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Having Multiple Sclerosis means you can develop new symptoms at any time.  One of the symptoms you may develop is incontinence. Incontinence arises when your body leaks urine or fecal matter without your control. Bladder control and multiple sclerosis is quite common as your muscles may be weaker and you have issues with the muscle control, balance, and coordination. What are some of the common symptoms of MS? It varies from person to person, so it is hard to say that there is just a list that you can define as MS symptoms. However, there are a few symptoms that are common in the initial stages of MS:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Balance and coordination problems
  • Overall weakness in the muscles
  • Blurry vision or double vision

These are the symptoms you may notice initially and then you have other issues that will start to arise over time. Incontinence is one of the symptoms that usually comes after you start having those initial symptoms. Urinary incontinence is the most common but there are some people that do struggle with fecal incontinence as well.

The reason for the incontinence problems with MS is related to muscle spasms and fatigue. When the muscles lose their ability to contract and your nerves are unable to feel or to send signals to the muscles, it is easy to see why you can suffer from incontinence. What can you do about incontinence? There are a number of great products that you can choose from that will be able to help you to manage incontinence properly. From disposable undergarments to incontinence pads, there are so many products on the market that will make your life much easier.

If you deal with fatigue with incontinence, you are likely to spend a great deal of time resting. This can lead to bed sores if you are not moving around enough and eating a healthy diet. You should focus on getting some supplies that can protect your furniture if you do need to lay down a lot. Incontinence bed pads and other supplies will be able to make cleaning up after yourself easier if you choose not to wear incontinence underwear.

When you do start to develop signs of muscle fatigue or any symptoms of incontinence you need to speak to your doctor right away. You need to find out if this is bladder dysfunction on its own or if it may be related to other issues with MS. There could be some dietary changes that you need to make in order to help manage incontinence effectively.

How do you know if you are starting to develop incontinence with MS? There are many different types of incontinence but these are the most common things that you may experience:

  • Urgency: This often occurs when you have the sudden urge to urinate. It can come on all the sudden and you need to rush to the restroom, and nothing may even come out.
  • Hesitancy: This occurs when you may have an urge to urinate and when you go you may sit on the toilet for a long time before you finally do have urine come out.
  • Frequency: You may feel like you need to urinate all the time.

What you do need to know is that incontinence is quite common with MS. About 80% of people with MS will deal with some type of bladder dysfunction. Due to this, it is a smart idea to go out and purchase a number of incontinence supplies that can help you to properly manage incontinence. Since you may develop it in the future if you do not have it now, it is best to prepare yourself for it.


About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.

Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.

JAN 30 1975, FEB 24 1993, MAY 14 1995
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