While common sense may lead you to believe that limiting fluid intake is a simple way to manage your incontinence, in this case, common sense would be wrong. Remaining hydrated is critically important, not only to managing incontinence, but also to improving your overall health.
First, understand that when experts suggest staying hydrated, the beverage to which they are referring is good, old water! Other beverages, especially those containing caffeine, can be more harmful than helpful. That said, most experts suggest drinking between six to eight glasses of water daily. Consider filling a bottle and sipping from it during the day, as opposed to drinking full glasses all in one sitting (this is a lot for the bladder to handle).
Below we have shared some of the benefits of staying hydrated for those suffering from incontinence.
First, understand that water flushes out the body; it rids it of impurities and, at the same time, dilutes urine. (When concentrated, urine’s odor is more pronounced, drawing more attention to instances of leakage). Did you know that concentrated urine (very dark yellow) is a sign of an irritated bladder which can increase instances of leakage? Additionally, water helps to keep your muscles hydrated and energized. (That’s why athletes are ALWAYS encouraged to drink it.) Dehydration weakens muscles (including those in the pelvis). As you probably know, when pelvic muscles become weaker, incontinence is more likely.
Maintaining a healthy weight is another key to reducing instances of leakage. Excess weight increases bladder pressure. Drinking water can make you feel full; thus you may eat less. This can result in weight loss which may reduce instances of incontinence.
Finally, inadequately hydrating can lead to constipation, which can indirectly cause urinary incontinence as strained bowel movements place pressure on the bladder. A healthy amount of water daily can help you stay regular.
Clearly, remaining hydrated can help alleviate the symptoms of incontinence, as opposed to aggravating them. Managing hydration plays an important role in living a more comfortable and dignified life. At LIQUAGUARD®, we encourage you to discuss hydration and incontinence with your physician. We remain committed to providing quality products to help those affected by incontinence to fully enjoy their lives.