Are you one of the millions of people living with urinary incontinence? First, you should know it’s important to see your doctor about any symptoms of urine leakage so they can properly diagnose the issue and why it started. Plus, they can make proper medical recommendations about what your best course of treatment is. However, you may also be able to make some easy lifestyle changes to help deal with incontinence.
Incorporate a Healthy Weight Loss Program
Placing an emphasis on exercise and nutrition may be pivotal to managing incontinence. People who are overweight or obese may experience more issues with incontinence. Plus, did you know that constipation can also cause a type of urinary incontinence called stress incontinence? Staying regular may be helpful.
First and foremost, talk to your doctor about whether or not a healthy weight loss program is right for you. They can advise you on how to incorporate this into your life based on your anatomy and medical history.
Many experts recommend incorporating fiber-rich and nutritious foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein in your diet. However, everyone’s body is different, so what works well for one person may not work well for another. Either way, shedding a few excess pounds may help reduce bouts of incontinence.
Stay Well Hydrated
Also, make sure you’re staying hydrated, which is one of the lifestyle changes to deal with incontinence that you can make without much effort at all! Some people who experience urinary incontinence think they shouldn’t drink much water. However, this could lead to dehydration. Talk to your doctor about how much water you should be drinking per day based on your anatomy. A common rule of thumb is to try to drink around 8 glasses per day.
You may want to also reduce your intake of diuretic beverages, such as alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine in particular, which is often found in soda, tea, and coffee, is a bladder irritant that has been linked to incontinence. It can also overstimulate the bowel and create a laxative effect, which isn’t ideal for those living with bowel incontinence.
We’ve all heard how dangerous smoking tobacco can be for your health. However, you may not know that coughing a lot due to smoking can also lead to bouts of incontinence. This is why many long-term smokers have a tough time managing urinary incontinence.
Quitting smoking may help relieve some of the pressure that constant coughing fits can place on pelvic floor muscles. In addition, by quitting smoking, you may reduce your risk of bladder cancer.
Perform Kegel Exercises
One of the easiest lifestyle changes to help with incontinence is to practice regular pelvic floor muscle exercises. Often referred to as Kegel exercises, contracting the pelvic muscles several times throughout the day can strengthen them over time. The stronger the pelvic floor muscles, the more support is provided to the bladder and surrounding organs.
How do you perform Kegel exercises? As mentioned above, anyone with urinary incontinence should talk to their healthcare practitioner about this issue. Plus, their doctor can let them know how to properly practice your pelvic floor exercises.
Here are 3 easy steps to perform Kegel exercises:
- Make sure your bladder is empty, and then sit or lie down.
- Pretend you’re stopping urination midstream to identify your pelvic floor muscles. Squeeze those muscles for 3 seconds at a time, then relax for 3 seconds.
- The Mayo Clinic suggests repeating this routine for 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions per day. Talk to your doctor to determine what’s right for you.
Get the Right Incontinence Products
In addition to lifestyle changes to help deal with incontinence, it’s important to find the right incontinence products for your needs. For example, you may benefit from absorbent pads, underpads, adult incontinence underwear, absorbent shields, adult absorbent briefs and diapers, booster pads, or a combination of these incontinence supplies.
Whether you’re dealing with severe or minimal incontinence issues, 180 Medical can help you navigate these absorbent incontinence product options. It might seem easy to head to the local pharmacy or big box store to pick up whatever incontinence products they have on their shelves. However, you might end up with a product that doesn’t fit your body or fully absorb your urine leakage.
At 180 Medical, we’ll work together with you to determine what insurance-covered incontinence products could fit your needs best. Our Incontinence Specialists will treat your needs with respect and compassion while we listen to your preferences. We also consider your absorbency needs, size, activity level, and more to come up with a customized order that’s just right for you!
Contact us today!