What’s the link between urinary incontinence and neurology?
Urinary incontinence is particularly common in people with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. And since April 11th is World Parkinson’s Day, it seems the perfect moment to discuss this important topic. At WFIPP, we want to help everybody get the information they need about incontinence – especially if it’s cause is something that is not well understood.
Why can neurological conditions cause incontinence?
Neurological conditions can affect the parts of the body’s nervous system that regulate urine storage (the bladder) and control when you pass urine (the sphincters). Urinary incontinence can also develop after an infection of the brain, heavy metal poisoning or major pelvic surgery.
What types of urinary incontinence can neurological problems lead to?
Neurological problems most commonly lead to:
- Urge incontinence
- Overactive bladder (OAB)
- Stress incontinence
- Difficulties in emptying the bladder
Also, you might hear the term ‘neurogenic bladder’. This is an umbrella term which is often used to refer to any urinary incontinence symptom that is associated with a neurological condition. You can read more about the symptoms of these particular types of incontinence on our platform.
What can I do about incontinence if I have a neurological problem?
There are many effective treatments for dealing with urinary incontinence in people with neurological problems. To start with, there are simple lifestyle changes for those with less severe nerve damage who are able to gain control of these symptoms. These include dietary changes, bladder training, and keeping a bladder diary. If you have problems emptying your bladder, then mechanical treatments such as catheters might also be an option. In addition, bladder relaxants, bladder injections and sacral neuromodulation are advanced treatments that help many people find their path to continence.
What if I care for someone with a neurogenic bladder condition?
Caring for someone with incontinence is never easy, and this can be made even more difficult if they are also suffering from a neurological condition. We believe in providing as much support as possible to carers, as we know that the work they do often goes unnoticed. You can find out some general tips and advice here, but remember that speaking to a healthcare professional is one of the most useful things you can do. They are the people best placed to diagnose the person you care for and create a personalised treatment plan.
We hope this has helped you to better understand the link between neurology and urinary incontinence. As ever, head to our platform if you want to learn from other members of our community who have gone through similar experiences. Sharing is caring!
Incontinence news & articles, delivered to you monthly.