It’s another beautiful sunny day here in Panama City, Florida.
And, I’m digging it up with both hands.
Hope you’re also doing well and are ready to talk about some of the more ‘delicate’ effects of getting older, like…
Our body’s plumbing: bladder and bowels.
Maybe I’m unduly squeamish, but these are not subjects I want to worry about, much less discuss.
Yet, problems with basic body functions often come along with the luck of getting older.
And, these types of personal problems are often best solved when we get outside help.
Aging bladders and bowels don’t function like young ones.
If we have issues with them, we should treat those problems as we would any other health related problem.
I’d be among the first to say that people in general really don’t wanna hear about our ‘gross aging problems’.
Now that probably excludes people our own age, if you can find any.
Odds are, some of them are just dying to exchange ‘war’ stories…
And, by talking about it, with other older people, we might even learn a couple things.
Course, the smart thing would be talking to our doctor, I mean we’re paying them to listen to us, right?
Urinary incontinence is common with aging.
This is because the muscles controlling our bladder weaken over the years.
However, bladder problems could be a sign that there’s something more serious going on.
If we start having bouts of incontinence, or trouble starting a flow of urine, these symptoms should be evaluated by a health professional.
The causes of incontinence can be temporary or long term.
For women, bladder problems are often be linked to weakened bladder walls from childbirth.
But, the problem could also be caused by an infection… and tests should be run before strapping on one of those adult diapers I see advertised on TV sometimes.
Some incontinence are simply side effects from medications.
Many meds prescribed for high blood pressure control, for example, can affect bladder functions.
If you leak urine when you sneeze or cough, this could signal a weakened bladder.
But then, it may well be a dummies signal of a full bladder, and maybe we just gotta go pee, already.
As we get older, the signals that we’ve gotta go don’t always reach our receptors in time.
Usually, these kinda problems are caused by a neurological disorder and isn’t exactly a plumbing condition.
According to the National Association for Continence, one in five individuals over the age of 40 suffer from overactive bladder or urgency or frequency symptoms, some of whom leak urine before reaching a restroom.
In the nursing home population, at least 50 percent of residents have elderly urinary incontinence…” Quote source
Common Bladder Problems:
- Urethritis: infection of the urethra. Can cause penile discharge.
- Pyelonephritis: bladder infection that spreads to kidneys. Could cause back and hip pain, shaking, chills, nausea and vomiting.
- Toprostatitis: can cause enlargement of men’s prostrate.
In men, bladder problems should be evaluated early on because of the huge role our prostate plays in bladder functions.
Enlarged prostates, for example, are often indication of a serious health issue, and should be checked out professionally.
Common Bowel Problems:
- Irritable bowel syndrome: The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders estimates that IBS affects up to 15% of the general public.
- Crohn’s disease: an inflammatory bowel disease, also also an autoimmune disorder in which your body attacks healthy tissues.
- Celiac disease: allergic to gluten.
- Intestinal obstruction: blocked intestine that can’t process food or pass stool.
Some of the symptoms of bowel problems include: diarrhea. constipation, gas, vomiting, fever, weight loss, and swollen, painful belly.
Most bowel ailments are caused by lack of regular exercise, insufficient intake of water and not eating enough fiber rich foods.
Luckily, prevention is simple: reverse the above lifestyle choices.
Worth mentioning: these days with the tendency of senior citizen over-medication, side effects from prescription meds are often the cause of our bowel discomforts. More Bowel Info
Bottom line on bladder problems:
If we’re still mobile, most of these issues are treatable when we get timely intervention from our health providers.
On the same time, any urinary change is an important signal that something is wrong… We need to get it checked, asap!
Bottom line on bowel problems:
Most bowel problems are preventable. And, existing ones, with the exception of blockage, are treatable at home.
As usual, I’ll remind you…
“I don’t know anything for certain and I’ve no advice about anything. My role is reporting upon my research and sharing personal stories with you“.
Still, I hope to inspire you in some small way…
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are always very welcome.