Incontinence

Updated 21 July 2016

Lamar Odom's drug binge may have left him incontinent

Lamar Odom has survived a series of strokes triggered by drug and alcohol use, but has this incident left him incontinent and unable to control his bladder?

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Professional basketball star Lamar Odom is said to be suffering from incontinence after he was hospitalised for a drug overdose earlier this year.

In October, Lamar, estranged husband of Khloe Kardashian, was found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel after a three-day party binge fuelled by drugs and alcohol. Initially, doctors were doubtful that he would survive the accidental overdose that triggered a series of strokes. However, within a month Lamar had made significant progress and was able to walk again.

Although he survived the incident, Lamar has been left with a number of serious health implications. He is said to be suffering serious damage to his brain and other organs. Inquisitr reports that Lamar was on dialysis for a month as a result of impaired kidney function and also underwent lung surgery after being removed from a ventilator. 

Lamar is suffering significant cognitive impairment and is undergoing physical therapy to improve his movements and ability to speak.

To make matters worse, Lamar is also suffering from incontinence – a fact that has been very difficult for him to come to terms with, a source told Radar Online. Reports indicate that he has very little, if any control, over his bladder movements. Lamar refuses to wear any absorbent incontinence products and, as a result, wets himself several times a day.

Although many people don't realise it, incontinence is common among stroke survivors. The UK Stroke Association indicates that about half of all patients hospitalised for a stroke will suffer from urinary incontinence. While it isn't clear whether Lamar is also suffering from faecal incontinence, the condition is also common, affecting around 30% of stroke patients.

Incontinence after a stroke is caused by damage to the area of the brain responsible for bladder control. Difficulty walking also means that patients like Lamar may not be able to reach the bathroom quickly enough to relieve themselves.

A stroke can cause the following types of urinary incontinence:

- Urge incontinence (an uncontrollable need to urinate)

- Functional incontinence (physical disability prevents the patient from getting to the bathroom on time)

- Stress incontinence (when the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles are weakened)

- Nocturnal incontinence (bedwetting while sleeping)

The good news is that many stroke patients see a reduction in their incontinence symptoms as the brain heals. With proper treatment, up to 85% of stroke survivors will no longer struggle with incontinence a year after their stroke.

Lamar still has a way to go before he is released from hospital, Sports World News reports. He is currently unable to care for himself and will more than likely need a full-time carer when he returns home.

Read more:

Kris Jenner has urinary incontinence

Can Spanx and waist trainers cause incontinence?

Kate Winslet has stress incontinence after having kids

 

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Incontinence Expert

Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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