For many people, symptoms of incontinence come on gradually. The need to urinate becomes more frequent, a sense of urgency increases, and leakage becomes a regular occurrence. In many cases, people are already making adjustments to their lifestyle – double checking for the location of the nearest bathroom, for example, or using pads or even diapers – before they discuss the issue with a doctor.
Unfortunately, sometimes medical doctors or other providers inform their patients that these bladder conditions are just a fleeting bladder sensitivity, or age-related bladder weakness, and do not require treatment. But when is a “weak bladder” something more?
Incontinence can be an embarrassing thing to discuss with your health care provider. How can you decide whether this is just a normal part of aging and something that should be treated at home with pads or diapers, or a condition that truly deserves medical attention?
If you’re asking yourself any version of this question, you owe it to yourself to seek an educated medical opinion. Why? Because you do not want to miss a serious medical condition, and because you really do not have to live with those symptoms given modern non-invasive treatments available today.
Any time there is bladder leakage, bowel leakage, or other symptoms of overactive bladder, including spasms and waking up in the night to urinate, the situation warrants a discussion with a doctor.
At minimum, some testing to screen for other related health conditions is necessary because the “weak bladder” diagnosis can occasionally be a red herring. For example, someone who smokes tobacco is at risk for bladder tumors. Someone who is overweight may be at risk for diabetes. These are both conditions that can and should be checked for with screening tests.
Most often, bladder and bowel symptoms are bothersome and disruptive to life, and symptoms usually get worse with time. If you’re spending time dealing with symptoms of incontinence, you have options for treatment.
In fact, overactive bladder, bladder leakage and the dreaded related condition of bowel leakage are all highly treatable. But if you aren’t getting detailed information about your options for resolving incontinence, look for incontinence specialists and centers in your area that offer the latest technology.
Sacral neuromodulation is one of them. This impressively effective treatment for bladder and bowel leakage and overactive bladder has a success rate exceeding 90%, with no surgery, anesthesia, or medications. In more than 20 years of practice, I’ve seen this played out again and again.
Overactive bladder, urinary incontinence, and bowel leakage are not a normal part of aging but are true health conditions that impair quality of life. And treatments have become simpler, easier, safer, and much more effective in recent years.
If you’re wondering whether your weak bladder is something more, trust your instincts. Mentioning it to your doctor means that you are one step closer to finding relief and getting back to sleeping through the night and saving money otherwise spent on pads and diapers. But be prepared to look for specialized care if you’re told that it’s simply a “weak bladder.”
Would you be comfortable mentioning incontinence with your medical provider? Have you been told this condition is simply a “weak bladder”? Have you seen improvement by doing nothing?
Tags Medical Conditions