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Incontinence - Cause, Myths Vs Reality

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"not having the ability to go and relieve yourself" is incontinence. To not choose when and where you void is incontinence. If you are stuck in a car and cant find a place and wet yourself. You had an episode of incontinence even if that is the only time that happened in the last or next 20 years. Just because a newborn does not know there is a better place to do it does not make them continent. They fuss when they need to pee or poo because they feel sensations. They dont even know what these feelings are for much less the ability to act on them. The fact that with out help no mater if they cry first or after they will void where ever and when ever they are defines them as incontinent. Also they do not wake up and cry before they pee they just pee. This is nocturnal enuresis and a form of incontinence. Those babies in other cultures you talk of. Yes they can comunicate when they are about to wet and mess. Should the parents act on these cues great. But should it not be a good time and or place.... guess what the baby is gonna go anyway = incontinence. I can tell you when im going to sneeze and knowing it or not if its gonna happen its gonna happen if i want it to or not....even if i want it too.

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"not having the ability to go and relieve yourself" is incontinence.

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Incorrect.

Direct Quote - General Dictionary

: the quality or state of being incontinent as

a : failure to restrain sexual appetite

b : inability of the body to control the evacuative functions of urination or defecation

Web Source

Direct Quote - Medical Source

Incontinent: Unable to control excretions, to hold urine in the bladder or keep faeces in the rectum.

This is the usual medical meaning of the word incontinent. Incontinent can also refer to a lack of self-restraint in the sexual arena or failure to refrain from sexual intercourse.

Web Source

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To not choose when and where you void is incontinence.

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Partially correct - To not have the knowledge WHEN you void / when you need to void is called incontinence. To not know WHERE you void is NOT incontinence. It can be related to mental illness of some sort, but in no way is a lack of knowledge of your location / where you are / where you void / voided related to incontinence.

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If you are stuck in a car and cant find a place and wet yourself. You had an episode of incontinence even if that is the only time that happened in the last or next 20 years.

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Incorrect - The event is classed as an accident, and not a incontinent episode. Reasons - You are aware of what was coming and what you did. Just because you are not organised / prepared to prevent the event OR unable due to circumstances to find a place more suitable does in no way state that you are incontinent. In the same way that if you mishear what someone said does not state that you are deaf, or had an episode of deafness. As an adult, you should be mature enough to anticipate every eventuality. You are aware that you will need to void at sometime. Does that mean that you go put yourself in a situation where you will eventually have to wet yourself due to lack of preparation?

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Just because a newborn does not know there is a better place to do it does not make them continent.

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A newborn is aware of its bodily needs. When it is too cold / hot etc, it will cry. It may not be able to communicate its needs to its parents using complex language, but it still will try and communicate its needs.

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They fuss when they need to pee or poo because they feel sensations. They dont even know what these feelings are for much less the ability to act on them. The fact that with out help no mater if they cry first or after they will void where ever and when ever they are defines them as incontinent.

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I presume you mean 'it defines them as incontinent' and not as you wrote 'they are defines them as incontinent'.

Still, as I previously stated, it is by response to the parents actions, that a child learns. If a child is not dressed in diapers, the child will learn, due to direct feedback, that when it voids it will be uncomfortable. Every child will change its actions before it voids. A sleeping child will spread its legs slightly to make it easier to void. A toddler will fidget before it wets, and some hide behind a toy / furniture before it voids. A younger baby, will stop whatever it is doing as it prepares to void.

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...continued from previous post

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Also they do not wake up and cry before they pee they just pee. This is nocturnal enuresis and a form of incontinence.Those babies in other cultures you talk of. Yes they can comunicate when they are about to wet and mess. Should the parents act on these cues great. But should it not be a good time and or place.... guess what the baby is gonna go anyway = incontinence.

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This is called PRIMARY nocturnal enuresis, and it is a learnt response. Every newborn, within the first few weeks of life, will wakeup before it voids. Due to no intervention from its parents, will learn to void in its diaper. After this learnt response, the newborn will not wake to void, but will wake shortly afterwards.

Marcuss,

the inability of one being able to go to a location designed for excretory purpose is NOT termed incontinence. Please get your facts correct.

A baby has learnt, by its parents teachings, to use a diaper. A baby is NOT incontinent. Someone else has told it to use diapers and due to not knowing better, it complies.

An incontinent person is one who, due to injury/failure to either the sphincter muscles and/or the nervous systems controlling and managing the excretory process, voids by gravity and/or peristaltic action. It is not uncommon for an incontinent person to have to regularly catheterize themselves.

If a person chooses/someone chooses for them, to wear diapers / other form of protection to contain their excretions rather than to void in a toilet, that does not specify that person is incontinent. This is regardless of the ability of said person to get to a bathroom on their own volition.

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I have to wonder why the exact definition of incontinence concerning babies matters when the effect is exactly the same, save for that most babies gain continence in time. It seems a rather moot point to me on a forum aimed toward supporting adults who are incontinent. We are all different, grow differently, and have our own problems to handle in life which develop us to become who we are as a whole in the end. As someone who has had bladder control issues for my entire life, I have seen and learned a lot about how social influence plays into our lives concerning things we cannot help. That depth of knowledge wouldn't have happened had I not had these problems and I would not have become who I am otherwise. Yes, it's been a living he!! in some ways but it has also caused me to learn to tolerate and accept others who also cannot help the condition their bodies are in.

What someone calls a condition is of far less importance than how we come to deal with ourselves and others in life- I think that perspective puts exact definitions and names in their proper place. Our efforts would be better applied to more important things in life than labeling. Let us accept the gray area at the edges of all definitions and words and accept that they can never be any more perfect than we are, and obviously we're far from that.

Just my two cent's worth!

Bettypooh

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Bettypooh,

I can see your point and agree to some extent with it. At times, there is no need to be so pedantic about exact definitions. However, I started this topic for a number of reasons

1- To help other members

2- To dispel some of the myths in relation to incontinence

3- To be as clinically accurate as possible so it can act as a reference.

These are some of the reasons I asked this to be 'sticky' so it can be easily found and is 100% accurate. None of what I posted is from my opinion, but rather from research.

Some of the information I placed has been questioned, but is easily proven by other members as well as myself. However, it is not opinion that has been questioned, but methodology. Marcuss, however, has multiply posted his personal opinion on what is a factual based thread. This topic is within 'INCONTINENCE MEDICAL' and not 'FANTASY'. Everything I post in this thread I try to be 100% accurate based on available information, and I will both correct and apologize for any errors I have made.

Yes, the site is based towards the fantasy AND the incontinent - those who chose to wear diapers / act infantile. This thread is NOT fantasy, and as such, here I am pedantic.

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I've always heard and I tend to believe that incontinence is not a specific disease, but rather a symptom of a disease. So when I hear "Long term incontinence is not curable" it's like saying whatever is causing or leading to the incontinence is not curable and considering there are many causes for incontinence (like there may be many causes for a fever or nausea) this statement can be, at best, partly true. And you can't tell someone they are going to have to wear adult diapers for the rest of their life is you haven't fully exhausted the causes for the incontinence. And who's to say what future medical discoveries might tell us about "curing" incontinence too?

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I've always heard and I tend to believe that incontinence is not a specific disease, but rather a symptom of a disease. So when I hear "Long term incontinence is not curable" it's like saying whatever is causing or leading to the incontinence is not curable and considering there are many causes for incontinence (like there may be many causes for a fever or nausea) this statement can be, at best, partly true. And you can't tell someone they are going to have to wear adult diapers for the rest of their life is you haven't fully exhausted the causes for the incontinence. And who's to say what future medical discoveries might tell us about "curing" incontinence too?

Kella,

you are correct in that incontinence in some, can be a symptom of an underlying disease. However, when a disease causes incontinence, to do so, it has to affect the muscles and/or nervous system involved. The excretory process then reverts to become autonomic (pre potty trained). Nerve systems that are damaged don't tend to self repair, and muscles that are not used / growing will atrophy*. This causes the symptom to become permanent despite the state of the originating disease.

The Options - for the incontinent individual

Diapers

Cons - cost, need place to change, infantile feeling, need proper skin care, some people become recluse.

Pros - with time and patience, diapers although change ones life, they do not end it.

Medical Implant / bag etc

Cons - Cost, invasive surgery, may not work....

Pros - Less impact on day to day care than diapers.

Surgical Option - regenerative / transplant

Cons - cost, finding suitable donor, large impacts on life expectancy, dependency on drug, forced to live in a semi-sterile environment (recluse)

Pros - not diapers or a bag. In time, medical science may be able to create a drug that does not affect immune system.

1/ Atrophy is not reversible, however transplant surgery can replace muscle AND vein / artery , but the patient will be on a cocktail of immunosuppressive drugs for life.

2/ Fine nerve damage is not curable.

Yes, you are also correct, in that incontinence is curable - even with today’s medical knowledge, but to what cost - the costs involved not only are financial, but also in the quality and standard of life given to the patient. Transplant and immunosuppressive drugs can offer some semblance of life, but the quality of life is poor, due to the need of the patient to live in a semi-sterile environment, and the post-operative life expectancy is in the range of 5 - 10 years.

In my personal opinion, choosing to use diapers rather than other medical intervention is the only sound call after careful consideration of all the facts related to medical intervention. Yes, there are times that the dependency on diapers can be inconvenient, but with a simple (healthy) change in diet, foul odours are thing of the past. Most people state that long term diaper usage can affect skin etc. An infant wears diapers 24/7/365 for the best part of 2 years, and with proper skin care regime, should never have to suffer from any diaper rash or skin breakdown. An adult who wears diapers 24/7/365 who has a mature tougher skin should also never have to suffer skin breakdown. A baby's skin breakdown due to two combining factors - one the skin is fragile. two - the laziness of the person nominated to care for the infant. An adult's skin breakdown is due to one thing - lack of attention to detail - which is required. Wearing diapers 24/7/365 tends to focus the mind and force one to self organise - so one never runs out of diapers / creams etc... and when out, always knows where the nearest place to change one's diaper is, and has a clean diaper available to change into - including, if needed, a complete change of clothes etc.

Wearing diapers forces one to be responsible for ones own actions - rather than depending on another, or laying blame on another for ones own stupidity. This is real life, not a practice. If one orders a cup of coffee, one can expect the coffee to be hot, and if one is silly enough to spill the coffee on self, it is not the fault of the vendor that you burnt yourself with the hot coffee. Yes, in the US, it is the vendors’ responsibility to inform you the purchaser that the product you purchased might be hot despite the fact that normally, in every country in the world, when one orders coffee, it is reasonably expected that the coffee is hot.

The 'not my fault, it is yours cause you didn’t tell me' concept means that no-one takes responsibility for their own actions. This concept will create a world where people (sheple is the normal name, as a slang link between sheep and people - doing things cause everybody else is doing them, rather than thinking and acting for themselves) not only loose the ability to act, but to think for themselves.

Yes, Kella, it is possible that medical science might progress and improve in the future, but it is also possible the medical science will regress also, the latter being more likely.

* Atrophy - mechanism -

Once a biological device is no longer extracting relevant chemical (oxygen/ nutrients etc) within the blood stream, the blood vesicle that feeds that biological device does not remain clear - particles, normally cholesterol, get deposited on the vesicle walls. Over time, the vesicle wall narrows to the extent that it will eventually close completely. This causes the biological device not to have an oxygen / nutrient supply, ant the device will die.

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I was in a car/semi accident back in 1998. I suffered multiple injuries including ruptured and buldging disks in my lower back which severed some of the nerves. I lost control of my bladder and feeling in parts of my legs and buttocks. I went through all sorts of tests over the next year and a half. I had 2 MRI's as well as the gammet of urology and neurology tests. I spent over a year in physical therapy. I am able to walk, run etc... and if I keep my weight down and lift properly my back seldom bothers me. The medical community would not suggest surgery as long as I remained mobile without too-much pain. I was told that surgery would not help with the incontinence anyway since there was permanent nerve damage. What I was diagnosed with is a mechanical type of neurogenic bladder due to permanent nerve damage. My doctor recently told me that my bladder has lost capacity (shrunk) due to the fact that I am unable to retain urine. I pretty much dribble whenever there is any build up of urine over an ounce or two. In a way this is a blessing since I never flood my diaper. It just gets wetter as the hours go by. At the advice of my doctor I tried an external cath for a while but it didn't work the best for my needs. I am an active individual and the cath more or less held me back. Plus the cath system sucked when I slept as I am somewhat restless when I sleep. After a few months of struggling with the cath and a ruined mattess my doctor finally suggested I try "absorbant products". Why they hate to use the term diapers is beyond me. I know there is some stigma against diapers for some reason. To me it is no different than a diabetic having to take insulin or a person having to wear glasses. It is just a part of my body that doesn't work like it was designed to so I take the necessary steps to manage it. I don't particullaily enjoy having to wear protection 24/7 but I've gotten used to it. Without wearing protection I'd become a hermit never going out in public to work or do the things I enjoy in life. I guess I am a diaper lover because diapers give me the freedom to live a somewhat normal lifestyle. I have the most understanding and loving wife any man could ask for. I still get down occasionally but she picks me up and tells me to get off my pity potty and deal with it. She is truely a gift from heaven.

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Mine is medical I have spinabifada occoulta. I was a twin and my brother was a total bifida and died when we were 18. Mine was not has bad as my brother all I got out of it was no bladder control at all and very little bowel control. I deal with the bowel with enama the bladder is a lost cause with no idea when and were it will let lose.

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I also have spinabifida occoulta. I have no control over either my bladder or bowel. No idea when I need to go of if I have already gone. I self cath three times a day to handle the bladder control, and bowel control well thats not really under control much at all.

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Mine is medical I have spinabifada occoulta. I was a twin and my brother was a total bifida and died when we were 18. Mine was not has bad as my brother all I got out of it was no bladder control at all and very little bowel control. I deal with the bowel with enama the bladder is a lost cause with no idea when and were it will let lose.

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The writer of this post it would seem is neither a sufferer nor a student of the subject.

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Au Contraire, my friend. The OP is indeed Incontinent and also has great Medical knowledge about the subject. Rather than argue your points I'll let it stand there but you should understand that everyone has a different perspective and that with matters like this, there is still a lot of disagreement and non-alignment of ideas regarding cause and treatment in different countries and places, even in the Medical world alone. And please refrain from disparaging other members- disagreeing with a concept can be done without any need to do that ;) Debate and discuss the message, not the messenger!

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Silver76:

Smoke this in our pipe, please.

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Yes, many years ago, as in in freud's time, parents would hold their infants over the pot or toilet or whatever they had until the infant urinated and had a bowel movement, then would 'reward' them.

Its not that infants do not have the muscle control etc.. its that they do not have the cognitive ability to recognize "hey i have to go to the bathroom" and they do not have the motor control to get themselves to the bathroom.

SO why you can train an infant to go to the bathroom over a toilet, and condition them to only go at certain times of the day, for them to be considered "potty trained" they would need both the cognitive and neurological development to use the toilet on their own.

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i will just share these links in regards to kegels, pelvic floor health and incontinence.

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kdlstar,

I have read what you posted and concur that in a lot of people, bladder control can be negatively affected by constipation. However, one of the main causes of constipation is retention - either by diet or by subconscious control. i.e. a partially to fully toilet trained child will try to clamp their sphincters closed as to avoid wetting / soiling themselves so to impress their parent. This process is commonly seen when one diapers the child for a nap, the child relaxes and soils their diaper during sleep periods.

What sarah_ab and I was referring to is the known actions of a baby. A young baby, when they want to void, will try and gain the attention of another either by whining or fussing. An older baby will tend to hide to perform this task. In most cases, the parent will encourage their child to soil, and will offer praise before, during and after the act. In this, the parent is training the baby/child to use the diaper.

The young baby is unaware of the action-effect process, and will be unaware that their actions caused them to have a soiled diaper. Most will fuss / cry for assistance. An older child is aware that they pooped... but when asked where the poop is, they assume it is behind them.
None of this states that the baby / child is incontinent. It does state that with a baby of any age, one can use the 'natural potty training method' of when they notice the baby fussing or a change of behaviour, can hold the child over a toilet etc.

To clarify, not until the baby is aware of the cause-effect process, and is capable of getting themselves to a potty, and removing relevant clothing, can one toilet train a child. Secondly, to rush this to your schedule rather than the child

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On 3/21/2009, 11:25:02, babykeiff said:

17. Tasers / Electronic Devices / Acupuncture can effect continence

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Thanks for sharing, great information!

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Even if you did "potty train" an infant, you still have to clean the infant's butt and groin area. I guess if you are a house parent, you might have time for this, but most parents don't have time for this.

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