LiNil Visiting Nurses provides incontinence care. Urinary incontinence (UI), involuntary urination, is any involuntary leakage of urine. It can be a common and distressing problem, which may have a profound impact on quality of life. Urinary incontinence almost always results from an underlying treatable medical condition but is under-reported to medical practitioners. Enuresis is often used to refer to urinary incontinence primarily in children, such as nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting).
Fecal incontinence (FI), also called faecal incontinence, bowel incontinence or anal incontinence, is a lack of control over defecation, leading to involuntary loss of bowel contents—including flatus, liquid stool elements and mucus, or solid feces. FI is a sign or a symptom, not a diagnosis. Incontinence can result from different causes and might occur with either constipation or diarrhea. Continence is maintained by several inter-related factors, and usually there is more than one deficiency of these mechanisms for incontinence to develop. The most common causes are thought to be immediate or delayed damage from childbirth, complications from prior anorectal surgery (especially involving the anal sphincters or hemorrhoidal vascular cushions) and altered bowel habits (e.g. caused by irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, food intolerance, or constipation with overflow incontinence). An estimated 2.2% of community dwelling adults are affected.
Fecal incontinence has three main consequences: local reactions of the perianal skin and urinary tract, including maceration (softening and whitening of skin due to continuous moisture), urinary tract infections, or decubitus ulcers (pressure sores); a financial expense for individuals (due to cost of medication and incontinence products, and loss of productivity), employers (days off), and medical insurers and society generally (health care costs, unemployment); and an associated decrease in quality of life. There is often reduced self-esteem, shame, humiliation, depression, a need to organize life around easy access to bathroom and avoidance of enjoyable activities. FI is an example of a stigmatized medical condition, which creates barriers to successful management. People may be too embarrassed to seek medical help, and attempt to self-manage the symptom in secrecy from others.
FI is one of the most psychologically and socially debilitating conditions in an otherwise healthy individual, but it is generally treatable. Management can be achieved through an individualized mix of dietary, pharmacologic and surgical measures. Health care professionals are often poorly informed about treatment options, and may fail to recognize the impact of FI.
LiNil Visiting Nurses Home Care's mission is to promote excellence in Incontinence Care. Call us today to discuss your Incontinence Care needs.