You have probably heard the commercials about “leaky bladders,” but what does that mean? Understanding what the problem is is key to properly addressing any medical issue. Simply put, urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence is not a disease but rather a symptom caused by many conditions, some of which can be improved by simple lifestyle changes. Whether you suffer from strong urges to immediately use the bathroom or leak urine when you cough or sneeze, urinary incontinence is unnecessary and embarrassing. Unrelated to age, urinary incontinence affects people of all ages but there are steps you can take to prevent this. For your benefit, we’ve compiled a list of 4 ways to help prevent urinary incontinence that you can start doing today.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant that has natural diuretic properties. If you consume coffee on a regular basis you may have experienced some of these effects before. The more coffee you drink the more urine your body produces which in turn adds to your bladder pressure. Trouble completely emptying or urinating too frequently are side effects of too much caffeine and should be taken seriously. Substituting coffee with lighter, less caffeinated beverages may additionally help with decreased urinary incontinence.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Similar to caffeine, alcohol affects your body in various ways. Excessive drinking has been highly associated with urinary incontinence and can be seen throughout popular culture and real life experiences. As with any consumed liquid, alcohol is a bladder stimulant and large amounts result in increased urine production. Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume in a sitting also assists with the production of the hormone vasopressin, which is responsible for telling your kidneys to reabsorb water rather than converting it to urine. Avoiding other bladder irritants such as caffeine and acidic foods may additionally help with decreased urinary incontinence.
If you needed another reason to quit smoking, maybe this will convince you: if you are a smoker then you are increasing your risk of experiencing urinary incontinence. Smoking negatively affects your lungs, which in turn may cause chronic coughing. Although seemingly unrelated, suffering from a constant cough has the potential to damage pelvic muscles, leading to loss of bladder control. Smoking has been highly attributed to symptoms of overactive bladders (OAB) and increased risks of bladder cancer.
Strengthen Pelvic Floor
Strengthening the muscles that control the flow of urine is a great way to prevent urinary incontinence. The idea of strengthening pelvic floor muscles may sound daunting, but can easily be incorporated into your life. Your pelvic floor is made up of the muscles located around your bladder, genitals and lower digestive tract. These muscles can be felt by trying to stop the flow of urine when using the bathroom. Strong pelvic muscles are responsible for decreased chances of leaking, as well as improving your sex life. An easy pelvic floor exercise to try is squeezing your stomach, buttock and thigh muscles in unison, 10-15 times in a row. Gradually increasing the frequency of tightening muscles over a span of a few weeks can result in noticeable results that benefit both men and women.
Solve Bladder Control Issues With Dr Ron Israeli
Discussing your urinary incontinence may be embarrassing but scheduling your life around bathroom breaks is unlivable. While incontinence is more common among older men and women, do not treat this as something inevitable. Regardless, if you suffer from urinary incontinence schedule a visit with one of the most trusted urologists in Livingston, NJ. Using this knowledge you can treat symptoms from occurring and prevent additional ones as well. For more information about urinary incontinence treatment plans and services offered by Dr Ron Israeli, give us a call at (973) 251-2055 today.