If you’re having a difficult time with your bladder, specifically incontinence, you may need some assistance. There are several ways to make living with incontinence easier and reduce the presence of urinary incontinence in general. You may be wondering if there are exercises you can try for this. What about habits you can break? And are there any products you should look into?
If you’re struggling with urinary incontinence, we have a few suggestions you may want to consider. You don’t have to battle urinary incontinence alone, especially if you’re willing to experiment with a few new things. If you need help handling your urinary incontinence, keep reading. We’re here to break down everything you might want to know about dealing with urinary incontinence in your daily life.
Look Into Incontinence Pads
You may be surprised to learn that you can use pads for more than just a menstrual cycle; they can be especially useful for dealing with day-to-day incontinence. Incontinence pads are made specifically for the lightning quick absorbency required for locking away urine leaks.
There are several positive aspects of incontinence pads, including protecting your clothes and helping you avoid embarrassment when you’re out in public. Incontinence pads may also help trap and mask the smell of urine. Incontinence pads won’t be effective in removing your bladder issues entirely, but they can certainly offer you some peace of mind in the meantime while you’re treating your incontinence.
Exercise Your Pelvic Floor
You may also want to focus on exercising your pelvic floor if you experience incontinence, as strengthening your bladder and the surrounding muscles can make it easier to hold in your urine throughout the day. The most popular pelvic floor exercises are called Kegels, which are performed by contracting the muscles you use to control the flow of urine.
You can do Kegels in repetitions, slowly increasing the time you’re able to hold the Kegel as you build up your strength. To steadily increase your strength, you may want to work on exercising your pelvic floor daily.
If you currently have a smoking habit, you may want to stop. Incontinence can be worsened with smoking, mainly because of the likelihood of coughing. Coughing often strains your pelvic floor and the surrounding muscles, including the bladder. If you want to stop smoking, we recommend looking for resources available in your area or online and consulting your doctor.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
If you regularly drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks, the caffeine may irritate your bladder and worsen your experience with incontinence. Reducing your caffeine intake can make it easier to deal with urinary incontinence.
Stop Drinking Alcohol
Your incontinence issues may also be aggravated if you regularly drink alcohol. This is largely because alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes you to urinate more often. Additionally, alcohol makes it more difficult to hold onto water.
Opt-Out of Cardio
If your regular workout routine includes cardio like running, jogging, jumping rope, or other high-intensity exercises, you may be making it more challenging to manage your incontinence. These exercises put excess pressure on your bladder, so you may want to focus on other strengthening exercises to improve your bladder’s overall strength.
You may also want to avoid exercises or workplace tasks that involve heavy lifting. Lifting may also put excess pressure on your bladder, making it harder to control your incontinence. If you absolutely must lift something, be sure to contract your pelvic floor by performing Kegels before and during; this will allow you to strengthen your bladder while you’re lifting.
Shed the Extra Pounds
Being overweight can also put extra pressure on your bladder, worsening your incontinence issues. By working on losing excess pounds to reach a healthy weight, you’ll likely significantly reduce your bladder issues or eliminate them entirely.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
While this may sound counterintuitive, try increasing your water intake to six to eight glasses of fluid each day, unless your medical health professional has told you otherwise. You might think that drinking water will make your incontinence issues worse, but not drinking enough can irritate your bladder and produce leaks that are more concentrated with odor that’s harder to mask.
Treat and Avoid Constipation
Whenever you need to use the restroom, try to go immediately if possible. By using the restroom when your body tells you that it’s time, you’re less likely to weaken your pelvic floor; waiting to use the restroom can cause you to experience constipation and strain. You may also want to consider taking in more fiber and improving your overall diet to combat constipation.
Avoid Spicy and Acidic Foods
You may also want to avoid eating spicy and acidic foods if you experience urinary incontinence as they may cause irritation to your bladder and increase the likelihood of leaks during the day. Common foods to avoid include curries and citrus fruits.
If you’re experiencing urinary incontinence, it’s crucial to know that you are not alone or helpless. In addition to receiving treatment from your doctor, there are also a few natural and accessible methods you can try at home to decrease the inconveniences. There are many options for treatment, and we hope that our list of suggestions was helpful to you.