Incontinence and How to Manage It
Incontinence can happen to anybody but it is especially common with seniors. What is Incontinence? Incontinence is the loss of urine or feces, which can cause discomfort and agitation to anybody suffering from it, affecting an individual’s overall quality of living.
Who is affected?
Children: Weak bladder and bowel control is not uncommon to children. It is important to teach kids good eating habits and knowing when to use the toilet as early as possible.
Young Adults: Bedwetting is prevalent also in young adults. It can decrease their confidence if it happens. Statistics have shown that two of every 100 young adults wet themselves at night. But this can be cured through proper diet and treatment.
Seniors: Older people reaching the age of 75 onwards commonly deal with incontinence. Many seniors that are immobile will also need personal care and superior incontinence treatment.
How do we manage Incontinence?
Pelvic exercises are vital to helping manage those leaks. High-impact exercises such as running and lifting can put pressure on your pelvic muscles and can increase the severity of leakage. You may do pilates or yoga as alternative exercises to aerobics and running. Yoga is a popular exercise for strengthening and stretching but can also relieve stress-related incontinence.
Smoking puts you at risk of acquiring incontinence. Smoking can cause coughing, and coughing can strain your pelvic muscles. To help you quit smoking, you can always visit a pharmacy for anti-smoking products to help you break the habit.
Having excessive fat in your body can cause your pelvic floor muscles to weaken. Being overweight can put pressure on the bladder. Some researchers say that symptoms of incontinence could decrease immensely if you lose the extra pounds.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Coffee and Alcohol can make you pee a lot. Caffeine will irritate your bladder and can worsen incontinence. You can switch to decaffeinated coffee in case you crave a hot cup. Energy and sports drinks, fruit teas, and a hot cup of chocolate may also contain caffeine. You may use water or herbal teas to reduce symptoms. Decreasing your intake of diuretics may help incontinence symptoms subside.
Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. It is a general rule to maintain healthy living. People suffering from urinary incontinence may avoid drinking too much fluid, but they shouldn’t limit their intake because it could make incontinence worse. Lesser fluid intake can cause your bladder to decrease its capacity to hold water. Besides, minimal amounts of fluid in the body may cause constipation. And constipation weakens your pelvic floor muscles which could make incontinence worse.
Eating a lot of fiber and food that helps digestion is the way to having a normal bowel movement. Avoid spicy and food that can cause hyper-acidity such as citrus fruits. Basically, avoid food that can irritate the bladder.
Get professional help
There are tons of resources on the internet to help you manage incontinence, but nothing beats consulting a physician. Besides seeking a doctor’s help, you can also join a support group to help you get started.
Help a Loved One Suffering from Incontinence
It is honestly difficult to care for a loved one or a friend suffering from incontinence, especially in the case of the aging population. Incontinence can happen at random periods, and it can cause a lifestyle tilt.
To become a caregiver, you must possess patience, adaptability, and generosity to help. It is natural for an incontinence caregiver to feel frustrated, lonely, and unable to cope with the patient especially if they are doing it alone. But having the right guidance from a health professional can make a tremendous difference.
More Options to Help Manage Incontinence
Besides medications, pelvic floor exercises, surgery, and other medical therapies to help control incontinence you may use absorbent pads and undergarments to help ease discomfort and leakage.
Pads can easily be worn with the underwear under daily clothing. Some pads can be placed under the bedsheets to help absorb the leaks.
There are undergarments. These are body-worn pads. Absorbent undergarments can be used as regular underwear. It’s convenient, and they are disposable.
For more options in managing incontinence care, please visit the Resources page.