Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. There are a number of causes, ranging from getting older, childbirth, accidents, nerve damage, and other interrelated conditions. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges as well. An individual may leak urine occasionally or during physical activity only, or there may be no warning at all before a sudden and intense urge to urinate.
If you are currently living with incontinence, you are certainly not the only one. In fact, it's quite common; people just don't talk as openly or comfortably about it as other conditions. According to the Urinary Care Foundation, a quarter to a third of men and women in the United States has some form of urinary incontinence. When medication or other treatment methods such as surgery are not enough, intermittent catheters may be prescribed to help manage the incontinence.
As we are now in the winter season, it's important to prepare yourself for the symptoms of urinary incontinence to maintain your day-to-day life.
Here are several things to keep in mind:
Stay Hydrated: It might seem counter-intuitive to drink more liquids to manage urinary incontinence, but hydration is important for managing the urinary system as well as maintaining the health of your entire body. Dehydration can cause thickening of the urine, which may irritate the bladder. You lose water every time you breathe, especially in the cold, dry weather in winter. Even though you may not feel dehydrated, monitor your fluid intake just to be on the safe side.
Avoid Diuretics: Pay attention to the types of fluid you drink. In winter, you may be more likely to drink tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, which all contain levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a known diuretic, which can irritate the bladder and worsen the symptoms of incontinence.
Empty Your Bladder Before Leaving the House: Symptoms of urinary incontinence often come without warning. Before you leave the house on a day when you know you are going to be gone for a while, use the restroom beforehand to ensure your bladder is empty. This is especially important in winter when extreme weather occurrences are more likely, which may create traffic delays and other issues which might keep you away from a bathroom.
If you use intermittent catheters to manage urinary incontinence, we have a wide variety of catheters to choose from. Contact us today to learn more about our products, services, and more.