Causes of Bladder Control Problems

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For women, pregnancy and childbirth, hormonal changes, and the structure of their urinary tract can contribute to bladder control problems. For men, problems can occur when the prostate becomes blocked. For men and women, certain medications, weak or overactive bladder muscles, or nerve damage caused by some diseases can result in loss of bladder control. Certain foods or drinks can irritate the bladder. Common items that can cause problems include:

  • Carbonated drinks (with or without caffeine)
  • Milk or milk products
  • Coffee or tea (even decaffeinated)
  • Medicines with caffeine
  • Citrus fruit juices
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato-based products ?
  • Highly spicy foods ?
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Chocolate
  • Corn syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners

As you age, the muscles in your urinary system may lose strength. An older person may be more prone to urinary infections. Being sick or injured can also cause bladder control problems. The most common causes of ongoing problems include:

  • Weakness of muscles that hold the bladder in place
  • Weakness of the bladder itself
  • Weakness of the urethral sphincter muscles
  • What happens if he forgets his medications altogether?
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Blocked urethra, which may stem from an enlarged prostate in men
  • Hormone imbalance in women
  • Neurological disorders
  • Restricted mobility
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's disease

Not everyone suffers bladder control problems as they age. If you or someone you care for is suffering, it?s important to get a doctor?s advice to understand the cause and start treatment. In about 80% of the cases, bladder control problems can be cured or improved.

External Source

National Association for Continence. Urge urinary incontinence/overactive bladder. Accessed August 6, 2008. Available at

National Institute on Aging. Urinary incontinence. Accessed August 6, 2008. Available at

National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearing House. Your urinary system and how it works. Accessed August 6, 2008. Available at

Web Writer: Linda Henry

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