New Relief for Stress Incontinence
"The biggest advantage of this procedure is that it can be
performed under local anesthesia," says Peters-Gee, explaining that this
allows a doctor to test the ability of the sling to create continence and to
know on the spot that the condition has been treated. "The ability to make
adjustments right then and there also reduces the need for using a urinary
catheter," says Peters-Gee. An additional advantage is that women who may
not be candidates for surgery that requires general anesthesia are candidates
for this procedure.
SUI is the most common form of incontinence. Other urinary
incontinence can be classified as:
- Urge -- an abrupt and uncontrollable desire to void.
- Mixed -- a combination of stress and urge urinary incontinence.
- Overflow -- the involuntary loss of urine resulting from an overfilled
bladder without any corresponding feeling or urge to void.
While most cases of incontinence are not caused by serious
problems, it's important to consult a urologist who can perform a complete
workup, says Milton Krisiloff, MD, former chief of urology at St. John's
Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.
"All cases of incontinence have to be evaluated to rule out
infections, neurological problems, and bladder cancer," says Krisiloff,
hastening to add that 95%of cases are not caused by these
Treatment for these other types of incontinence -- often called
overactive bladder -- includes prescription medications such as Detrol LA,
which works to help control involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle, the
cause of strong, sudden urges. Drug therapy is often paired with behavioral
techniques and bladder training, which together can help patients regain
control over their bladder.
Before turning to medications, however, Krisiloff suggests a
very simple approach that he has been using with patients for more than 20
years. His recommendation? "Change your diet." Eliminate all caffeine
(that means coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated sodas), alcohol, and hot, spicy
Claiming almost a 90% success rate in curing these forms of
incontinence (this won't work for SUI though, Krisiloff emphasizes), Krisiloff
has compiled his recommendations and findings in a book, The Krisiloff
"By eliminating these irritants from your diet, you reduce
the inflammation action on the neck of the bladder," Krisiloff explains. He
concedes that many urologists don't believe this treatment works, but many of
his patients see a remarkable difference in four to six weeks. An added bonus
he's been finding is that this dietary change has also improved conditions for
his patients who also suffer from irritable bowel, esophageal reflux (GERD),
prostatitis, and even bedwetting among children.
"This is a purely natural approach," he says. "Why
not try it first? If it doesn't work, the conventional urological approaches
are always available."