What causes urinary incontinence?
If you or someone you are caring for is diagnosed with urinary incontinence, you may be wondering why urinary incontinence happens. Urinary incontinence is a normal part of aging and is most common in the elderly. It can also happen to adults, especially women who have given birth. The most common causes of incontinence include:
- Weakened or overactive bladder muscles resulting to loss of bladder control
- Weakened pelvic floor muscles resulting to loss bowel movement control
- Damage to nerves that control bladder muscles from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or diabetes
- Cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s or dementia, resulting to inability to reach the toilet
- Taking certain prescribed medications that result to incontinence as a side effect
What lifestyle changes can help manage urinary incontinence?
Managing urinary incontinence naturally is possible. There are several lifestyle and diet changes you can take in order to avoid urinary leaks and multiple bathroom trips. You should not let urinary incontinence affect your quality of life. Instead, try the urinary incontinence treatments listed below to help control your urges to go to the bathroom and reduce accidental bladder leaks.
Schedule Your Fluid Intake to Avoid Urgent Trips to the Bathroom
When drinking fluids, it usually takes about 2 to 3 hours until it reaches your bladder. For this reason, it is best to time your fluid intake when you know you will be near a restroom. If you are at a location where there are no bathrooms nearby, it is best to hold off drinking any fluids. If you wake up at night to pass urine, it may be helpful to stop drinking fluids at least 3 hours before you go to bed.
Schedule Your Bathroom Visits to Better Control Pelvic Muscles and Urges to Pee
By scheduling your bathroom visits, you will practice bladder training techniques that will help you gain better control over your pelvic muscles. This will limit the frequency of having urges to pee and allow you to not have to go to the bathroom as frequently. When you go to the bathroom, make sure to empty your bladder until you feel there is no urine left to pee. This will help you stay on track with your scheduled bathroom visit and resist the urge of having to use the bathroom for a couple drops of urine.
Practice Kegel Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Kegel exercises help strengthen the muscles that control your bladder, bowels, and rectum. Also known as lower pelvic floor muscle training, practicing these exercises can help you better control urges to go to the bathroom and prevent other incontinence problems.
Exercise and Try to Lose Weight
Exercising is a great way to keep healthy and minimize stress incontinence symptoms. Stress incontinence occurs when certain activities put pressure on the bladder, such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, and lifting heavy objects. If you are overweight or obese, exercise can also help reduce the pressure on your bladder due to the extra weight. Starting with light exercise, such as walking around the neighborhood or dipping in a swimming pool, can help you get in the habit of exercising.
Familiarize Yourself with the Medications You Are Taking
Some medications may result in urinary incontinence. Taking medications with this side effect can lead to more frequent bathroom visits. Make sure to talk to your healthcare professional about the medications you are taking. You may be able to plan ahead and schedule the best time to take them in order to avoid bladder leaks.
Fluid and Diet Management
Some meals and beverages can make incontinence symptoms worse. If you notice that ingesting a certain drink or type of food causes you to have to go to the bathroom more often, you should avoid them to help ease the problem. Avoiding these can help lessen the urge of having to go to the bathroom after eating or drinking.
Common drinks that people with incontinence should avoid
- Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages such as soda and energy drinks
- Alcohol (such as beer and liquor)
Common foods people with incontinence should avoid
Spicy foods (hot peppers, chili flakes, hot sauce)
Certain acidic fruits (including lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges)
Chocolate (cocoa contains caffeine)
Utilize Disposable Underpads, Adult Diapers, Sanitary Pads or Liners, and Protective Underwear to Help Aid with Urinary Leaks
There are a variety of incontinence products for women and men that can help catch urine and prevent stains on furniture. SPC underpads are highly absorbent and disposable, making them perfect for extra night-time protection. They are meant to protect mattresses and furniture from bladder leaks and stains. SPC adult diaper briefs are another great product to absorb urine during the night and are meant for heavy incontinence. SPC sanitary pads and liners are perfect for light incontinence as they absorb small amounts of urine and are worn inside underwear. They are lightweight and more discreet than regular adult diapers. SPC reusable protective underwear are a great alternative to regular underwear as they have insertion pockets that keep sanitary pads and liners in place.
San Pablo Commercial is a family-owned, small business with a mission to deliver affordable medical supplies to their customers and caregivers. We offer a variety of incontinence products, ranging from SPC underpads, adult diaper briefs, reusable protective underwear, sanitary pads, absorbent liners, and disposable bed pads with adhesive. We ship directly to residential homes, home health care facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and senior living communities within 2 to 3 business days. We care deeply about our customers and want to make ordering incontinence supplies easier so that they can spend more time doing the things they love.