AT Home with Christian Jessen - March 2011 - (Page 114)

Incontinence? It’s something that a ects a few elderly and in rm women in nursing homes – right? Wrong! Accidentally passing urine is a very common problem that a ects at least three million women in the UK, and of all ages… Bladder hell that happen at the menopause can aggravate the problem, along with being overweight, or having a persistent smoker’s cough. U ncontrolled urine loss causes huge distress, embarrassment and damaged dignity. You don’t need to leak a large amount of urine to feel wet and dirty. Just a few drops is all it takes to have a big psychological impact. Thousands of women always wear a panty liner, every day, just in case they have a urinary accident. Getting a sudden urge to pass urine is a common symptom of cystitis, caused by a urine infection, and this can lead to occasional leaks. More persistent symptoms, though, usually occur for a different reason. There are two main types of incontinence in women – stress and urge incontinence. Some women have just one type, others have both. It’s important to establish which type affects you as their treatment options are very different. Urodynamic tests, which are done at specialist hospital clinics, can be very helpful in ensuring a correct diagnosis of incontinence. WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? The first thing to do is to tone up pelvic floor muscles. This really makes a difference, and can cure slight stress incontinence. However, don’t expect instant results – you’ll need to keep doing the exercises for several weeks. Dr Christian says... ‘An overactive bladder is a common condition that a ects a signi cant number of people. There is nothing to be ashamed about, so if you experience symptoms, I strongly urge you to speak up and let your doctor help you enjoy life again.’ Side effects include stomach upsets, dizziness and nervousness. Surgery. There are several different surgical techniques appropriate for stress incontinence, which all aim to tighten the sphincter at the base of the bladder, particularly when it is under pressure (which is what happens when you cough or sneeze). 2 1 2 3 4 HERE’S WHAT TO DO This is accidentally leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, run or even just laugh. It’s caused by weakness of the muscles around the base of the bladder and the urethra. These are called the pelvic floor muscles and they help to control the valve that holds urine inside the bladder. CAUSES ● The most common cause is having a baby. Both pregnancy and childbirth put an enormous strain on the pelvic floor muscles, and the more babies you have, and the bigger they are, the greater the risk of damage. ● Chronic constipation, and straining to open your bowels can, over time, weaken the pelvic floor. ● The changes in the genital tissues 1 IF THE PROBLEM CONTINUES, THERE ARE TWO OTHER OPTIONS: EXERCISES FOUR TIMES A DAY Drug treatment with Duloxetine. This can strengthen the muscle at the base of the bladder. It doesn’t work for all, and is most effective if combined with pelvic floor exercises. CAUSES ● Often there is no clear cause – but it is more common in those who’ve always had to wee more than usual. 114 | MARCH 2012 WORDS: Dr Rosemary Leonard and Georgina Maric | PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images STRESS INCONTINENCE First you need to identify the right muscles, and the best way to do this is to try stopping, then starting again, the flow of urine as you pee. Do this until you feel you have really good control of the flow. Once you can do this, switch to practising when you are sitting down anywhere, even when you are just watching TV. Hold for a slow count of five then relax. Repeat as often as possible – aim for at least 30 times a day. The next step is to work on the muscles further back, around your vagina and anus. Squeeze the muscles as if you are trying to stop yourself passing wind or a motion. Again, hold and repeat as above. Next you need to combine the two. Get into the habit of working one set, then the other, then both. Like muscles elsewhere in the body, using weights can also help with the toning process, and special weighted cones, that you place HEALTH TIP: DO KEGEL and hold in the vagina are (PELVIC FLOOR) available from chemists. This is when there’s a sudden urge to pass urine, and holding on till you get to the loo can be impossible. Affected women get very little warning that they need to pee (medics call this ‘urgency’) – and unless they can get themselves to a toilet, fast, they start leaking. Not surprisingly, many of those affected make frequent loo trips, sometimes as often as every half an hour, just to avoid accidents. Normally, the bladder fills slowly, and the muscles in its walls send a signal to the brain, in good time, that it’s full. But if you have an overactive bladder, the muscles contract at the wrong time, often when it contains very little urine. At its worst, the muscles contract so much that the bladder empties, no matter how hard you try to stop it happening. How often a ‘normal’ person usually empties their bladder depends a lot on how much they drink, and also on the weather – if it’s hot then you lose a lot of water through sweat, and don’t need to go to the loo so often. On the other hand, if you drink 10 cups of tea or coffee each day, you are bound to be a frequent visitor to the ladies. But as a general rule, it’s normal to empty your bladder up to eight times a day, and once or twice a night. If you are consistently going more than this, you may have an overactive bladder. URGE INCONTINENCE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Christian Jessen - March 2011

EDITOR'S LETTER
A WARM WELCOME FROM DR CHRISTIAN
NEWS
SAVE THE DATE
DEFENSIVE EATING
SLEEPING BEAUTY
SPOIL YOURSELF
FAMOUS FIGURES
WIN TOP PRIZES
DR JESSEN, I PRESUME
FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
A BEAUTIFUL MIND
PROTECT YOURSELF
GETTING OVER IT
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
WHAT LIES BENEATH
SUGAR HIGHS AND LOWS
WHAT'S UP, DOC?
ON THE RUN
SMOKING GUN
FRESHLY GROUND
I CAN'T EAT THAT
OFF THE SCALES
WALKING TALL
IN GOOD HANDS?
GIRLS ONLY
IN THE BLOOD
PERIOD PROPERTIES
FERTILITY HELP
A WEE ISSUE
UNDER YOUR HAT
CONFESSIONS OF AN ALCOHOLIC
DANGER ZONE
BODY BASICS
HEART-STOPPING MOMENTS
BACK TO BASICS
WALKING ON SUNSHINE
THE SKIN YOU LIVE IN
LISTEN UP
EYESORE
IN PLAIN SIGHT
DOWN UNDER
BUMP 'N GRIND
LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX
MAN TALK
DO YOU KNOW YOUR BMI?
I'LL HAVE A 'P' PLEASE
BOYS DON'T CRY
TO THE EXTREME
THREE-DAY SLIM DOWN
TOTALLY ADDICTED TO CAKE
JUST A PINCH
GYM JAMS
THEY'RE DOING WHAT?
GOTTA HAVE IT
EYES WIDE SHUT
PETER PAN PLAN
HOW OLD?
HOW OLD?
FUZZ FREE
FUZZ FREE
CUT HERE
CUT HERE
ON THE MEND
ON THE MEND
KNOW YOUR NIP/TUCKS
KNOW YOUR NIP/TUCKS
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
STAY SAFE ABROAD
STAY SAFE ABROAD
SAY CHEESE!
SAY CHEESE!
IVORY TOWER
IVORY TOWER
MOUTH MAYHEM
MOUTH MAYHEM
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
LIGHTEN UP
LIGHTEN UP
COULD YOU BE A GUINEA PIG?
COULD YOU BE A GUINEA PIG?
HEADS UP
HEADS UP
LAST WORD
LAST WORD
STOCKISTS
STOCKISTS

AT Home with Christian Jessen - March 2011

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