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Myths, Facts and Surprising Numbers associated with Incontinence

 Posted January 22,2015

Numbers doc-woman-talk-office-400x400.jpg

    • 25 Million: Number of Americans affected by incontinence 
    • 6.5: The number of years a woman waits before discussing symptoms of incontinence with their physician (down from 10 years previously) 
    • 1 in 4The amount of women over 18 who leak urine involuntarily, and one-third of men and women ages 30 to 70 
    • 1/3: Percentage of men and women aged 30-70 who have lost bladder control at some point as adults 
    • 200 Million: The amount of people who are affected by incontinence worldwide 
    • 25 Million: Amount of Americans who experience occasional or chronic symptoms. (Of those people, 9 to 13 million have bothersome, severe symptoms) 
    • 1/3: Amount of men and women ages 30 to 70 who believe that incontinence is a normal part of aging (It is not and often can be treated) 
    • 20%-25%: Percentage of American men who have incontinence 

Myths

  1. Myth #1: "Only Older People get it"  Not the case. Whether you are 20 or 98, anyone can get incontinence at any time. It is true that your pelvic muscles relax as you age due to the drop in estrogen after menopause, and this can contribute to the instance of incontinence, but age is not the determining factor.
  2. Myth #2: "I am the only one who has it."  200 MILLION people worldwide suffer from symptoms of incontinence; 25 Million with occasional or chronic symptoms, 9-13 million with bothersome severe symptoms. Many cases go undiagnosed because of people's reluctance to speak to their healthcare provider about their symptoms.
  3. Myth #3:  "It is normal to leak a little urine." This is simply not true. Many women do leak a little and just accept this as a normal part of aging while using feminine hygiene products to help with the symptoms. Many people well into their 90's still have full control of their bladders with no leaking.
  4. Myth #4: "Bladder troubles are a normal part of aging and childbirth."  While these factors can contribute to the incidence of incontinence, they do not always.
  5. Myth #5:  "Avoiding liquids should help prevent accidents."  Drinking plenty of water—in small doses throughout the day—can actually help stop leakage, improve bladder control, and reduce odor. Reducing carbonated and caffeinated beverages as well as citrus juices will help avoid accidents.
  6. Myth #6:  "Incontinence is rarely a problem in men." 20-25% of Americans suffering from incontinence are Men, often related to prostate problems or surgeries. Men are just less likely to talk to their doctors about it.
  7. Myth #7: "It is embarrassing but not that serious."  True, it is not going to kill you, but it can make your life miserable. The constant fear of having an accident or an unpleasant odor may inhibit the desire to socialize, have intimacy, or even leave the house. The skin can also suffer from rashes, infection and damaging effects until it is treated.

Facts

  • It's not only coughing, laughing, or jumping up and down that can cause people to leak urine; the reality is,3 out of 10 people have urge incontinence.  Caused by a "miscommunication" between the brain and the spinal cord and can be brought on by the sound of running water, locked door or drinking small amounts of water.
  • Men Can do Kegel exercises too. (the act of squeezing the muscles together that are used to stop urination). This can prevent, even reverse incontinence in some cases.
  • Natural therapies may help to treat Incontinence. Increasing Vitamin D and Magnesium may both play a role in preventing or reducing incontinence.These combined with other measures have been well documented to help.

Incontinence is a very common problem that strikes at all ages and stages of life. There are many treatments and interventions that can be done to reverse or help treat the symptoms, no matter how severe it seems to be. The number one thing you can do to help with your or your loved ones symptoms, is see your health care provider and determine the cause. Don't wait 6 years to have that conversation, do it today. You don't have anything to loose, but so much to gain!

Resource: Health.com

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