10 Things That Can Help With Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can be inconvenient and embarrassing. Besides talking to your doctor about your symptoms, you can also work to alleviate your symptoms and help with urinary incontinence by doing any of the following suggestions below:
Being overweight or obese can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and can cause incontinence because of the pressure of fatty tissue on the bladder.
Your symptoms may improve, and could clear up completely, if you lose the excess weight.
To check whether you’re a healthy weight, check your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height.
If you smoke, you put yourself at risk of incontinence because coughing puts strain on your pelvic floor muscles. By quitting smoking, you may be able to reduce or completely eliminate your urinary incontinence.
Pelvic floor exercises such as kegels can help reduce leakage. You may have to do pelvic floor exercises for three months before you see any benefits.
High-impact exercise puts pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and can increase leakage. Sit-ups can also make you leak by straining your pelvic floor muscles.
If you want to strengthen your pelvic floor to relieve symptoms, replace jogging and aerobics classes with pilates. This gentle method of stretching and strengthening core muscles has become more popular as a treatment for stress incontinence.
Lifting puts strain on your pelvic floor muscles, so avoid it wherever you can.
When you do need to lift something, like picking up children or shopping bags, tighten your pelvic floor muscles before and during the lift.
Straining to empty your bowels weakens your pelvic floor muscles and makes leakage worse. Never delay the urge to empty your bowels. If you have constipation, it may help to change your diet and lifestyle.
Eating more fiber and exercising more often can help with constipation. It may also help if you change the way you sit and use your muscles to empty your bowels. Your doctor can help advise you on this.
Avoid spicy and acidic foods, such as salsas and citrus fruits, as they can irritate the bladder and make incontinence symptoms worse.
Caffeine irritates the bladder and can make incontinence worse. Coffee has the biggest effect, so consider either eliminating it completely or simply switch to decaffeinated.
Carbonated drinks, tea, green tea, energy drinks and hot chocolate also contain caffeine, so consider cutting down on these too. Instead, replace them with water and herbal or fruit teas.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more often. Cutting down may help your incontinence symptoms.
Drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day (but no more) unless your doctor advises you otherwise.
Many people with urinary incontinence avoid drinking fluids, as they feel it causes more problems. However, limiting your fluid intake makes incontinence worse, because it reduces your bladder’s capacity.
In addition, too little fluid can also cause or worsen constipation, which exacerbates incontinence.
These are ten things you can do to help urinary incontinence symptoms. You should use these helpful tips in conjunction with any advice given to you by your doctor. These tips, along with medical guidance, should help alleviate the problems caused by urinary incontinence.
At Women’s Healthcare Associates, in Amarillo, Texas, we have a goal to provide you with one of the best experiences in women’s care. Our professional Staff offers personal care that focuses on the health and wellbeing of our patients as individuals. Our Services include prenatal and pregnancy care, digital mammography, bone density screening, and contraception. For more information about how our comprehensive women’s healthcare can help you, please give us a call at (806) 355-6330.
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