items from our stroke awareness store.
After a stroke, a condition called incontinence may develop for some
people. This happens when the muscles that help control
bladder and bowels are weakened, thus
making it likely to have an accident.
Unconscious leaking is the most common
condition but there are many different
types of bladder and bowel control problems. Loss
of urinary continence is fairly common immediately after a
stroke and often results from a combination of sensory and motor
deficits. Stroke survivors may lose the ability to sense the need to
urinate or the ability to control bladder muscles. Some may lack
enough mobility to reach a toilet in time. Loss of bowel control or
constipation also may occur. Permanent incontinence after a stroke
is uncommon, but even a temporary loss of bowel or bladder control
can be emotionally difficult for stroke survivors.
Individualized strategies for
overcoming incontinence can be determined by a healthcare
professional conducting an evaluation.
Bladder and Bowel Training
Bladder and bowel training can
permanently improve incontinence and help manage chronic symptoms.
Bladder and bowel training programs are usually customized to
Changes in diet
- some foods and liquids
may affect bladder and bowel incontinence.
need to urinate after drinking coffee or alcohol.
foods may affect bladder.
- changing the timing, amounts, and types of liquids can help in control of
before bedtime may help.
affect bowel control.
- wear clothing that is easier
to get off.
- have a urinal or commode easily that
Wear disposable undergarments
Place a bedside commode
next to the bed
Place a bed pad over the bed sheet
Place a blue pad underneath
the bed pad
Place a blue pad on furniture
Have a set of clean
clothes in all bathrooms
Place blue pads on car seats
When travelling, plan travel time for frequent bathroom stops
Bring extra clothesfor long shopping trips
Have a set of clothes in the car for
hand wipes and liquid sanitizer in the house
If your loved one has incontinence, let them know that this is a very common side-effect of stroke.
Tell them that most stroke survivors initially have this side-effect
after having one. You can help by letting that person
know you understand that his or her accidents
are unavoidableand are
not something they can control. Let them
know what the tips are for managing this problem. Talk to
their doctor about it.
In many cases, incontinence is overcome in a relatively short
period after a stroke. This can happen as a natural part of the
recovery process or as a result of treatment or therapy.
someone you love has incontinence, they
may be embarrassed by his or
her condition and are
reluctant to talk about it.
Stroke Warning Signs
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially
on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or