Report urges end to stigma of incontinence
One in four U.S. adults will experience incontinence at some point, a surprisingly high toll, and the condition is so embarrassing that many suffer silently, a government panel said Wednesday.
Women are most prone to incontinence, which is the inability to control urination or bowel movements. But everyone's risk rises as they get older. Being overweight and a couch potato adds to the risk.
With the population rapidly graying and fattening, scientists convened by the National Institutes of Health issued an urgent call for research to find better ways to prevent incontinence and to remove the stigma so more people will seek help.
"We as a society need to get over our discomfort with this subject so that incontinence sufferers receive the compassion, acceptance and care they need, and our aging population can take steps to prevent incontinence in the future," said Dr. C. Seth Landefeld, geriatrics chief at the University of California, San Francisco, who led the panel.
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE / It's a family decision
"ONLY YOU can know," my grandmother said.
After a two-year bout with multiple sclerosis, my father had rapidly deteriorated and was connected to one machine that breathed for him and another that digested for him.
For nearly a year, I sat in his room every day listening to the artificial breaths, staring at the slow drips in his IV, following the thick, milky-colored liquid traveling slowly along his feeding tube.
"Is this what he would have wanted?" I would ask my grandparents.
"Only you can know," they would say.
Link to the Alaska Advance Health Care Directive form.
What to Tell the Boss After a Diagnosis
Kenneth Bandler has multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. For over a decade, he kept it a secret.
Man planned suicide, friend says
With his legs failing him and the ravages of multiple sclerosis eroding his well-buffed physique, Charles Fariala spent his last few months in solitude, not answering his friend's e-mails even as he was online, meticulously surfing the Internet.
He was searching for a way to die.
Eventually the 36-year-old found the information on one of the Internet's suicide sites. It gave him instructions on how to take his life, which he did Sunday. A close friend said he planned months ahead and wanted to die in the arms of his mother, Marielle Houle.
Bladder Issues with Multiple Sclerosis
Bladder and bowel issues can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis. Sometimes the issues are constant and sometimes they are intermittent.
Montel's Suicide Attempts
Talk show host and motivational speaker Montel Williams says he nearly committed suicide after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. In his new book, "Climbing Higher," Williams says he wanted to die before the disease got worse. He loaded a .357 magnum and sat in his closet, spinning the barrel, hoping it would go off accidentally so his kids could collect on his insurance, according to an excerpt in the New York Post. He says he spent 45 minutes trying to get the gun to go off, to no avail.
Internet Help for Incontinence
The Bladder Control Forum aims to educate people with bladder problems, their caregivers and the general public about the issue to improve the quality of life for people with incontinence.