Susan Lennon MSW, LCSW Content Strategist
Communications Consultant
Specializing in Thought Leadership and B2B/B2C Marketing Communications

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Incontinence: Seek Help Early for Best Results
USA Weekend Magazine, December 17, 2006
by Susan T. Lennon

Urinary incontinence (UI) becomes more common with age, but aging doesn’t cause it. It’s a medical matter affecting men and women, young and old. Instead of suffering and feeling embarrassed, talk to your doctor, urges Judi Lee Chervenak, M.D., of Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Rapid identification is essential – the longer you wait, the worse it may get.”

The three most common types of UI are stress incontinence – triggered by coughing, sneezing, heavy lifting; urge incontinence or overactive bladder – where you feel like you “gotta go” but can’t get there quickly enough, and overflow incontinence– where the full bladder leaks.

Common Causes,

  • Conditions – diabetes, multiple sclerosis, urinary tract infection, constipation
  • Medicines — tranquilizers, diuretics, blood pressure pills
  • Food and drink – alcohol, colas, chocolate
  • Women – pregnancy, childbirth, menopause
  • Men – prostate problems

Prevention Tips

  • Perform Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles
  • Limit fluids to avoid overflow
  • Drink cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infection
  • Eat more fiber

Treatment Options

  • Biofeedback – gain control over muscles and relieve stress and urge incontinence
  • Bladder retraining - break the cycle in overactive bladder
  • Medicines – but before you stop or start, talk to your doctor
  • Electrical stimulation and surgery

Keep a “Bladder Diary” to help identify your triggers and learn control. Bring it with you when you see your doctor. See for a free printout

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