There are several causes of urinary incontinence. These can include pregnancy, diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, and certain medications. When dealing with incontinence, you may also experience some bladder leaks. Many people find this condition embarrassing, but it’s an extremely common affliction. Once you learn how to deal with incontinence, you can comfortably come up with strategies on how to minimize bladder leaks. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a collection of our best tips.
Drink Less: Caffeine and Alcohol
Both caffeine and alcohol are known to have a diuretic effect, which means that they increase the production of urine. As such, excessive consumption of either of these will hinder your ability to avoid symptoms of incontinence. If you depend on caffeine for your daily energy boost, try a more natural alternative such as peppermint or coconut water.
Drink More: Water
Contrary to what you may believe, the key to bladder control isn’t dehydration—in fact, depriving yourself of liquids can decrease your bladder’s capacity to hold them. Water is also essential in cleansing your bladder of the acids that irritate it. Follow the recommended regimen of drinking six to eight glasses of water a day. If you’re worried about the urge to urinate interrupting your sleep, stop your liquid intake approximately 45 minutes before going to bed.
Eat Less: Acidic and Spicy Foods
Speaking of acid, acidic foods such as lemons, grapefruits, and oranges can greatly irritate your bladder and increase the frequency of which you need to relieve yourself. Many people drink cranberry juice as a way to treat incontinence, but this, too, can cause bladder irritation. You may also want to avoid spicy foods, as they can have the same effect on your bladder as they do on your mouth and eyes.
Eat More: Fiber and Protein
Fiber is often recommended for constipation, which is sometimes linked to urinary incontinence. Increasing your fiber intake will relieve your constipation and cause the colon to put less pressure on the bladder. Foods that are high in protein, such as seafood, tend to cause no irritation to the bladder.
Incontinence may seem to be a fairly simple—and decently innocuous—ailment, so you may be tempted to forge through it on your own. If the problem only persists for a short amount of time, the tips listed above may help you navigate your condition with little need for further action. If it goes on too long, however, it could be a symptom of something more serious.
Do: See a Doctor
Talking to a health care professional will provide you with ease of mind, and they’ll help you choose the right methods to cope with your diagnosis. They may be able to provide you with medicine that will help control your leaks. Additionally, they can also recommend some exercises to optimize your pelvic strength.