A stroke often causes problems with bladder and bowel control. These usually improve in the early weeks after the stroke, but around a third of stroke survivors may have longer term difficulties.
Continence problems after a stroke can be caused by damage to areas of the brain due to stroke, as well as side effects of medication, constipation, and not being able to ask for the toilet due to communication problems. Treatments can include bladder and bowel training, pelvic floor exercises, eating more fibre, and medication including laxatives. This guide also looks at practical solutions to many day-to-day problems to help you live well with incontinence.
Can electrical stimulation of the leg alleviate bladder problems caused by stroke?
It's estimated that about half of people admitted to hospital with a stroke will have lost control of their bladder, and a third will experience loss of bowel control. Last week, a research incontinence workshop was held at Guy's Hospital London, with the aim of stimulating research into incontinence. It encouraged more research, more collaboration and more multi-disciplinary approaches, for both faecal (bowel) and urinary incontinence.
To help plan the care of stroke survivors and their rehabilitation, health professionals usually use a scale called the Barthel Index (BI) to measure how well they can perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
Some strokes are very serious and can cause a coma, or may lead to someone dying. This guide looks at the care given to someone in a coma, and how end-of-life care can support someone who's unlikely to recover.