Elimination Disorders: Risk for

Elimination disorders include incontinence involving the gastrointestinal (GI) and/or urinary systems. In the GI system, digestion and production of waste ends with stool storage in the rectum. Continence is maintained by voluntary control of the external anal sphincter. In the urinary system, the kidneys filter blood to remove excess water and waste, and ureters drain urine from each kidney to the bladder. The bladder stores urine until elimination, and continence is maintained by the urethral sphincter. The risk for incontinence varies with age. Continence typically develops in the following sequence (average age in years): nighttime bowel (2), daytime bowel (2.5), daytime urine (2.5–4), and nighttime urine (3–7). However, incontinence problems continue across the lifespan. A total of 5% to 10% of young to middle-age adults ...

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