Incontinence after a stroke can be challenging and often embarrassing to deal with. However, it is not rare; many stroke survivors face this issue, and there are effective ways to help you regain loss of bowel and bladder control.
Let's journey towards better understanding and managing this common side effect of a stroke.
Post-stroke incontinence is the loss of bladder or bowel control, which leads to involuntary leakage of urine or feces. Stroke-related damage to the brain can disrupt the signals that control bladder and bowel functions.
Understanding the causes is crucial to deal with it. Some common causes include:
Set a schedule for when you go to the bathroom and try to go at the same time every day, like after meals or bedtime. Your body can get used to this schedule and become better at controlling when you need to go.
Incontinence can lead to dehydration, leading to severe consequences. Make sure to drink enough water regularly to stay hydrated. Try cutting down on caffeinated drinks like coffee, sodas, and alcohol as these can irritate the bladder and make the situation worse.
Eating the right foods can help. Fiber-rich foods can make bowel movements more regular and easier to manage. Some great sources of fiber are whole grains, brown rice, vegetables, and fruits.
There are incontinence products for people with trouble controlling their bladder or bowel. These products include adult diapers, waterproof sheets for your bed, and disposable pads that you can put on chairs or beds. They help keep you dry and clean.
Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the pelvic floor and bladder muscles, which are responsible for controlling the bladder. You can also use Kegel exercisers to do these exercises.
When these muscles are stronger, it's easier to control incontinence. Keep at it, and you'll likely see some improvement over time.
According to a research paper by the National Institute of Health, many people in the hospital experience urinary incontinence after a stroke. After the discharge, a quarter of them still had incontinence; for some, it can last a year or even longer.
The different types of incontinence that may develop after stroke include -
1. Urinary Incontinence: When a person cannot control the release of urine from the bladder. Urinary incontinence may be of different types, such as -
2. Bowel Incontinence: It is the inability to control bowel movements. After a stroke, damage to the nervous system can affect the muscles and nerves that help with bowel control, leading to fecal incontinence.
3. Mixed Incontinence: Some individuals may experience a combination of urinary and bowel incontinence.
Yes, your doctor may prescribe anticholinergics to manage bladder and bowel problems after a stroke.
Surgical options may include procedures to repair or support the bladder or bowel. You can speak with your doctor to explore these treatment options if necessary.
HPFY has been your companion in your health and wellness journey. We offer an array of incontinence supplies that can help with post-stroke incontinence. Explore our catalog to find the best pick for you or your loved ones.
Incontinence after stroke is challenging, but with the right knowledge, emotional and medical support, and treatment, it can be managed effectively. Remember that recovery is a journey, and there is hope for improvement.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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