How You Can Still Remain Active Even with Incontinence

Tips for Dealing with Male Incontinence
Tips for Dealing with Male Incontinence

Many people fear and dread the possibility of an ‘accident’ but, remaining active with incontinence should not be an issue. As well as managing with incontinence pads, there are many things you can do about stopping it from happening complete or lessening the impact on your daily routine.

#1 Start taking back control

It’s not easy to talk about incontinence which is researchers found that women wait on average six years before they seek medical help.

Incontinence is not a sign of aging but it can be a sign of something else. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause you to lose control of your bladder in the short term. Easily treatable, once the UTI has disappeared, you may also find urinary incontinence disappears too.


Some types of medication can also cause incontinence, again something that can be easily remedied.

#2 What type of incontinence is it?

Working out the type of incontinence you have is important as this can lend itself to getting the right treatment;

  • Stress incontinence is when you accidentally leak urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, lift something heavy and so on. This implies that the pelvic floor muscles around your bladder are not strong enough to support it.
  • Urge incontinence is when you need the toilet but accidentally leak before you get there. This is a strong and immediate urge, that comes on with no warning.

#3 Medical help

Your GP or nurse will ask you about your incontinence, its symptoms and how long you have had the problem. They may also ask you to keep a diary of what you eat and drink, as well as when you visit the toilet and how bad your incontinence is at certain times of the day and night.

#4 Looking for the cause

Your GP or nurse will look for what could be causing your incontinence, from testing for any infection to other conditions that may be the root cause. They will look at your medical history too.

For women who have had children, child birth, both vaginal and caesarean deliveries, can cause the pelvic floor muscles to be weakened or damaged. Pelvic floor exercises can make a huge difference.

For men, examining the prostate is usual too as an enlarged gland can impact on your continence.

#5 Pelvic floor exercises

For men and women, pelvic floor exercises can make a huge difference to their incontinence issues can eventually stop the problem completely.




The pelvic floor muscles are sling like, running from the front of your body by your pubic bone to the rear of your body, to the base of your spine. The exercises are ‘clench and release’ type ones and can be practiced anywhere, any time – and no one knows you are doing them!

#6 Getting back in control

Some people with incontinence also find that scheduling toilet visits can also be a great help in reducing leaks or accidents.

This is also known as bladder re-training. Some people schedule bathroom visits every two hours and if they feel the urge to go before, use pelvic floor muscle exercises to ‘hold it in’. Over time, you will develop better muscles and control.

#7 Other aids

If you feel your incontinence is getting worse or you need help to control it, your GP may prescribe you products .

Women for example, can use a cone or pessary which supports the bladder and surrounding muscles. There are also surgical options.

#8 Get the right protective products

Just like sanitary wear, incontinence pads are available in a range of absorbencies. There are also products specifically for men.

Although you may not like the idea of wearing pants or pads, they do provide a layer of protection that will give you more confidence to be able to enjoy life again! Don’t let incontinence hold you back – seek medical help.

 

HARTMANN Direct supply a range of protective incontinence pads and pants for men and women. Offering a discreet delivery service, there are all kinds of products available that give you freedom to enjoy life, without worry about incontinence.

How Yoga Can Help Reduce the Effects of Urinary Incontinence

A Lady doing Yoga - what are the health benefits?
A Lady doing Yoga – what are the health benefits?

It is not known how many people are incontinent in the UK or how many women and men rely daily on incontinence pads, but NHS Choices believe that between three and six million people in the UK suffer from some level of urinary incontinence.

Traditionally a problem sufferers kept hidden, people would often ‘put up with’ incontinence and not seek help to remedy it.

More people are now seeking help and is not something that needs to remain secret or an embarrassing, inevitable ailment that ‘comes with age’.

Not just a female or age problem

Although urinary incontinence affects more women than men, it is not solely a female problem. Neither is it a condition or issue that is related to age.

Young women and men can also suffer from urinary and bowel incontinence. It is estimated that five million people in the UK under the age of 24 will have experienced some kind of bladder control issue, with around the same number thought to have had some kind of bowel incontinence.


Two types of urinary incontinence

There are two common types of urinary incontinence – stress incontinence and urge incontinence. There are claims that practicing yoga on a regular basis could help with managing the symptoms and decreasing the possibility of accidental leakage of urine happening.

  • Stress incontinence is when a small amount of urine leaks after lifting, strenuous exercise, coughing, sneezing or laughing. This is thought to be the most common type to affect women. It happens because the pelvic floor muscles are weak or possibly damaged, offering little support to the bladder.
  • Urge incontinence is also known as an overactive bladder. It happens because the body signals an immediate need to release urine, often without warning.

Can yoga help?

A 2014 research project published in the Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery discovered that a yoga training programme with the specific goal of improving pelvic health did yield results for the women involved.




The trial was conducted using 19 women over the age of 40, who suffered urinary incontinence on a daily basis. The participants had either stress, urge or mixed incontinence.

Half of the women attended a six-week yoga therapy programme, in which they attended twice-weekly sessions and home practice. The other half served as a control group.

Of those women who attended the yoga programme, 70% reported a significant improvement in their incontinence issues. The control group reported only a 13% improvement.

For women suffering stress incontinence, they found these yoga sessions the most helpful with great results, with the researchers from the research project believe that yoga helps in many different ways.

For example, incontinence can be linked to stress and anxiety and with yoga’s emphasis being on mindful meditation and relaxation, it is possible that by decreasing stress and anxiety, incidence of incontinence was reduced too.

Likewise, yoga teachers and participants also feel that by regularly exercising their pelvic floor area that they regain and retain strength in these important muscles. With strong pelvic floor muscles, the bladder is supported and incontinence lessened or prevented altogether.

The researchers also created a yoga programme for older women who may have had mobility issues and limitations. This too was helpful in controlling incontinence and overall, the project concluded that yoga could play a part in controlling all types of incontinence.

An alternative treatment

For many people with incontinence, medication if often offered as a means of controlling the bladder. Medications that target incontinence however, have a range of side effects that can make daily life unpleasant, such as dry mouth, constipation, heartburn, blurred vision, issues with memory and confusion.

For people already feeling stressed and anxious about urinary incontinence, medication does not solve the problem but can add to the issues that they face. Yoga offers a real and credible alternative to some people.

But yoga does more than tackle the problem it incontinence. It tackles the emotional issues around it too, by helping deal with depression, stress and anxiety.

Yoga tutors are often well-trained who can help people with specific problems. There are several yoga poses, as well as meditation aspects, that can help with specific muscles. As well as attending class regularly, participants are also encouraged to practice at home.

Yoga could mean waving goodbye to incontinence pads and pants, and regaining control over both your bladder and your life! And with yoga classes being prevalent across the country, taking control of your bladder could happen sooner than you think.

 

HARTMANN Direct offer a range of incontinence products for both men and women with urinary and bowel incontinence. From light to heavy absorbency needs, they understand the need for products that are reliable and fit for purpose for living a busy and active life.

How to Help Control Incontinence with Food and Exercise – A big issue for the multiple sclerosis community!

How to Help Control Incontinence with Food and Exercise
How to Help Control Incontinence with Food and Exercise

Urinary incontinence – stress, urge or both – affects many people. So much so, many sufferers rely on various incontinence products to help them manage it on a daily basis.

There are many different ways of controlling incontinence, from practicing specific pelvic floor muscle exercises to understanding how food and drink can impact on incontinence.

The digestive system is part of the body and so it makes sense that we eat and drink, as we well as how active we are, will be reflected in our overall digestive health. Being aware of your diet and striving to maintain your fitness are both important factors in regaining and maintaining control over urinary incontinence issues.

There is a saying that 80% of the results in the gym happen in the kitchen and are related to the choices we make when it comes to food and drink. What you consume on a daily basis can have an impact on your incontinence too, with common bladder irritants already identified.

However, the effects on people will vary from one to another. You may find that spicy foods do not seem to irritate your bladder but consuming citrus fruits or juices does. If you do consume these foods, take note of how they impact on your incontinence issues and how much, eliminating them from your diet accordingly.

Fluids

There is no ‘diet’ to cure incontinence but what you do consume can have an effect on incontinence. There are symptoms you may be able to manage by making small changes to your diet. Some people complete a food diary for a time, monitoring their food and fluid intake to see if they can establish a link or a pattern between what they are eating and drinking, and urination.

Drinking more water may seem counter-intuitive but, by decreasing your water or fluid intake, you could actually be making incontinence worse. Decreasing fluids can mean that the bladder becomes more irritated because urine becomes more concentrated. It can also trigger a growth in bacteria that can also trigger or make incontinence worse.

Drinking between six to eight glasses of water a day – around 8oz of water per glass – can have beneficial results. Spread your drinking throughout the day, rather than gulping it all in one go.

Strengthen the whole body

It is common to focus solely on certain areas, such as the pelvic floor muscles, when dealing with urinary incontinence. But, there is a school of thought that suggests developing an exercise regime that engages the entire body will be just as beneficial.

Enhancing the cardiovascular system, becoming more flexible and increasing stamina all contribute to both physical and emotional well-being, important in dealing with incontinence.

Strength

Your strength is the ability of your muscles to generate force for everyday tasks. For example, standing up from a chair requires strength in the legs. Our strength peaks when we are in our 20s and 30s but this does not mean that after this age, our strength simply disappears.

What we do need to do as we age, is to exercise so that we slow the progress of the weakening of our muscles. And this can be done from using free weights, to using resistance bands to using tins of canned food to perform arm curls.

These exercises need to be done daily and have an almost immediate impact on the body. The pelvic floor is a muscles, responsible for supporting the bladder and bowel; by performing pelvic floor exercises on a daily basis, you can regain strength and control of these important muscles and prevent the incidences of loss of control over your bladder. Again, age is no barrier!

Healthy weight

The advice is everywhere and although the advice on how to best and safely lose weight can be conflicting, the message is still clear – losing 10% of your body weight (if you are overweight) can have significant impact on your overall health.

Maintaining a healthy weight to height ratio has never been easy but for those people suffering from urinary incontinence, excess body fat can place pressure on the bladder, bowel and digestive system. Again, when combined with regular exercise, losing weight will impact on urinary incontinence, decreasing the likelihood of accidental urine leaks.

In summary

For some people, urinary incontinence is a by-product of an illness or condition and managing it on a daily basis with incontinence products is necessary.

There are also cases, however, where urinary incontinence can be controlled and managed by avoiding certain food or drink irritants, as well as maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

 

HARTMANN Direct provides a range of incontinence products to both men and women. Managing the symptoms of urinary and bowel incontinence is important and knowing that you can trust the products you use is just as important. Small changes in lifestyle can also have a big impact.

How to Care for People Who Suffer from Incontinence

 

How to Care for People Who Suffer from Incontinence
How to Care for People Who Suffer from Incontinence

It is thought that 6.5 million people in the UK act as carers, providing over 50 hours of unpaid care for a relative. They fulfil all kinds of roles from companion to cook, to nurse and chauffeur.

Most of these people look after their partner, spouse or other relative gladly and without complaint. This doesn’t make it any less hard or any easier to enjoy a quality of life beyond the four walls of the home.


And there are aspects of caring for someone that can, over time, become worse. One such problem is incontinence. In the early stages, it may mean using light absorbency incontinence pads but as age and illness march on, it can become ‘double incontinence’, making caring for someone tough.

What is incontinence?

It is an involuntary leakage of urine or faeces or sometimes both, known as double incontinence. It could be a small, occasional leak of urine, for example or as in some cases, it can be a total loss of bladder control.

For some people, their incontinence is known as urge incontinence, in which they feel the need to go to the toilet immediately and without warning. People with dementia can often suffer from this type of incontinence.

Stress incontinence is when there is a leak of urine as a result of exercise, coughing, laughing or sneezing. This tends to affect women more than men.

Faecal incontinence can range from passing a small stool when passing wind or total loss of bowel control. This is less common and affects both men and women equally.

Age and incontinence

Although not an inevitable part of aging, with some age-related illnesses and conditions, incontinence can be an issue and one that carers will may need to deal with. Carers can use, alongside incontinence pads and pants, other aids too including medication in some cases, such a measuring fluid intake and so on.




There are medical reasons why people can become incontinent in old age:

  • Urinary tract infections – known as UTIs, these infections usually respond well to medication
  • Prostate gland trouble – older men can sometimes have an enlarged prostate gland which can lead to an increasing in the frequency to urinate. This is also treatable.
  • Constipation – as well as being uncomfortable, constipation also places extra pressure on the bladder which makes ‘holding on’ more difficult. It can also be a cause of faecal incontinence too, whereby liquid faeces flows around the hard, compacted stool.
  • Side-effects of some medications – if you think this may be contributing or the cause of incontinence, the GP should be able to address this by changing the person’s medication.
  • Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome can also underlie incontinence issues.

Tips for carers in helping to manage incontinence

It can be distressing, embarrassing and frustrating helping someone to deal with incontinence. It can make a lot of extra work in an already busy day, as well as placing relationships under pressure.

Prevention is better than cure thus, if you are a carer for someone, trying to prevent incontinence is key, thus keeping the urinary tract, bladder and bowel healthy is important:

  • The person for whom you care should be encouraged to drink six to eight glasses of water throughout the day, increasing this slightly if the person suffers from hard stools or occasional constipation. A tumbler-sized glass is the usual ‘measurement’ given by various medical establishments and professionals. This water should be in addition to other drinks the person has. Increasing fluid intake helps to prevent constipation, urinary tract infection and confusion, a symptom of mild dehydration.
  • Drink fluids throughout the day rather than squashing it together at one time – this can be very useful in preventing night time accidents.
  • A balanced diet that contains five portions of fruit and veg also helps to regulate the bowel and bladder. Make sure that there is plenty of fibre and roughage in the diet too although with a total loss of bowel control, this will need to change.
  • Encourage the person to stay as active and mobile as possible, walking a little every day if possible. This helps with bowel movements.
  • Regular visits to the toilet along with allowing plenty of time to empty the bladder and bowel is important too. Sometimes, visiting the toilet within a few minutes of finishing a meal works and there are biological reasons why this works.

There are also many other things that a carer can do to help their spouse, partner or relative remain in control of their bladder and bowel, from using incontinence pads and pants, to making sure that the toilet is clearly identifiable.

Asking for help is important too for both you and the person you care.

 

Supplying both private customers and commercial, healthcare premises, HARTMANN Direct supply a range of high quality incontinence products, from light absorbency pads to pants. With ranges for both men and women, HARTMANN Direct understand the need for hassle-free ordering and delivery too!

10 Tips for Dealing with Male Incontinence

Tips for Dealing with Male Incontinence
Tips for Dealing with Male Incontinence

14 million people in the UK are thought to suffer from problems controlling their bladder.

A small number suffer from bowel incontinence too.

Although we have commonly associated incontinence with women and those in the older age group, it is a hidden and embarrassing problem for many.

Men can also suffer from incontinence and like female sufferers, tend to do in silence and without seeking help.

Even with specially-designed incontinence pads for men, many men continue to hide what they see as an embarrassing ailment. They may even assume that being incontinence is part and parcel of growing old.

Men are also uninformed or misinformed about incontinence too which is why these ten tips of dealing with male incontinence could make a difference;

1.   It’s more than a few drips

There are all kinds of sayings about small drips when you have finished urinating but being incontinent is about more than a few drops of urine on your underpants or trunks when you have urinated.

If you feel uncomfortable, can see the wetness through your clothes or have irritated skin, this is incontinence and could be a sign of something more serious.

2.   It is more common than you think

Men traditionally find it hard to seek medical help for issues and thus, it can be easy to feel you are the only one suffering from incontinence.


Incontinence can be a sign of an enlarged prostate gland which is treatable – as is incontinence.

3.   Keep an eye on your weight

If your weight has been sneaking up, this too could explain incontinence. As we age, our muscles do weaken thus with inactivity and extra pressure from carrying more weight, it is perfectly possible that this could be a cause or contributing to your incontinence.

Taking a look at your lifestyle, stopping smoking and becoming more active all help to stem the problems of incontinence.

4.   The prostate gland is the biggest culprit

It is not uncommon for men to experience problems with their prostate gland as they age. An enlarged gland can block the urethra, causing overflow incontinence or difficulty urinating.

Some men have the gland removed due to cancer and this surgery can lead to a damaged or weakened pelvic floor muscles and nerves. This is why many specialists prefer to ‘careful watching’ of the prostate gland to put off surgery until it is absolutely necessary.

5.   Parkinson’s disease and strokes can play a role too

Incontinence problems in men can also be linked to nerve damage, stroke or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

In addition, studies have shown that men are more likely to be involved in high-impact accidents, such as motorbike accidents, active combat and so on. Spinal injuries in such cases can also trigger incontinence.

6.   Specific incontinence products for men are helpful

Manufacturers of incontinence products for adults now produce a range of pads and pants specifically to fit the male anatomy. There is a growing range of product option, from light absorbency pads to higher absorbency pants, all of which make managing incontinence easier.

7.   Surgery could be an option

Men who suffer from severe stress incontinence can be considered for surgical intervention, if other aids, treatments and options have failed.




Implanting an artificial sphincter, usually made from rubber, can help to control the flow of urine. Urge incontinence can be treated with nerve stimulation devices, similar to a pace maker but as with all interventions, consulting with a specialist is essential.

8.   Medication is an option too

There are also increasing options when it comes to medication too for incontinence. Some drugs are used to treat the underlying cause, such as shrinking an enlarged prostate. Anti-spasmodic medications can also be helpful, as well as certain types of anti-depressants.

9.   Fluid intake matters

Limiting alcohol and fruit juices can have an impact on your bladder and at the same time, increasing your intake of water. It is important to spread drinking water over the day as this can help managing incontinence easier, especially if you schedule toilet breaks.

10.                Men can have specific issues around incontinence

No one likes to be incontinent. It is embarrassing, can make you uncomfortable both emotionally and physically, as well as being a source of worry and concern. There is also the need to control the smell of urine, which can be unpleasant but something that incontinence products can help with.

It can have a severe impact on your life and your confidence. Men can find it more difficult than women to seek help but there are treatment options, as there is also support available from your doctor and from online groups and agencies too. Seek help!

 

HARTMANN Direct supply a range of incontinence products specifically for man. Their products are discreet, offering protection without being bulky under clothing. Dealing with incontinence is about finding out why it is happening, as well as managing the symptoms.