According to specialists, incontinence has two different types of risk factors: changeable and unchangeable factors. There are many situations which can be controlled, for example:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Alcohol consumption
- Drug use
- The loosening of pelvic floor muscles
- Caffeine consumption
- Birth of babies through the vagina
On the other hand, there are also unchangeable factors; those things that cannot be controlled and may cause more problems when it comes to experiencing incontinence. The following are some of the said risk factors:
- Radiotherapy to the pelvis
- Advanced age
- Surgical intervention for prostate cancer
Recent studies have shown that fair-skinned women are more prone to suffering from mild to intense incontinence compared to dark-skinned women. Diseases such as Parkinson’s, diabetes and multiple sclerosis are also considered major factors that can trigger urine leaking. It is also important to mention that sometimes the circumstances and conditions in which one finds oneself are known to be risky, for example:
- Limited mobility of the body
- The need for help when using the toilet
- Having no access to the restroom
Recent health research has determined that there is a specific group of people who are at serious risk of suffering from incontinence and therefore, they should be closely monitored and examined.
Among them we can mention: Weak adults, expectant mothers, senior adults, patients who have suffered from a brain attack or diabetes, those who have excess body fat, patients who are suffering from two different diseases or illnesses simultaneously, women who have given birth through the vagina, male patients who have undergone a urologic surgical intervention or prostate cancer radiation, and women suffering vaginal prolapse.
It is imperative for specialists to pay special attention if they suspect that a patient might be suffering urine dribbling due to a subjacent illness or disease. If urinary incontinence is suspected, health professionals need to isolate the main cause. Most of the times urinary tract infections may be the main problem and leakage is just a symptom of this illness. Important things to check on are: Uncomfortable feeling and tension above the pubis, burning sensation when urinating, small amounts of blood passed through urine and pain in the back.
Knowing how to determine and treat incontinence is of utmost importance, since this will allow the sufferer as well as the caregiver/health professional to have a better understanding of this condition, to enhance their life and improve their overall well-being.