A Beginner’s Guide To Incontinence
Incontinence, also known as urinary incontinence or the loss of bladder control, affects twice as many women as men, mainly due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Although quite common, it is a topic that many people, women especially, are reluctant to discuss – even with their doctors. Because of this, occasional urine leakage, which is in fact an easily treatable condition, can lead to uncontrollable leaks that can drastically affect one’s physical, emotional, and psychological health.
What Causes Incontinence?
There can be multiple causes of incontinence. Perhaps surprisingly, your daily eating and drinking habits can be behind temporary urine leaks; alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, chilli pepper, and carbonated drinks can all cause temporary incontinence. Underlying medical conditions such as urinary tract infections or constipation can also be culpable.
The cause can usually be easily treated with the right medication or procedures. Any changes in the human body – pregnancy, childbirth or menopause in women, enlarged prostate, prostate cancer in men – can also contribute to urine leaks.
A thorough medical check-up can ascertain what’s causing your incontinence and create the perfect treatment plan.
Tips for Relieving Incontinence
Although a thorough medical analysis is paramount, there are also things you can do at home to limit urine leaks during the day.
– Limit fluid intake
Urologists generally recommend drinking fewer liquids. Stick to 6 – 8 cups a day. If you leak overnight, you should consider stopping drinking before 4 am. This would avoid disrupted sleep patterns due to frequent urges to go to the toilet.
- Pelvic floor physiotherapy
Urine leakage usually occurs because pelvic muscles are too weak to hold in the urine. Pregnancy, childbirth and excess weight are common causal factors. By strengthening them, you will train the muscles and improve the symptoms. Kegel is a type of exercise that trains the pelvic floor muscles by contracting and relaxing them. You can easily perform it at home once you have received the right guidance from your physiotherapist, who can also prescribe the right Kegel exercises and teach you the correct ways to perform pelvic floor physiotherapy yourself.
– Limit caffeine
This could have been mentioned in the first tip; however, caffeine needs more individual attention because it is usually a big part of our daily rituals. Caffeine worsens incontinence because it makes you produce more urine. If you don’t want to run to the toilet incessantly, you should limit your caffeine intake as much as possible.
- Limit alcohol
Alcohol goes hand in hand with caffeine in that it is also a trigger that produces more urine and irritates your bladder so that you end up running to the toilet more often. Alcohol increases your urges and can therefore result in more uncontrollable urine leaks. Limit your alcohol consumption for a period of time to see if your symptoms improve.
These are just several of the most important incontinence aids you can give yourself before or during the treatment prescribed by the doctor.
If you wish to discuss incontinence aids with a professional or register for pelvic floor physiotherapy to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, come visit us at Intrinsi. A clinic offering 360-degree health and wellness services such as physiotherapy, pelvic health physiotherapy, osteopathy, visceral osteopathy, TCM & acupuncture, massage therapy, Chiro, TMJ, vestibular rehab, bike fitting, and more.
Our professional staff is committed to restoring your health and putting a smile back on your face. Furthermore, our blogs and website content offers free valuable resources and tips to staying healthy and giving yourself a health spa at home. To get in touch, call us at the following number 403-229-9214 or via the contact form.