5 Lifestyle Changes You Can Start Today to Manage Incontinence
If someone told you there were simple steps that could minimize bladder leakage, you’d probably give them a try. We’re here to let you know there is such a thing. Success with bladder leakage management can be as simple as making a few small changes to daily behaviors.
Here are five changes you can start today:
Nix the Caffeine.
Coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate can all be irritants to your bladder. Because caffeine is also a diuretic, it can cause you to produce more urine and set your bladder into overdrive. Consider eliminating caffeinated beverages and foods, or switch to caffeine-free options. If quitting caffeinated coffee or soda altogether is too challenging, try drinking no more than two cups per day.
Limit Your Alcohol.
Beer, wine and liquor are all diuretics that cause the bladder to fill quickly and trigger an urgency to void. Additionally, alcohol impairs the signal between the bladder and the brain, interfering with bladder control and increasing the likelihood of accidents. Limit your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether.
Do Your Kegels.
Kegel exercises are small, strategic movements that, when done properly, can strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles in order to maintain or increase bladder control. To perform Kegels, contract the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the contraction for three seconds then relax for three seconds. Repeat eight to 10 times. You can do these exercises anytime and anywhere.
Lose a Few Pounds.
Carrying around extra pounds can have a negative effect on your bladder health. Being overweight can put pressure on the bladder and nearby muscles, further contributing to bladder leakage. A weight loss of just 5 to 10 percent can improve bladder function.
Keep Drinking Water.
Many women with bladder leakage are under the mistaken impression that by reducing fluid intake they can lessen their incontinence. In reality, the opposite can be true. Decreased fluids can lead to dehydration, and in turn to constipation, which can contribute to incontinence. Also, when you drink less water, your urine is more concentrated and may irritate the lining of the urethra and bladder. Drinking plenty of water is an important component to bladder management, so drink at least 50 ounces of water throughout the day.
Keep it simple and keep going strong
By making just a few simple changes, you can experience a big difference in your bladder control success and in your everyday enjoyment level.