The Ultimate Guide to Double Incontinence

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31 July 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Double Incontinence

Double incontinence can be hugely disruptive to maintaining a good quality of life, as well as the delicate balance of our physical and mental health. The struggle to manage both urinary incontinence and faecal incontinence is a complex challenge that can impact a person in various facets of their life.

So, whether you're someone personally affected by double incontinence, or are a health professional/loved one looking to offer support, this guide will provide valuable insights into understanding and managing this condition.

From dealing with the sudden urge to the importance of timely toilet visits, we'll understand each type of incontinence and explore helpful strategies that can lead to better physical health and mental well-being.

  • What is double incontinence?
  • Why does bladder incontinence occur?
  • Why does bowel incontinence occur?
  • How do I treat double incontinence?
  • The most cost-effective way to manage double incontinence

What is double incontinence?

Double incontinence is a challenging medical condition that sees someone face two forms of the condition: faecal incontinence and urinary incontinence. It involves the involuntary loss of control over bowel and bladder function - often at the same time - and can be highly distressing for those affected.

What are the challenges of double incontinence?

One of the main challenges involved with double incontinence is the struggle to reach a toilet in time. Timely access to a bathroom is one of the biggest struggles, due to unpredictable urinary and faecal leakage. The sudden urges involved with double incontinence can be highly distressing, as the constant fear of accidents and the social stigma can result in stress, anxiety, and depression. Similarly, the need for near-constant toilet assistance can often lead to a dependence on caregivers and support systems, affecting their sense of independence and dignity. One of the biggest things to highlight is not just the physical challenges involved with double incontinence, but the mental health and overall wellbeing of those affected.

Why does bowel incontinence occur?

Bowel incontinence - also known as 'faecal incontinence' - is a distressing condition involving the loss of control over bowel movements, resulting in unintentional stool leakage. A variety of causes and risk factors contribute to this condition, ranging from muscle and nerve damage, to chronic gastrointestinal (GI) issues.

Nerve and muscle damage

A significant contributor to bowel incontinence lies in nerve damage and weak bowel muscles that affects the intricate working of the rectum and anus. For example, nerves responsible for signalling the need for a bowel movement may become impaired, resulting in the disruption in communication between the brain and the intestines. Similarly, weak bowel muscles may struggle to properly hold and release stool, which can further exacerbate the problem.

GI disorders

There are a range of GI disorders that can play a major role in the development of bowel incontinence, the most well-known of which being irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These conditions can lead to erratic bowel habits and changes in stool consistency, which make it difficult for those affected to anticipate and manage their bathroom needs. Chronic constipation and diarrhoea can contribute to faecal incontinence in different ways, such as stretching the rectal muscles over time, which leads to reduced sensation and control over bowel movements.

Why does bladder incontinence occur?

Also known as urinary incontinence, this is a common condition seen in adults where they experience an involuntary loss of urine. The reasoning behind urinary incontinence can be complex, but a significant contributing factor is the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

Weakened pelvic floor muscles

These muscles play a critical role in maintaining the strength of the bladder, urethra, and other pelvic organs. When they weaken or become damaged, they may struggle to properly control the release of urine. One such issue includes periods of time where the muscles aren't actively engaged and, as a result, atrophy over time.

Nerve damage

Urinary incontinence may also come from damage of the nerves that control the bladder and surrounding muscles. Medical conditions like diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), and even physical injuries, can impair these nerves and cause unexpected leakages.

Lifestyle factors

In many cases, lifestyle habits like excessive caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods can irritate the bladder and contribute to urinary incontinence. Additionally, chronic constipation can put excess pressure on the bladder and weaken the pelvic floor muscles over time, exacerbating the problem of incontinence in adults.

How do I treat double incontinence?

Facing the challenges of faecal incontinence and urinary incontinence simultaneously can be overwhelming, but there are effective ways that people can manage and improve this condition.

Pelvic floor exercises

Also known as pelvic floor muscle training, this is a primary way of managing both urinary and faecal incontinence. By strengthening the muscles that support your bladder, bowel, and urethra, you can help reduce leakage and improve symptom control over time.

Sphincter exercises

Alongside pelvic floor exercises, focus on your sphincter muscles to improve your ability to manage double incontinence. The sphincter muscles control the opening of and closing of the anus and can be exercised to improve control over bowel movements.

Diet and hydration

Make sure that your diet includes enough fibre and water so that your stool is soft and well-formed enough to pass without too much issue.

Lifestyle changes

Maintaining a regular weight and keeping up with regular physical exercise can reduce pressure on your pelvic organs and improve overall muscle tone and function.

Incontinence pads

One of the quickest solutions to managing double incontinence is through incontinence pads. These discreet and absorbent products can offer a sense of security and comfort, helping you navigate daily life with confidence.

The most cost-effective way to manage double incontinence

If you're struggling with double incontinence and are seeking cost-effective solutions that improve your comfort and dignity, then look no further than incontinence pads from Incontinence Shop. When reliability is non-negotiable, our incontinence products excel in their absorbency. Whether dealing with the sudden urge of urinary incontinence or episodes of faecal incontinence, our incontinence pads and pants offer reliable protection that minimises discomfort and maximises discretion. And for prices lower than supermarket costs - even for the most premium brands like TENA and Drylife - Incontinence Shop is the best choice for those looking for incontinence products in bulk, such as carers of nursing home patients. What's more, if you subscribe to your incontinence product of choice, then you can enjoy 10% off every order as well as convenient doorstep delivery.