Getting Back Into the World With Incontinence

Do not let incontinence stop you from living your life. 
About 25 million adult Americans suffer from some level of incontinence. One in five women have incontinence. But just because you are not alone, does not make it easy to get out into the world, and go about life as if you are free from leaks.

The truth is, for many, men and women alike, incontinence gets in the way of their everyday living, and decreases their quality of life. This does not have to be the case. A few routine changes can help prevent leaks, protect you from embarrassment, and get you back to your favorite activities.

Here’s what you should know:

Don't stop drinking fluids.

Too many try to control their bladder control problems by limiting their fluids. The end result is dehydration, not control. And, an unfortunate side effect to limited fluids for those with incontinence is that it can actually make incontinence worse because the urine becomes more concentrated, and irritates the bladder, increasing urges, and reducing control. Instead, limit your drinks to 6-8 ounces of water at a time. Don’t drink 2-4 hours before you need to be bathroom-free (meetings, bedtime, travel, etc.), and avoid diuretics like caffeinated beverages and citrus juice. Stick to water.

Avoid triggers.

Certain things will increase incontinence, and thus should be avoided. For example, caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods like citrus, and artificial sweeteners, can increase the urge to go. If you have urge incontinence, avoiding these triggers can help you get back out into the world. Smoking is the same way. If you can quit smoking, you are less likely to suffer from a “smoker’s cough” and thus have fewer incidents of stress incontinence.

Lose weight.

Those who are overweight and incontinent can relieve their symptoms greatly in most cases simply by losing some pounds. If you're overweight, losing weight will help to ease the pressure on your bladder, reducing stress and urge incontinence.

Treat diseases and conditions.

Kidney disease, diabetes, neurological diseases or spinal injuries can all affect nerves controlling urination. In order to improve incontinence symptoms and get back out into the world, talk to your physician, and seek proper treatment for such diseases and conditions.

Protect yourself with absorbent products.

When you have addressed the risk factors, and taken steps to improve your bladder control, the next thing you have to do if you want to get back out into the world is to use absorbent products. Pads, liners, guards, shields, adult diapers, and other absorbent products can help you go about your day without the fear of leaking. Many products are designed to be very sleek and discreet, so no one can even tell you are wearing them.

The Caregiver Partnership offers an Incontinence Product Finder: Helping you to quickly and easily sort through nearly 500 choices.

Do not let incontinence stop you from living your life. Instead, reduce your risk, treat the cause, and protect against leaks.

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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. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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