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The Incontinence Issues of Paralysis

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injuries

When a person becomes paralyzed, the diagnosis is from the point of injury
on the spine and below, he or she loses the ability to feel or even move.
While often we think of paralysis as just affected arms and legs, the
truth is that a person may also lose feeling in and function of many other
parts of the body, including the automatic responses that take care of
basic bodily actions.

One such issue is referred to as incontinence. Because the sacral nerves
are located at the bottom of the spine, the bladder and the gastrointestinal
system do not always function properly after a
spinal cord injury.

Incontinence and Gastrointestinal Issues Associated With Spinal Cord Injuries

People who suffer spinal cord injuries are likely to have difficulty managing
incontinence, both with their bladder and bowels. Here are more specific
problems related to bladder and gastrointestinal issues:

  • Bladder Control. Because the body has lost control over sensations, people who are paralyzed
    will likely lose the ability to control when they urinate.
  • Urinary Tract Infections. Bacteria form easily in urine. The longer that urine remains in the body,
    the more likely that bacterium will develop, causing a urinary tract infection
    (UTI). Additionally, people who have to be catheterized develop frequent
    UTIs and repeated UTIs often lead to bladder cancer.
  • Neurogenic bowel. This condition may be present with a loss of bowel control, too many movements
    over the course of a day, or a lack of voiding for days at a time.
  • Constipation. This is one of the most common issues for those paralyzed. Contrary to
    an incontinent bladder, when it’s difficult to keep liquid inside,
    constipated bowels have difficulty contracting. Therefore, stool is difficult
    to expel. In some cases, the stool becomes impacted, and removal of it
    requires assistance.
  • Hemorrhoids. Due to the strain of trying to expel stool, the veins in the anus are
    stressed, causing them to become swollen. Although drinking fluids will
    help minimize the chance of developing hemorrhoids, medication is likely
    the required treatment.
  • Skin Sores. If someone has to wear diapers or pads, wounds can often develop on the
    skin exposed to the waste-soaked padding. If the skin is left untreated,
    the sores can get worse, causing infection.

Have A Claim? Call Now For A Free Consultation!

Coping with these unwanted physical effects of paralysis is difficult.
Let us help you get the needed compensation to help with your medical
bills and other financial needs due to your loss of wages and independence.
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