Managing Incontinence: A Guide to Dos and Don'ts
Managing incontinence can be a challenging and often embarrassing condition, but there are steps you can take to reduce its impact on your life. From exercise and weight loss to understanding your product options, here are some dos and don'ts for managing incontinence or bladder leak:
- Tell your doctor. People wait an average of five years to tell their family physician they are struggling with incontinence, but there are things you can do now to reduce its impact on your life.
- Exercise regularly. Walking, running, swimming, and biking can all help control urinary incontinence and bladder leak.
- Lose weight. Extra weight means more pressure on the bladder and more urinary incontinence.
- Try to have regular bowel movements. This can also help with urinary incontinence.
- Stay hydrated and make regular trips to the bathroom. This can help "beat the urge" to urinate.
- Understand that you have options. Products today come in a wide range, including disposable adult briefs (diapers), underwear (pull-ups), and pads to swimwear solutions, bed or chair pads, and cleansing wipes.
- Let your incontinence sentence you to house arrest.
- Drink coffee, cola, or other caffeinated drinks. Avoiding them can help reduce bladder leak.
- Smoke. Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on incontinence.
- Use menstrual products for incontinence. Using proper incontinence products can help prevent skin issues and odour.
- Play high-impact sports. This can make bladder leak worse.
Other helpful hints:
- "Doubling up" on pads or liners can help reduce leaks and embarrassing wet stains on your clothes. However, make sure that the first pad or liner does not have waterproof backing, as this will allow moisture to go through to the second one.
- Check with your physician to ensure that you are on the right track.
- Cindy Clegg