Stress Incontinence and Relief
Only those people who have experienced stress incontinence can fully appreciate how personal and embarrassing this condition is.
Nobody wants to talk about it with anyone in their network of family or friends, and it’s also a difficult subject to bring up with your doctor.
You have probably read a lot of information about the physical mechanisms that create bladder problems, such as weak muscles or bladder spasms.
But it’s time to explore additional research that suggests stress relief can make this problem manageable.
You already know about the most recognized form of urge incontinence, which occurs when you have a sudden urge to urinate, and bladder contractions force urine out of the bladder.
You also know about stress incontinence, caused when stress of some type is put on the bladder—from laughter or coughing—so that urine is expelled.
Another kind of stress incontinence
This third type of stress incontinence refers to the role that daily mental and emotional stresses play in your ability to control your bladder.
Psychological stress acts as both a cause and an effect of an incontinence problem. This cause-and-effect actually results in a cycle of incontinence that you can’t escape. Let’s find out how these stresses contribute to bladder leakage.
Scientists are studying how your body’s physiology is affected when you are stressed out.
You have already learned that your body responds instantaneously to any stresses that you experience.
At the basic cellular level, your body’s amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—form chemical neurotransmitters so that our cells can communicate with one another.
Two of the most vital neurotransmitters are serotonin and noradrenaline, also known as norepinephrine.
Serotonin serves to modulate your general mood stability, including depression, anger, and hostility. It affects the way you sleep, and it impacts your metabolism and appetite.
Noradrenaline falls into the category of catecholamines, which carry an impact on major organs and smooth muscle cells.
When you feel the effects of mental or emotional stress, these neurotransmitters tell all the other cells to get ready to either stand up to the stress or to run away from it—the typical fight-or-flight response you’ve heard about.
They stimulate other neurotransmitters and also our cells to respond in ways that physically affect you. Data is rapidly accruing that demonstrates these responses evoke three major physiological processes: your reaction to pain, your tendency to succumb to depression, and your control of unexpected bladder leakage.
These two chemicals are distributed throughout your entire central nervous system. Moreover, they function specifically to coordinate your stress responses.
In fact, data has shown that because the activities of these neurotransmitters intertwine, people who are susceptible to bladder control issues are also more likely to experience high levels of pain or mood swings than other people.
From this you can realize how vastly important it is to learn to control stress levels so that you can reduce not only the stress incontinence that you experience but also improve your pain threshold and moderate your mood intensities.
Remember that when you think of the fight-or-flight response, it is not limited to the physical threats from a mountain lion, for example, like our ancestors experienced. These responses can occur if you are put on the spot at work, or if you have a tiff with a loved one.
Even positive stresses in your life can affect you. Having a surprise birthday party sprung upon you can cause a little bit of bladder leakage.
Steps You can Take
So where do you go from here? There are medications that some doctors will prescribe to control these symptoms, but you really don’t want to be a prisoner to their side effects.
The first step you need to take is simply to understanding that this is a simple, revolving cause-and-effect syndrome. This can go a long way toward bringing you relief from such an unpleasant, embarrassing condition.
There are available methods of stress relief that will enable you to develop a manner of calmness and confidence throughout your daily activities.
You can find stress toys that work to help you master your emotions.
You can learn about stress control techniques or games.
It’s also important to maintain a regular sleep schedule and a balanced diet.
There are many tips available right on this website.
It’s also important to realize that just as your body’s natural chemicals affect your ability to control your bladder, so do other chemicals. High levels of caffeine and alcohol will stimulate the smooth muscle tissues of your urinary system and cause leakages. Try reducing intake of these substances, as well.
If you want to eliminate unpleasant, embarrassing stress incontinence, it’s time to take measures to improve stress relief.
Now that you understand the physiological responses, you can begin your work on overcoming the reactions to stresses in your life.
From Stress Incontinence to our main page about Stress Symptoms