Bladder Disorders Treatment Lifestyle

How well we live affects how well we manage bladder control problems. Maintaining an appropriate weight, exercising, and drinking enough water are vital for healthy living. They are also effective ways to improve bladder control.

Exercise and Weight Loss

Stress incontinence is often caused when the abdominal muscles put pressure on the bladder. The condition can be aggravated if the pelvic floor muscles are weakened.

Those with stress incontinence often leak urine during high-impact exercise programs, so the notion that exercise can improve bladder control may sound a little contradictory. Exercise, however, improves muscle tone and burns fat. Extra weight puts even more pressure on the bladder. Even a weight loss of 10 pounds can improve bladder function. So avoiding exercise because of potential wetting accidents may actually aggravate urinary stress incontinence.

Urinary leakage during exercise can be controlled in a number of ways. You can adapt your exercise program so less pressure is put on the bladder. Wearing protective undergarments while exercising will prevent the embarrassment of wetting accidents. If you ‘re not certain that the undergarments will work, try running through your exercise program at home, if possible. This should give you some idea of how well your precautions work.

Medications

If you are incontinent, give some thought to the medications you currently take. Some medications aggravate or even cause incontinence. Take a list of your current medications when you see your doctor.

Fluid Intake and the Incontinent

It ‘s understandable that people often reduce their fluid intake when they learn that they are incontinent. It ‘s easy to assume that less fluids taken in will lead to less wetting accidents. Unfortunately, it ‘s just not true. The body needs fluids to function properly, and restricting fluids can actually make incontinence worse. Lack of fluids can lead to constipation, which puts pressure on the bladder.

Cutting down on fluids isn ‘t the answer. It ‘s not how much we drink, it ‘s what we drink that aggravates bladder control problems. By all means, drink the eight glasses of water you need to stay hydrated, but try to avoid caffeine beverages. Caffeine is a natural diuretic: even one cup of coffee will increase urine production, a condition you want to avoid if you ‘re incontinent.

Some fruit and vegetable juices, such as tomato and grapefruit juice, can irritate the bladder and aggravate existing bladder problems. Consider meeting with a qualified dietician, who can advise you on beverages and food groups to avoid.

Caring for the Incontinent

Helping someone who ‘s bedridden with incontinence is a challenging endeavor. Taking some simple precautions can make life easier and more comfortable for both you and your patient.

An absorbent bed pad, or plastic sheeting to protect the mattress is essential, as it makes the cleanup of wetting accidents much easier. Patients can also wear protective undergarments to bed.

Urine is very irritating to the skin, so check the patient regularly for signs of rashes or other signs of skin irritation. Establishing a regular toileting and undergarment changing schedule can help avoid this.

If the patient has reduced mobility, make sure they have a clear path to the washroom, free of furniture or other items that might slow them down. Male patients can be encouraged to sit to urinate to help avoid accidents caused by inaccurate aim. You can also keep the bathroom light on at night, making it easier for confused patients to locate the bathroom.

It ‘s important to give the patient as much independence as possible. Fitting the toilet area with handrails can make the patient ‘s life much easier, and help keep self-esteem high.

Resources

Depend.com. (nd). Caring for the incontinent. Retrieved May 19, 2004, from www.depend.com/caregiver/caring_incont.asp.

Depend.com. (nd). Living with incontinence. Retrieved May 19, 2004, from www.depend.com/learn/living.asp.