Urinary Incontinence: Habits ​​to Control It

The pressure that excess weight puts on the pelvic floor muscles can make urinary incontinence worse. That’s why it’s important to adopt measures to lose weight.

Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control is a disorder whose main characteristic is the inability to retain urine. Urine leaks can occur sporadically when coughing or sneezing, but they can also be constant and sudden.

Its appearance is related to the loss of muscle tone that occurs during old age; however, it can also result from certain habits, infections or neurological diseases. How can it be controlled at home?

Although in some cases a pharmacological treatment is suggested, in general there are simple habits that support its control.

What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?

The main clinical manifestation of urinary incontinence is involuntary leakage of urine. Often these happen when you cough, sneeze or laugh. They are also constant when lifting heavy objects or making extra effort. Other symptoms include:

  • Urgent and constant need to urinate
  • Sensation of pelvic pressure
  • Willingness to urinate several times at night or nocturnal urine leaks
  • depression and anxiety
  • Genital pain and irritation (in case of infection)

Healthy habits to control urinary incontinence

There are currently several types of therapies that help relieve urinary incontinence. However, before resorting to medication or surgery, it  is best to apply some healthy habits that will help reduce symptoms. Let’s see the most important ones:

1. Do Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises are activities that focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Its usual practice helps to achieve better bladder control by minimizing urine leakage due to urinary incontinence.

What should be done?

  • Imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Then tense your muscles, and hold the contraction for five seconds.
  • Now relax for another five seconds, and do 10 reps.
  • Later, when you have mastered the technique, try to keep the contractions going for up to 10 seconds.

2. Train the bladder

Bladder training is a plan that is carried out with the aim of establishing times for emptying. It involves holding the urination for a while after you feel like going to the bathroom, to strengthen your pelvic floor.

What should be done?

  • When you feel like urinating, try holding your urine for 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Then try to prolong the time you go to the bathroom. It is suggested to wait 3 hours.

3. Consume plenty of water

 

Although many prefer to avoid drinking water for fear of leaking urine, it is best to ensure good hydration. Drinking lots of fluids not only optimizes kidney work, but also prevents inflammation of the bladder tissues.

On the other hand, it prevents urine from having strong odors, preventing dehydration. However, taking it in excess or before going to bed can cause discomfort and interfere with nighttime rest.

What should be done?

  • Drink up to 8 glasses of water a day. If you prefer, opt for healthy drinks such as teas or juices. Of course, check that they don’t have counterproductive effects for these cases.
  • Also, try to cut this habit 2-3 hours before going to bed.

4. Avoid irritating products

There are foods and beverages that contain components that worsen bladder irritation. Although they are not a direct cause of urinary incontinence, they can make your symptoms worse. Thus, to improve the prognosis, the ideal is to eliminate them from the diet.

What should be done?

  • Avoid products that contain caffeine, including coffee.
  • Do not add spicy spices to your preparations.
  • Limit your consumption of citrus juices and chocolate.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and soda.

5. Lose weight

Overweight and obese people are more vulnerable to the development of early urinary incontinence. This is because being overweight increases the pressure on the bladder and the muscles around it, making it difficult to control urine.

It is very important to follow a plan to lose weight, as the “extra pounds” make it difficult to treat the disease. While this is not easy to achieve, there are many strategies that help to achieve the goal.

What should be done?

  • Seek advice from a health and nutrition professional to determine the best weight loss diet for you.
  • You can also choose to practice sports activities or relaxation techniques.

 

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