Urinary Incontinence Management Techniques: 5 Ways to Better Manage Urinary Incontinence by 30Seconds Health
If you or a loved one suffers from urinary incontinence (UI), you probably understand the difficulties that a life with unexpected bladder leakage can present. From the embarrassment of a public accident to avoiding activities that could trigger a leak, navigating life with UI can feel like a minefield.
By seeking appropriate medical treatment and exploring various symptom management strategies, you may be able to reduce the impact that UI has on your day-to-day routine, and live your life with confidence.
You should consult a medical professional to decide which treatment options are best-suited to your situation. However, the following UI management strategies are a great place to start:
1. Use the Right Products
Approximately one-third of older men and half of all women will experience bladder leakage issues in their lifetime. Knowing which UI management products are right for you can go a long way in allowing you to live life confidently.
For stress incontinence, which may result in smaller bladder leaks triggered by strenuous exercise or muscle contractions, leak-proof underwear may be an appropriate option. Leak-proof technology from reputable suppliers such as knix has evolved to the point where incontinence underwear for men or women can appear as indistinguishable from regular underwear, for maximum discretion.
Photo courtesy of knix.
For those who experience significant bladder leakage throughout the day, a more substantial management option like specialized pads and incontinence pants might be ideal; these can often still be hidden under loose clothing, allowing you to go on public outings without fear.
2. Take Preventative Measures
There are some practices that can not only improve IU symptoms, but also decrease the likelihood of symptoms developing in the first place. Bladder training, for example, may help UI sufferers to regain control of their bladders, and learning good toilet habits may help to prevent UI symptoms in some people.
Going to the bathroom too frequently, not enough or pushing while you’re in there can cause a range of preventable symptoms, from overactive bladders to bladder infections. By making sure that you only use the bathroom when you feel the urge and emptying your bladder completely without pushing, you may reduce your risk of UI symptoms developing or deteriorating.
Kegel exercises are recommended for people of all ages and genders, in order to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Studies show that a regular kegel practice can improve the symptoms of stress-related urinary incontinence in middle aged women, and also help to prevent UI symptoms from developing initially.
3. Plan Ahead
One easily implemented aspect of UI management is planning ahead for your day to day. If you have UI triggers, such as lifting heavy items, you can plan for those by having someone else available to lift things for you when necessary.
Consider limiting your intake of water if you know that you’re spending time in an area where bathroom options will be scarce, or if you’d like to avoid bringing attention to yourself with frequent bathroom stops.
If you’re heading to an area where you haven't been before, take some time to research the bathroom options available, whether it be public toilets or popular chain restaurants. Knowing what your options are can make a day out with UI far less stressful.
4. Adjust Your Food and Beverage Choices
Some UI symptoms can be exacerbated by the food or drinks that you consume. Alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks have the potential to act as diuretics, which means that they may increase the frequency of urination urges, alongside foods high in sugar or citric acid. Being aware of which food and beverage options worsen your UI symptoms may help you to choose alternatives when out and about, minimizing the risk of unexpected bladder leakage.
5. Get a Second Opinion
UI can be an intimate and embarrassing health issue – up to 67 percent of adults with symptoms do not seek medical assistance. If an individual with UI symptoms sees no improvement with a treatment plan curated by a medical professional, they may find it hard to get up the courage to see a new doctor.
Getting a second opinion from another medical professional is highly recommended when a patient is not seeing the results they expected from their initial treatment plan, or if they feel that other options have been left unexplored. It may take more than one doctor – or visit to the doctor – to find a UI management plan that works for you.
There are several management options available for people experiencing UI symptoms, and different individuals will have varying levels of success with each. Experimenting with different UI treatment options can be a roller coaster – don’t be afraid to explore new management options and speak to a health professional to decide on the best course of action for you.
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