20 y.o. with urinary incontinence for 2 years, no help from doctors.

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For 2 years, I've had constant mild urinary incontinence. I'm certain that it's urine, and I think it would be classified as stress incontinence. My pelvic floor muscles seem fine- I can stop urine flow at will, but small amounts leak out constantly throughout the day. I don't have frequency or urgency. It happens if my bladder is full or relatively empty. I'm not overweight, I don't do a lot of heavy lifting, I've never been pregnant. I don't know what this could be. I've always had very good control over my bladder before this. I've been to two GP's, they both won't refer me to a urologist (giving weird excuses like "they don't see people as young as you!" which I know isn't true, children and young adults see urologists, too.) My GP's and urgent care doctors just throw antibiotics at the problem, thinking it's a UTI. (They always test the urine- sometimes there's bacteria, sometimes not.) Some antibiotics help and the symptoms go away for a month or two, but usually, they don't help, and I'm out 30 to 50 dollars. Now I have a lot of abdominal and back pains, but I'm not sure if they're related or not. I'm sick of being abandonded by doctors, and I wonder if anyone else has faced something like this. I'm scared there's some sort of mass pressing on my bladder or something. 

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  • Posted

    I am sorry you going through this, Rae4456, for such a young person. I agree with you that your bladder should not be leaking as you indicated during the day, if only for a few instances. It could be either two things; (1) your nutritional intake is negatively impacting your urinary tract plumbing (2) its one of the u rinary organs not functioning well and perhaps other therapy or surgery. But it seems it is a minor issue due to the low frequency of urgency you indicated. 

    So you have to start using a journal to identify what / when triggers of symptoms happen. I would remove all sugar intake from your diet. I will drink water still because your overall body especially your gut needs it to function right, like a car needs the oil for the engine to work. You have to read labels to eliminate and indentify the ingredients in disguise thats really sugar, that is the key. 

    You can get a Ph test on Amazon to measure your score of in balance or not for urinary issues. I suggest to have these that you can do at home. 

    You need to look into the fact that your overall good/bad bacteria is out of balance and understand how important the good bacteria in staying alive enough to balance out the bad, if not, the bad bacteria can and will move to other organs / systems in disguises causing small symptoms other places. 

    And, you should be able to hold your bladder when full for the most part, for awhile but when you know its empty or haven't drunk  anything and its auto does it, then that is for concern to why. I say it is an infection. 

    You can take 1 teaspoon Baking Soda in a glass of water and should see results very quickly - or take a 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider in water. Take sips if at first its hard to do so.  -- you can add honey to help on taste. 

    Hope you get better. 

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    • Posted

      Sunshine22, I can't thank you enough. These were all really great tips. I've been drinking a ton of water lately- it gets hard when you leak, because you're afraid of it getting worse from the liquid volume- but the hydration is always good, in and of itself. I've thought on and off about getting rid of sugar, but often neglect to, because I assume it's something more nefarious. I'll definitely make the cuts when I go shopping next. With bacteria, I agree- I get nervous about the good bacteria being depleted by the antibiotics they always throw at me, so maybe a urinary probiotic would help. I honestly never thought about that, but the more I look it up, they would be good to take, especially as a prophylaxis to prevent them in the future. 

      I've looked into the pH, which tends to be acidic (that's just from the last few tests I've had done). I believe that's good for killing infections, but can also signify dehydration. The strange thing is, my last test at the hospital noted bacteria (4+) and trace leukocyte esterase, but they didn't tell me about it. I only knew because I made an account, signed in, and got my results online once they were made available. Perhaps they weren't processed in time- I wasn't at the hospital for very long, and I was there for something else that was much more urgent and unrelated. I told my doctor about it, but she didn't seem concerned. I wonder why.

      In any case, I'll definitely give your tips a try. You helped me so much, thanks a ton for being so kind. You certainly gave me more help than any doctor has offered so far. They never ask about my diet or lifestyle, or even consider that the antibiotics might be throwing off my balance. Those things are really important though. Thanks again, and have a great day! smile 

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    • Posted

      Oh, you are welcome. I am glad to help as others have helped me so I want to give back on what I learned from experience and what I researched. Also, and I feel for us all here on the internet in 2015 looking for medical answers that the doctors, most of them, dont seem to care. Its our lives and all doctors should.

      But yes, you have to decide to get rid of sugar. You will be amazed once you start looking at food lables of sugar under the disguised in different names. Look for words ending in "ose" and of course high fruitose corn syrup. It will take longer on your first grocery trip by reading everything but dont stop. The next time you will Learn the Brands that don't add unnecessary sugar. When you research the impacts of sugar like I did, I was shocked, angry, and mad as hell that nobody really talks about it in length. Or the doctors avoid the dicussion of our diets. So the UTIs or other infections or urinary incontinence continues. Everytime the antibotics are taken they remove all your good / bad bacteria so you have no defense but your body auto immune system but you are too weak to fight it so infection occurs. Its a vicious cycle, dont know why the doctors dont reveal the whole story.

      It is frustrating.

      So you have to take some type of probotics to stop the bad bacteria. And you **have to take prebotics,that I learned to feed the probotics. You have to start like I did to think of our bodies as gardens, and once you start replacing the good bacteria  it does takes take. I thought a few days but no, more like 4-6 months at best or a year. Yeah, it takes that long to get our inner good/bad in balance while fighting to remove the infection, causing the symptoms. 

      And you did right, to be proactive. Sometimes, the patients just become a number, so thats the behavior of not showing an interests.

      Also, I recently learned from a herblist that owns their own store to choose food base on your blood type. I never thought of it but after researching our our bodies works and that good/bad bacteria PH is the cornerstone to impacting us if out of balance (hence, eating / taking probotics). *So look into that what is your blood type and ask a herbalist or naturalist for the list of foods. Most have the for a 1.00 or so to the short list based on blood type. That could be a problem too, everyone is different but something is causing the infection that is the pressure or mass pressing on your bladder. 

      Those tests are looking for specifics and anything out of the perimeter will come back with inconsistency. 

      Just start with changing your diet and start moving towards a natural approach for your issue, check online for sites that sell the right products with verified reviews.

      Now, once you find the substance that gives you results, take it in stride because it could be  resistance factor of an infection causing the issue and refuses (the bacteria) and you will experince a die off period. This is rough for a few days, so make sure you / have been taking Vitamin C or Echniacea tea (this should be fine the Indians used this alot back in the day) with some honey. To sustain the die off period that can occurs once you start taking things, like raw garlic or the D-Mannose powder, basically the natural way.

      Wish you better health...dont quit...you are right about your health.. keep looking for answers - that works for your body makeup.

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  • Posted

    Hi rae4456, 

    I'm 22 and experiencing almost exactly the same thing! Like you I suppose it could be considered stress incontinence however it is not brought on by increased intraabdominal pressure, e.g. Sneezing laughing etc. I just leak very mildly throughout the day, and barely even realise. I have also just been thrown antibiotics by certain doctors who just want to pass it off as a UTI, ️when it definitely isn't.  I've been experiencing this for about 7 months now...I am currently seeing a women's health physiotherapist and have been told my pelvic floor muscles have relatively high resting tone, probably because I do exercise quite regularly and my core is always trying to engage. She also suspected potential uterine prolapse but has not been able to find any evidence of prolapse. I am being referred onto a urologist for urodynamic testing soon, so will be happy to let you know what the outcome is of that. In the mean time I would highly recommend a physiotherapist that specialises in  women's health/pelvic floor, they might be able to help you a great deal! I understand how frustrating this must be for you sad   

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry that you are both suffering with this too, rae and claudia. I think our experiences show that it is very hard to be listened to and get referrals from doctors when we ask for help. I don't know if it's they don't realise the impact on our lives, they assume it can't be anything substantial or medically serious in a young person, or if it's about shortage of funding.

    I am also a young woman with incontinence and I've not found it easy to get investigations.

    One of the ways I leak is small amounts throughout the day and it isn't always linked to eg lifting or exercise - it often happens at other times - and it doesn't seem to be linked to whether I am trying to 'hold on' to a full bladder either, though I do leak more then . (I also lose larger amounts and have problems with urgency causing accidents.)

    When it's the relatively small amounts as you describe it happens with no warning and once I feel it happening I can't do anything to stop it at all. Sometimes I don't realise as I'm leaking and only realise when I feel damp. It freaks me out that this means I've peed without knowing but I think it might partly be to do with the fact I have to wear large pads in order to cope with the times I lose a larger amount at once and these pads mask some of the feeling of being wet.

    I had problems with this leaking from a young age, as a teenager still at school.

    It got worse after I had several serious viruses and then fibromyalgia (a symptom of fibromyalgia is incontinence) and nerve problems and now endometriosis which I've been told has grown over my bladder and is making it much worse.

    Getting things looked into was very hard. I did not help things as I was too embarrassed to ask for help for a long time. But even when I did tell the GP I just got ignored or brushed off and only when I changed practice did I get referred to a urogynae cologist. By this time I'd had some level of incontinence for about 8 years. They had me keep a diary and they did urodynamics (think that's the right word) which was distressing to go through but at least following that I was diagnosed with overactive bladder and prescribed medication that helped somewhat. I also had 2 scans.

    But where things have worsened so much recently it's again being hard to get any further referrals. I am really wanting a gynae referral because of the massive impact the endometriosis is having in terms of pain, extremely heavy periods, severe anaemia, and the incontinence. I've been trying for 3 - 5 years and particularly the last 2 to get some more help but the GP seems so reluctant and I've also been told things like I won't get help because of my age, which, like you, I think makes no sense.

    I really would encourage you to keep insisting for help. You shouldn't have to accept struggling with this. It may take time but you are entitled to the help that's out there. Getting a good GP does make a difference in my experience. Noting down or keeling a diary I think helps illustrate your symptoms. Or showing the doctor the kind of pads you need to use, perhaps.

    I am so sorry it has been frustrating and hard to get the help you've asked for.

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    • Posted

      HI! I've the same symptoms as you, usually only small leakages sometime when I've urgency to pee, sometime just not correlated to urgency or physical activities and I cannot realise it is happening or stop the flow. What makes everything really worse are the large amount at once, when in just few minutes I feel strong urgency to pee and if I cannot immediately find a toilet I wet myself, I mean not only leakages that a standard pad can hold. This upset me the most cause it can happen in every moment, everywhere. It's not everyday thing, not so frequent, but still can happen. It really scare me, very limiting factor.

      My physician told me these bigger accidents probably have a mix of causes as weaker bladder muscles, liquids retentions, stress, irritations. Do you think is he right? Have you found a way to prevent this? I used oxybutinin occasionally and it helped only a little bit. Also it give me some light adverse effects so I take it not everyday.

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  • Posted

    I'm in my middle thirty and I had leaking problems from puberty. Not only elders have incontinence but a lot of young women too. In your shoes I would refer other physician to heal and to prevent worse problems.

    I know anxiety play a good role about incontinence, have you considered this?

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  • Posted

    It certainly sounds like you have the run around. It annoys me when Drs dismiss our symptoms as nothing. You know your own body,you know when something aint right.

    How much water do you drink?

    Your urine becomes concentrated due to the amount of fluid you have.

    You should be having at least four pints of water a day.

    Dehydration can cause a lot of problems.

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