkinson's disease does not reach people in the same way, here are the 3 major symptoms:
- Tremors: It happens at rest and often only concerns a part of the body.
- The slowness of movement: This occurs in difficult moments for the person, to perform different movements that requires the co-ordination of several members such as walking.
- Stiffness in the muscles: This is induced by excessive tension in the muscles. This can lead to muscle or tendon pain in the person. It contributes to the difficulties of movements.
Beyond these 3 symptoms, there are other possible motor disorders such as balance disorders, trampling or swallowing disorders. Non-motor problems can also be diseases related to the illness such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness, digestive or urinary disorders.
The different stages of Parkinson's disease
There are 4 stages sign of the progression of the disease.
The symptoms begin to appear, but it can be difficult to make the diagnosis if they are not the characteristic of the disease or sufficiently pronounced.
This is a complicated time for the person who must accept being sick and suffering from an evolving and degenerative disease.
This step may seem paradoxical. On the one hand the person started their treatment, which they must take at fixed times several times a day. This involves reorganising one's life according to the disease and accepting these changes. On the other hand, the treatment that acts on dopamine can make the person feel better.
At this point, the person begins to become dependent and may need help. Daily tasks become very difficult for the person to handle. In fact, the person will alternate the periods when the drugs will take effect by reducing the disorders and the periods when the treatment will not be sufficiently effective and the symptoms will be able to resurface in a disabling manner. At this point, the person begins to become dependent and may need help. Daily tasks become very difficult for the person to handle.
It is the most advanced stage of Parkinson's disease because the patient can suffer from falls, loss of balance, disorders of swallowing, and it could be suffered daily. We can also see vegetative disorders as well as behavioural changes. The care will require adaptations at home, environment and daily life.
A glance at alternative treatments for Parkinson's disease:
- Eat foods high in fiber to avoid digestive disorders such as constipation.
- Ask your doctor for a guide to simple exercises and easy to do regularly.
- A therapeutic massage can help relax your muscles.
- Other therapies may include yoga or meditation.
We recommend that you consult your doctor for more information and advice before starting any exercise or diet plan.
Let's face it: urinary incontinence is still a taboo. The recognition of the disease is not easy, and that is why there have always been myths about the pathology. To banish these legends we have decided to comment on some of the most common.
It is said that urinary incontinence is typical of the elderly. Although it is true that as we get older, its incidence increases, it is not the only condition for it to happen. Incontinence can also appear after a birth, a surgery and even bad urinary habits. For example, not going to the bathroom when we need to urinate can promote incontinence. The musculature can be weakened, in fact, if this process repeats itself repeatedly over time, and may eventually lead to problems in initiating urination or even in slight losses.
Another widely spread myth is that drinking less liquid prevents incontinence. Again, this statement is not correct, since in fact, this could cause the urine to become more concentrated causing irritation in the bladder and, consequently, a greater frequency of visits to the bathroom. A good hydration is essential.
But the myths do not end here. It is usually taken for granted that urinary incontinence only affects women, but it is something that affects both men and women. In men it can happen because of the natural weakening of the muscles that surround the urethra. But, above all, it is related to prostate problems, although it can appear after surgeries.
That urinary incontinence has no solution is another of the statements that are often made false. There are methods to alleviate and minimize their effects, such as medical treatments (either through medications or surgery) or through something more traditional such as pelvic floor physiotherapy. Also moderate certain foods of our usual diet such as exciting drinks, alcohol, chocolate, spicy, etc., can help us improve in this regard. In any case, the assessment must always be carried out by a specialist.
Given the lack of knowledge, it is believed that feminine hygiene products also serve for the loss of urine. Again uncertain, because they are not designed or thought to contain the amount of fluid that urination supposes. The output speed of the urine is much faster than the menstruation and the liquid can filter quickly. Incontinence products are specifically designed to contain large amounts of liquids and are made of materials that, in addition to absorbing quickly, retain fluids and have antibacterial capabilities.
The taboo of incontinence leads many times to believe that sexual relations are impossible, but it is not a physical problem, but a mental one. Here the problem affects any age range, since the loss can occur during the relationship - due to the pressure exerted on the bladder - or at the end due to the uncontrolled spasms that occur in it. But the losses do not make it impossible to have good sexual health at all.
In any case, we recommend that you consult with your doctor to guide you and help you find the best solution.
In general, when you have a shift job it is difficult to establish a healthy sleep routine. The rotating of shifts, the guards, the overtime, and the inability to sleep when you are supposed to do it, and having to do it with daylight or noise prevent our body from resting as it should. But in addition to all, if you are a nurse or caregiver, the task is much more complicated. It is just a challenge.
Health professionals struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and their personal lives, and that includes having an adequate amount and quality of sleep and rest. Sleeping becomes a priority, especially when other people's lives are in their hands.
These are some of the tips you can follow if you find yourself in this situation:
1. Establish a frequent schedule: try to go to sleep and wake up always at the same time, although there may be days that you cannot accomplish the schedule due to shifts or guards.
2. Sleep strategic naps: naps less than 20 minutes are incredibly restorative and many of the hospitals allow their staff to benefit from them during long shifts.
3. Do not drink caffeine during the night: try to limit your intake to daytime hours to establish an adequate sleep pattern.
4. Take advantage of the sunny hours: although what you most want is to sleep after a night shift, the daylight makes your biological clock work correctly. Go out even if it's for a couple of hours.
5. Try to sleep in one breath: if you have no choice but to sleep during the day, try to do it right. Warn your family that you are going to rest so they do not bother you during certain hours, turn off your phone and concentrate on resting those hours.
With these tips you should establish a routine and have a much healthier rest. Take care of you to take care of others!
Our skin over the years is weakening and suffering as it changes, which can affect the loss of elasticity and hydration. Over the years, adult skin receives less blood flow, which causes wounds to take a longer time to heal. Therefore, it is vital to take care of every small injury that may arise.
There are also other risk factors that influence the health of mature skin. Those patients bedridden or in wheelchairs, with less freedom of movement can suffer from repetitive injuries in the same parts of the body due to the rubbing of underwear or absorbent aids; hence it is vital to always use the highest quality absorbent products.
Also urine and faeces can cause irritation due to increased skin permeability - all these conditions make the skin of the elderly very delicate and difficult to care for.
The areas of skin that are most affected are around the buttocks, hips, genitals and the area between the pelvis and the rectum. There may appear redness, sores, peeling, ulcers ...
It is very important to follow a cleaning protocol for the treatment of sensitive skin, which carries out the three important steps: cleaning, hydration and protection.
The cleaning should be done with products that leave skin soft and hydrated, using products without alcohol to avoid drying it out.
To protect the skin, zinc oxide creams help to form a barrier that prevents irritation and sores, creating a protective film.
In addition to following a protocol for the treatment of the skin, it is important that after each urination or deposition, we clean the area very well either with wet wipes or gloves. This three-step cleaning routine will help us with the care and general well-being of our patients.
On numerous occasions, you may encounter some patients who come for a consultation and have some type of urinary problem. Determining its origin, the causes and treatment is key to improve their quality of life and well-being.
In general, experts follow this protocol to know the type of incontinence that your patient has:
Voiding Diary: is a record of voiding activity, which organises a visual and complete daily activity of your patient. It will help you to understand your patient’s voiding routine and this way will be able to know in a more precise way if there’s a problem related to the control of the bladder.
Clinical History: antecedents, diseases and possible problems related to incontinence (such as medication or nutrition) are reviewed.
Analysis of urine: this can be ruled out that your patient suffers from UI due to an infection or a secondary problem.
Physical Examination: there may be certain anomalies derived, for example, from surgeries or cutaneous lesions that favor the appearance of urinary incontinence.
Symptom Questionnaire: by asking a few questions you can assess the symptoms and know the type of UI that your patient has, such as:
- Do you suffer from urine loss when you play sports, carry weight or cough? If yes, it could be stress incontinence.
- When you feel like urinating, do you have to run to the bathroom? Does the cold or the sound of running water intensify your urge to urinate? Do you have problems to endure? If yes, you probably have an unstable bladder.
- Do you have trouble urinating? Do you sometimes have the feeling that your bladder has not completely emptied? If yes, it could be a urinary retention.
The most appropriate way to treat urinary incontinence is to conduct a complete study of the patient to be able to assess all their history, symptoms and possible causes, and recommend an appropriate treatment to the type of incontinence suffered.
The festive season is nearly upon us and with that brings much cheer, but unfortunately for some it can also bring up some uncomfortable feelings. When we think of parties and get togethers, some people tend to shy away from the festivities due to fears around bladder weakness or incontinence. Despite these fears, it is important for us to remember that these symptoms are more common than we think - 4.8 million Australians (1 in 5 people) experience some form of continence struggles in their lifetime. With these kinds of statistics, we need to ask ourselves why we are feeling shy, embarrassed or uncomfortable, and strive to be more confident in who we are. To help with these struggles, here are a few tips to help manage these discomforts during this festive season and live a life in full view!
1. Keep Hydrated
Some people believe that by reducing fluid intake, they won’t have to go to the toilet as often. Well this is what really happens: your urine becomes concentrated (a dark yellow colour) and this irritates the inside of the bladder. Your bladder then wants to squeeze itself to remove the urine making you have to go to the toilet more often. Even worse, some drinks also have this effect on your bladder - drinks that have caffeine in them such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and alcohol should be reduced to help us maintain a healthy bladder.
So how much fluid should you drink each day? It's a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth your water needs depend on many factors; including your health, how active you are and where you live. Consequently, try to drink when you are thirsty but keep in mind that you should be having around 6- 8 glasses of 250 ml of fluids per day. Just remember that water will always be your best choice of fluid!
2. Try to keep alcohol intake in check
To promote a healthy bladder, It is recommended to have at least 2 alcohol free days a week – however the more the better! Both men and women should consume no more than 2 standard drinks on any day (which may be hard during the festivities) where one standard drink is equivalent to:
• One 375ml can or stubbie of mid-strength beer
• 100ml wine (13.5% alcohol)
• 30ml nip spirits
• One 250ml can of full strength pre-mix spirits (5% alcohol)
3. Eat plenty of unprocessed, fresh foods
I could prattle on for hours about eating well, however it all boils down to this simple rule. Processed foods (biscuits, cakes, takeaways, soft-drinks etc.) are all laden with sugar, salt and bad fats - so fresh is best! Don’t think of it as a ‘diet’, think of it as ‘eating well’. Don’t forget it’s also a good idea to eat more fibre, which can be found in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. This helps prevent constipation – a cause of urinary incontinence.
4. Toilet Visits.
Teach your bladder good habits! Try not to go to the toilet ‘just in case’. This can result in a lazy bladder that gets into the habit of believing it needs to be emptied regularly. Try to go to the toilet only when your bladder is full and you really need to go. Also whilst you are out and about, to help you be better prepared you can click here for details of where you can find a toilet close by for you, your family or friends.
5. Get moving!
Honestly, we all know that we sit on our butts way too much, but we make lots of excuses as to why we can’t exercise. Let’s change our mindset and decide that it isn’t exercise that we are going to do, but just moving. By ‘moving’ 30 minutes at least a day, you will be doing your body (and its future) a huge favour. This will help by keeping your bowels regular, and assist you in losing any extra weight that may be putting strain on your bladder and its supporting muscles. There are lots of different ways to get moving but the trick is to find something that suits you. Try parking the car 15 minutes’ walk away from the office to start with. That will amount to 30 minutes a day and is a great start!
6. Use the right protection
Make sure you are using the correct size and absorbency for your continence products. If you are not using the correct product, you may find that the performance will not provide the results you require and you may feel uncomfortable. If you are unsure if you have the right product for your needs, you can try our product finder by clicking here or reach out to the Continence Foundation of Australia for further assistance.
7. Personal Hygiene
Good personal hygiene is very important in managing incontinence. If you wear an absorbent products it is always a good idea to have a pack of wet wipes or wet wash gloves on hand for your personal hygiene and wellbeing so that you can refresh when needed.
Please remember, if you have any questions surrounding your bladder discomforts or continence troubles, you can reach out to the Continence Foundation of Australia through their helpline – 1300 33 00 66. This is a free telephone advisory service funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. This service is available to anyone residing within Australia, and may be accessed from Monday to Friday, between 8.00am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
People with diabetes can experience challenges with controlling their bladder and bowel. This can involve accidental leakage of urine, incomplete emptying of the bladder, passing urine frequently (frequency) or feeling the need to rush to the toilet (urge). There are three types of Diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes which is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Although the causes and treatments for the types of diabetes can be different the complications or damage to the organs of the body resulting from a high blood glucose levels are similar. There are four main ways that diabetes may cause problems with bladder and bowel control:
Obesity is a major factor in people developing Diabetes. It is also a major risk factor for developing bladder and bowel control problems. The pelvic floor muscles support most of your body weight. Any excess weight further strains these muscles, weakening them. Weak pelvic floor muscles do not support the bladder the way it should. If this happens you may notice leakage when coughing and sneezing (also known as stress incontinence) or the need to frequently or urgently visit the toilet.
People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body including the urinary tract causing problems in passing urine. This nerve damage is call Diabetic Neuropathy. The highest rate of nerve damage are in people with long-term diabetes or who have problem controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar.
The nerve damage can prevent the bladder from emptying completely, allowing bacteria to grow in the bladder and kidneys causing urinary tract infections. Urinary incontinence may result when the nerves of the bladder are damaged because the person may not be able to sense when the bladder is full or have control over the muscles that release urine.
Diabetes can also have an effect on the function of the immune system putting you at greater risk to infections. A common infection experienced by people with diabetes is urinary tract infection (UTI). It is the combination of the immune system changes and the poor bladder emptying that causes these infections and often they keep reoccurring. Treatment includes antibiotics and strategies to promote bladder emptying. In addition personal hygiene is particularly important and all women should wipe from front to back to avoid transferring bowel bacteria to the vagina.
Some of the medications used to control diabetes may cause loose bowel actions (diarrhoea). The combination of weak pelvic floor muscles and loose bowel actions may cause bowel incontinence. If you are experiencing these problems talk to your Doctor, Dietician or Diabetes Nurse Educator.
Atnip, S. (2014). About Incontinence – Contributing Factors – Diabetes. Retrieved from www.simonfoundation.org/About_Incontinence_Contributing_Factors_Diabetes.html