Magazine article USA TODAY

Incontinence Is Controllable

Magazine article USA TODAY

Incontinence Is Controllable

Article excerpt

Approximately 12,000,000 American adults experience some form of incontinence, the loss of the ability to control urination. Many of these individuals are reluctant to discuss their condition with anyone, including their physician. "Of these who are incontinent, half of them will go to their internal medicine physician and will never mention their problem. An additional 20%, even when asked specifically by their doctor if they are incontinent, will deny it," notes Martha Roach, a urologist at Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans. "Many people suffer silently and needlessly from incontinence. They will buy diapers, wash themselves several times a day, and be embarrassed about the situation, not realizing treatments are available."

Incontinence can be caused by many medical conditions, among which are Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or stroke. Types include stress incontinence (characterized by loss of urine while exercising or moving in a certain way); urge incontinence (urine loss when a strong urge to go to the bathroom is felt); overflow incontinence (individual has a feeling that the bladder is never completely emptied); and neurogenic incontinence (a result of head or brain trauma, spinal cord damage, back injury, or spina bidifa). …

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