Psychological and emotional causes that can contribute to urinary incontinence in women in Park City, IL
According to the National Association for Continence, approximately 15 million women in America deal with urinary incontinence. This is one of the more common conditions that affect women, even though it can be embarrassing. Women who experience urinary incontinence are often worried about experiencing leaks when they least expect them—especially in social and public situations. Dr. Sanjay Gandhi of Park City, IL, regularly works with women who have urinary incontinence to determine the causes of their condition. In more recent studies, both urinary incontinence and stress are often linked. However, does this mean that urinary incontinence has psychological causes?
Perhaps. The link between the brain and the body impacts many areas of one’s medical health. It is believed that when anxiety and stress hit the brain, it signals an increase in adrenaline. This puts the body in the “fight or flight” response and is known to trigger urinary leaks in those who have urinary incontinence. Because of this, it is believed that stress has a psychological link to one’s experience with urinary incontinence. This holds true with fecal incontinence as well. Studies report that approximately 60% of patients who have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, have also been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, with 20% having been diagnosed with depression. This overlap makes it incredibly clear that the brain and the body are linked together when it comes to instances of incontinence.
What can I do about urinary incontinence linked to stress?
- Talk to your doctor. If you are dealing with the signs of anxiety or depression, it may be time to talk to a professional about your needs. While treating anxiety and depression, patients may find relief from urinary incontinence as well.
- Use absorbent products. Anyone who deals with urinary incontinence should be proactive about protecting themselves against leaks. Using absorbent products is key to ensuring you are the only one aware of your leakage and help you feel more at ease in social situations where you might otherwise worry about incontinence striking.
- Exercise the pelvic floor. Pilates and Kegel exercises are incredibly helpful in strengthening the pelvic floor to reduce instances of urinary incontinence. Dr. Sanjay Gandhi can make other recommendations for strengthening these muscles to reduce incontinence.
- Lower levels of stress. Patients with high-stress levels will want to closely monitor their stress and anxiety and see if it is linked to increased situations of urinary incontinence. Meditation, yoga, and leading a slower-paced lifestyle can help in reducing stress, as can a job change for those who experience significant stress due to their careers. Learning ways to relax after work or unwind can help if a career change is not in the cards.
- Consider dietary changes. There are some changes that patients can make in the foods they eat that may reduce urinary incontinence. Our doctor may also suggest keeping a log of the foods and beverages you eat over time to see if there is a link between the beverages one is drinking versus the instances of incontinence. Foods and beverages that are good for your body include plain water, non-caffeinated teas, high-fiber vegetables such as celery, mushrooms, and broccoli, and foods that are not high in acids, such as watermelons, cucumber, and blueberries.
Are you interested in learning more about urinary incontinence?
If you struggle with leakage and want to speak to a professional about the benefits of a proper diagnosis and treatment of your condition, we strongly encourage you to take the time to book an appointment with Dr. Sanjay Gandhi and his team at Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology. He has four facilities located throughout the Illinois areas of Chicago, Woodstock, Lake Forest, and Park City, IL, for convenient access no matter where you live! Contact the primary line at (844) 327-1188 to request a consultation visit with our staff and start taking control of your urinary incontinence for improved self-esteem and confidence!