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Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage Incontinence

February 24, 2021

Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage Incontinence

Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage Incontinence 


Lifestyle changes can help you manage your incontinence and lead a more active and pleasurable life. Millions of Americans are plagued by urinary incontinence. It is critical for all who suffer to share the details of their incontinence with their physician as this situation is often a symptom of another underlying health issue. 


That said, there are things you do to control incontinence. Adjustments to what you do and when you do it can have a positive impact on your life.


Three Lifestyle Changes to Help Control Incontinence


Without a doubt, you should discuss any lifestyle changes with your doctor. You want to be sure that the steps you are taking are safe for you and appropriate for your condition.  That said, the suggestions here are noninvasive and could help make a difference in your life.


Eat Better


Managing your diet is an important key to controlling incontinence. There are several things you can do. First, if you are overweight, you can try to lose weight. Of course, no diet should be undertaken without the advice and guidance of your doctor.  However, excess weight can lead to pressure on your bladder and the surrounding muscles resulting in incontinence.


Additionally, even if you are at an ideal weight, it is important to watch what you eat.  Certain foods can aggravate incontinence. If you have an overactive bladder it may be wise to avoid citrus fruits and spicy foods. Consider modifying your diet to include more whole grains and fiber-rich veggies.



Drink Wisely


Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your health.  While it may seem intuitive to restrict your water intake, this can aggravate incontinence.  Instead, drink regularly throughout the day and don’t guzzle large amounts at one time. 


What you drink is just as important as how much you drink.  Water is key.  Avoid caffeine, which is a bladder irritant, and alcoholic beverages.  Alcohol is a diuretic.  


Also, consider keeping track of how much you drink, when you drink and when you urinate. This information can both help your doctor recognize your issues and provide you a  better understanding of how your body works.  Keep a log for a week, you may be amazed at how much you learn.


Exercise Appropriately


Regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health. However, even the idea of exercise can be daunting for those with incontinence. 


First, make sure you use the restroom before you exercise; begin with an empty bladder.  Second, dress wisely; dark clothes are more forgiving.  And, consider the broad range of protective products on the market that may provide you peace of mind. 


Finally, do the right type of exercises.  Avoid heavy lifting and high-impact routines.  Instead, incorporate stretching (like yoga and pilates).  Walk, don't run. And consider a stair stepper if you are using a machine.  It puts less pressure on your bladder. It is important to understand that you don’t need to “jump around” to get a good workout.


Living Well Is the Best Medicine


All three of the suggestions shared above will not only help you manage your incontinence but will also help you lead a healthier life.  And, when you are in better health, you feel good and can do more.  


If you have been avoiding activities and events because you suffer from incontinence and are concerned with leakage and accidents, adopting some or all of the steps above can help you control your symptoms. With less to worry about, you will be more likely to be involved. Living well is the best medicine, both physically and emotionally.


 


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