|10 lifestyle strategies that can offer relief.|
1. Avoid food triggers. There are a number of foods that can cause bladder irritation, or can lead to increased urgency. In order to gain some relief, avoid these foods. The most common are caffeine, citrus fruits, acidic foods, refined sugars, and alcohol. However, they impact people differently, so figure out what you can and can’t tolerate.
2. Get your fluids right. Too many people try to control their bladder problems by limiting fluid intake. This is a bad idea as it can cause the urine to become too concentrated, which causes bladder irritation, and can leave you feeling more urgency to go. Stay properly hydrated, just time your hydration so that you do not have extra bathroom breaks when you need to be doing something else, like sleeping.
3. Try bladder training. Bladder training is a method where you help train your bladder to hold your urine until specified times, allowing you to plan better. Here are the basics on how to bladder training:
a. Keep a voiding diary for a few days so you can see when you usually urinate, and can set up a schedule that will be easier to adjust to.
b. Start by urinating at the scheduled times, then gradually extend those times by 15 minutes. Do your best to hold your urine for fifteen minutes longer, going from a one-hour interval to an hour and fifteen minutes.
c. Stick to the schedule. Once you have established a schedule, stick to it, and do your best to wait it out so that you can stick to your schedule. If you have an accident, go back to your schedule as quickly as possible.
d. Relax. Practice relaxing if you feel the need to go before the scheduled time. Sit, take deep breaths, and do what you can to reduce the feeling of urgency.
e. Increase intervals. Once you can comfortably stick to your schedule, gradually lengthen the time between trips to the toilet until you can go 2-4 hours.
4. Do Strengthen your pelvic floor. xercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that hold up the bladder and control the urethra.
a. Kegels- Tighten and hold the pelvic muscles, doing 3 sets of 1o each day.
b. Biofeedback. Use biofeedback to target specific muscles.
6. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is not just unhealthy, the extra pressure of weight can increase stress incontinence, resulting in leakage. Losing weight may help to reduce the symptoms.
7. Stop smoking. Smokers are more likely to have bladder control problems and have more severe symptoms. For example, chronic smoker’s cough can lead to more stress incontinence.
8. Start exercising. There are studies that show that regular physical activity reduces bladder control problems. Shoot for the recommended 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
9. Minimize constipation. Straining excessively during bowel movements can damage the pelvic floor. In addition, a constipated bowel may put pressure on the bladder. Eat fiber, and get your bowels moving properly.
10. Manage chronic cough. If you have a cough that doesn't go away, such as from an allergy or sinus infection, get it treated. Coughing can put added pressure on the bladder and lead to stress incontinence.
One of the best ways to get some relief is to use management tools such as the right size and fit of absorbent products. There are a number of products out there that can provide relief. Samples can be purchased in sets of 4 for just $3.49. Call 800-985-1353 M-F 9-4 CST to talk to one of our product specialists. This is an all-female team who have each been a caregiver to a loved one. Since this is their only business, they know incontinence products inside and out, and want to help you.
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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.