People with spina bifida may experience bowel and bladder problems due to the damage of nerve cells caused by the condition. These can range from difficulty controlling urination or defecation, to more serious complications like chronic constipation or infections in the urinary tract. Knowing some basic strategies for managing these issues can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
Understand the Cause of Bowel and Bladder Problems.
The primary cause of bowel and bladder problems in those with spina bifida is the damage to the nerve cells caused by the condition. This damage can cause difficulties in controlling urination or defecation, as well as other complications like chronic constipation or urinary tract infections. Understanding how spina bifida affects nerve cells can help to develop strategies for managing symptoms and improve quality of life.
Regular Toileting Routines.
Developing and following a regular toileting routine is essential for managing bowel and bladder problems caused by spina bifida. Regular toileting routines make it easier to identify patterns in your bathroom activities, such as when you need to visit the toilet or how often you may need to use the restroom throughout the day. It’s important to be consistent with your daily routine, even on weekends or holidays, and try to go at the same time each day.
Changes to Diet and Nutrition.
Making certain dietary changes and nutritional supplements can help reduce bowel and bladder problems caused by spina bifida. Foods like probiotics, fiber-containing foods such as fruits, vegetable, and whole grains, and foods that are low in sodium or processed oils may help to improve digestion and regularity. A doctor or dietician can provide advice on which nutrients to include or eliminate from your diet. Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can support intestinal motility and regularity.
Physical Activity Techniques to Help Manage Problems with the Bowel or Bladder.
Regular physical activity, such as walking or swimming, can help to manage spina bifida-related bowel and bladder problems. Exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles, like crunches or airplane pose, may also be beneficial in improving bowel and bladder control. Additionally, relaxation techniques such as Tai Chi or Yoga may help reduce constipation and urinary urgency.
Learn About Medications to Treat Bowel and Bladder Problems Caused by Spina Bifida.
Medications may be necessary to treat bowel and bladder problems caused by spina bifida. Depending on the individual’s condition, medications may help to reduce symptoms such as constipation or urinary urgency. These include laxatives for constipation, anticholinergics for urinary urgency, antispasmodics to reduce abdominal pain, and alpha blockers to relax the bladder muscle and decrease urine leakage. Talk with a doctor before taking any new medications.