|Treating Urinary Incontinence|
- Kegel exercises-One of the most highly effective ways to deal with incontinence is by doing Kegel exercises. Many patients with stress incontinence report considerable improvement in their incontinence symptoms after continuous practice of Kegel exercises. The exercise works by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles that surround the bladder and urethra. Kegels can be done by simply engaging the muscles that you would need to stop the flow of urine. The recommendation is to begin by contracting and relaxing the muscles for 1-2 seconds for up to 10 repetitions. You should repeat this between 3-5 times per day. As time goes on you need to work up to 15 second contractions. Keep in mind that it will take continuous practice over a period of time before you see results. If you are unsure as to whether you are doing these right consult with your doctor. However, studies have shown that Kegel exercises have been shown to be more effective then surgery and medication for both stress and urge incontinence.
- Dietary changes-Many people are unaware that not only what you drink but what you eat can affect your incontinence. It is important to have a clear understanding of exactly what may be affecting your incontinence. Beverages that contain caffeine or chocolate can make incontinence symptoms worse. Foods that are highly salty, have caffeine, are highly spiced, or contain natural diuretics can aggravate incontinence. You may also be surprised to learn that high amounts of sugar can make incontinence worse. Many people find significant relief of incontinence symptoms simply by making some changes in their dietary habits. In addition, both smoking and drinking alcohol have been shown to make incontinence worse. Cigarettes contain bladder irritating chemicals and many smokers develop a chronic cough that only aggravates incontinence. Alcohol can also make incontinence symptoms worse so it is best avoided or at the least reduced in the diet.