Urine Incontinence, Men

Background

Urinary incontinence (UI) is any involuntary leakage of urine. It is a common and distressing problem, and often treatable.

Causes

Stress incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), is caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. It is the loss of small amounts of urine associated with coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercising or other movements that increase intra-abdominal pressure and thus increase pressure on the bladder.

In women, low estrogen levels may lead to lower muscular pressure around the urethra (the tube draining urine from the bladder), as well as a shorter urethral length, increasing the risk of leakage.

Stress incontinence is treatable.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is involuntary loss of urine occurring for no apparent reason while suddenly feeling the need or urge to urinate. The most common cause of urge incontinence is involuntary bladder spasm. This can occur from many causes including:

  • Hidden bladder infections or vaginitis (in women)
  • Nerve problems such as stroke, MS, or Parkinson's
  • Spasm of the muscle attached to the top of the pubic bone

For incontinence, a urologist will do the best evaluation, but consider doing the treatments discussed under the "Treatments" section first to see if they work (allow 2-3 months) so you don't get pushed into unnecessary surgery or medications.

Functional incontinence

This is when you can't physically make it to the bathroom in time due to limited mobility.

Treatment

Recommended Supplements

Zinc and vitamin A

Optimize zinc intake (15-25 mg a day) and vitamin A (2,000-5,000 units a day).

Amino acids

Take amino acids such as alanine, glycine and glutamic acid (1,000-2,000 mg a day).

Multi-nutrient powder

All of the above are present in high dose in a good multi-nutrient powder.

Saw palmetto

Saw palmetto 160 mg twice a day can be as effective, or more so, than medications after 6 weeks.

Exercise

Take walks

Walking 2-3 hours a week was associated with a 25% decreased risk of BPH.

Medications

Proscar, Hytrin, and Flomax

Proscar, Hytrin, and Flomax are 3 common ones. Though not necessarily more effective than the natural remedies, they may work more quickly and may be combined with the natural therapies.

For more info, see Testosterone Deficiency.

Contributor: 

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery); and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).