Types of Bladder Control Problems With Multiple Sclerosis?
- Urinary urgency. People with this problem feel the need to urinate frequently and urgently. The small "tickle" and feeling of pressure that help us recognize the right time to head to the restroom is very intense. When urinary urgency takes place, the signals that coordinate urination are disrupted and you experience this uncontrollable urge to urinate which can cause incontinence.
- Incontinence. This is the loss of bladder control. Sometimes MS will disrupt the nerve signals sent to the body parts that control urine movement allowing urine to come out involuntarily.
- Nocturia. People with nocturia must awake frequently during the night to go to the bathroom. There are a number of causes for this type of incontinence, but persons with MS may experience nocturia due to the interruption of brain impulses that travel up and down the spine to coordinate urination.
- Urinary hesitancy. This refers to difficulty initiating urination. With multiple sclerosis, this problem may be caused by interruption of brain impulses that control that part of the urination process.
What Happens if a Bladder Control Problem Goes Untreated?
- Repeated urinary and bladder infections or kidney damage
- Personal hygiene problems
- Interfering with normal activity and leading to isolation
How Are Urinary Control Problems Treated in Multiple Sclerosis?
- Dietary changes to minimize incontinence
- Behavioral changes
- Mechanical aids to help control the flow of urine
- Intermittent or continual catheterization (inserting a thin tube through the urethra and into the bladder to remove urine)
Dietary Changes to Help Bladder Control Problems
- Reduce the amount of fluids you drink if you drink more than 2 quarts (1.89 L) daily
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda, from your diet
- Do not drink more than one alcoholic drink per day
Behavioral Changes for Bladder Control Problems
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