Five Tips to Relieve Urinary Incontinence Symptoms
Urinary incontinence affects between 25 and 33 percent of both men and women of all ages in the U.S. alone. Bladder leaks are not merely a matter of being embarrassed by urine soaking through your underwear or your clothes, although that’s bad enough. Urinary incontinence can seriously affect your life.
An article in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist notes that:
- Women with urinary incontinence have a significantly poorer quality of life than their continent counterparts.
- Between 25-50% of women with urinary incontinence experience sexual dysfunction.
- Urinary incontinence commonly leaves the sufferer with psychological morbidity; particularly depression.
- Women with an overactive bladder are like to suffer greater psychological distress than those with stress incontinence.
- Up to 23% of women take time off work because of their incontinence.
Men do not fare any better. Apart from the other impacts on men, urinary incontinence has also been linked to erectile dysfunction.
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Urinary incontinence is hard to ignore, but some people do try. Leaving it untreated is not a good idea. Urinary incontinence can be caused by an underlying medical condition that could grow worse if left undetected and untreated. It may also increase your risk of urinary tract infections that could lead to kidney damage in the long term. Skin infections are also a possibility as the bacteria in urine can weaken the skin’s protective barrier again dermatitis and other forms of inflammation.
Anyone who is concerned about their symptoms of urinary incontinence should discuss it with their healthcare providers. They may recommend some of the following simple things you can do for some relief.
Do your Kegels. Kegel exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and improve bladder control. They’re not strenuous, they’re simple to do and they take very little time. There are Kegel exercises for both men and women.
In addition to Kegels, low-impact moderate activity can help with bladder control. A half an hour of walking, biking, or swimming is recommended.
Avoid food and drinks that irritate the bladder. The Mayo Clinic warns that “certain foods and beverages might irritate your bladder, including:
- Coffee, tea and carbonated drinks, even without caffeine
- Certain acidic fruits — oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes — and fruit juices
- Spicy foods
- Tomato-based products
- Carbonated drinks
Well, that’s not good news for us coffee and chocolate lovers. But you might not have to eliminate these items from your diet entirely; you might just have to cut down on them.
Get enough fluids. Water is the recommended beverage of choice. Water is essential for the kidneys and for other bodily functions and will, among other things, help to flush bacteria and other waste from the urinary tract. If you find that you have to get up several times a night to urinate, try drinking more of the fluids earlier in the day rather than in the evening. It’s also helpful if you sip small amounts rather than chugging them.
Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can weaken the muscles of the pelvic floor and the pressure of fatty tissue on the bladder can cause incontinence. Harvard Health Publishing reports that, “In a randomized trial funded by the National Institutes of Health, moderate weight loss in a group of heavy women who undertook a six-month diet and exercise program cut the frequency of urinary incontinence episodes by nearly a half.”
Get the nutrients you need. That’s easy to say, but may not be quite as easy to put into practice because everyone’s individual nutritional requirements are different. When it comes to nutritional requirements, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. Generally speaking, though, the best source of vitamins and minerals is real food, and by “real food” is meant fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Studies have indicated that there are three specific nutrients that are helpful in bladder control – Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and magnesium. If your diet is low in these nutrients, consider taking supplements. Before you do so, however, be sure to consult your healthcare provider to be sure you’re taking the right dosages and that the supplements won’t interfere or interact with any medications you may be taking.
For protection against bladder leakage, try NannoDry®, the discreet incontinence pad designed for both men and women. NannoDry is an all-natural pad made of 100% organic cotton and odor-controlling Nannogenic™ technology to keep you dry and comfortable.
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