If you are struggling with the embarrassment and discomfort of a bladder control problem, you may be looking for ways to improve it. Fortunately, there are simple strategies that you can try.
Physicians often refer to these strategies as lifestyle modifications or behavioral therapies. They are safe, simple, effective and cost effective. You can try these techniques before trying any other kind of treatment. Medications or surgery, or in combination with it.
Focus on liquids and foods.
How much fluid you drink can affect your bladder habits, and this could be the case with certain foods that you eat.
Too much fluid
If you drink too much fluid, you urinate more often. Drinking too fast can overwhelm your bladder and cause a strong urgency.
Even if you need to drink more because you exercise a lot or work outdoors, you do not have to drink all the fluids at once. Try to drink smaller amounts during the day, eg. B. 473 milliliters (16 ounces) with each meal and 237 milliliters (8 ounces) between meals.
If you wake up several times a night to urinate:
- Drink more of your fluids more in the morning and in the afternoon than in the evening
- Skip alcohol and caffeine drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola, which increase urine output.
- Remember that liquids are not only made from beverages but also from foods such as soup
Too Little Liquid
If you drink too little liquid, bodily waste may accumulate in the urine. Highly concentrated urine is dark yellow and has a strong smell. It can irritate your bladder and increase the urgency and frequency with which you have to go.
Certain foods and beverages can irritate your bladder, including:
- Coffee, tea and carbonated drinks, even without caffeine
- Certain sour fruits – oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes – and fruit juices
- Spicy foods
- Tomato based products
- Carbonated drinks
Avoid these possible blister irritants for about a week to see if your symptoms get better. Add one product to your diet, one to two days at a time, looking for changes in the urgency, frequency, or urinary incontinence.
You may not need to completely exclude your favorite foods and drinks. It could also be helpful to reduce the amount.
Try bladder training.
If you have an overactive bladder, you may get used to urinating frequently or at the slightest urge. Sometimes you can go to the toilet if you do not have the urge to avoid an accident. After a while, your bladder sends "full" messages to your brain, even when it's not full, and you feel like urinating.
In bladder training or retraining, you need to adjust your habits. They go to the toilet on a set schedule – even if they have no urinary urgency – and gradually increase the time between urination. This will allow your bladder to fill up more completely and give you more control over the urge to urinate.
A bubble training program usually follows these basic steps:
Identify your pattern. Keep a journal for a few days, writing down each time you urinate. Your doctor may use this diary to set up a schedule for your bladder training.
Extend your urination intervals. Use your bubble diary to determine the time between urinating. Then extend that by 15 minutes. If you normally go every hour, try to extend this time to one hour and 15 minutes.
Gradually increase the time between toilet flushes until you reach intervals of two to four hours. Slowly increase your time limit for the best chance of success.
Stick to your schedule. If you've created a schedule, you'll do your best to comply with it. Urinate immediately after waking up. If you feel an urge after that, but it is not time to wait, wait and see. Distract yourself or use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.
If you feel you have an accident, go to the bathroom and then return to your schedule.
Do not be discouraged if you do nothing. I do not succeed the first few times. Keep practicing and your ability to stay in control is likely to increase.
Strengthen your pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter help control urination. You can strengthen these muscles by doing regular pelvic floor exercises, commonly referred to as cones.
The pelvic floor muscles open and close the tube, which carries the urine from the bladder to the outside of your body (urethra). These muscles also support the bladder during everyday activities such as walking, standing, lifting and sneezing.
Practice Kegel exercises. Press to run your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of muscle urine – for three seconds. Relax up to three and repeat the process several times. Your doctor may recommend that you do these exercises three or four times a day, lying, sitting and standing.
To make sure you are doing it properly, ask your doctor or nurse to help or refer you to a physical therapist who knows about pelvic floor exercises.
biofeedback. Biofeedback can help with pelvic floor muscle training. Sensors near the muscles transmit exercise levels to a computer that displays the values on the screen. This instant feedback can help you master Kegel exercises faster because you can see if you are using the right muscles. Biofeedback can be done with a professional or with a home appliance.
Vaginalgewichte. Cone-shaped weights are another option used in Kegel exercises. You put a weight in your vagina and pull your pelvic floor muscles together so they do not fall out. Many pegs are available in sets of different weights, so you can gain more weight as your pelvic floor muscles become stronger.
Certain medications, obesity, smoking and physical inactivity can contribute to bladder control problems. As you address these factors, bladder-specific techniques, such as avoiding bladder irritation and bladder training, may be more successful.
- Manage your medications. Drugs that can contribute to bladder control problems include antihypertensive and cardiac medications, diuretics, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, tranquilizers, and antidepressants. If you develop incontinence or have difficulty urinating while taking these medicines, talk to your doctor.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may contribute to problems in bladder control, especially in stress incontinence. Excessive body weight puts pressure on the abdomen and bladder, which sometimes leads to leaks. Losing weight could help.
- Stop smoking. Smokers are more likely to have bladder control problems and more severe symptoms. Heavy smokers also tend to develop a chronic cough that can put extra pressure on the bladder and aggravate urinary incontinence.
- Be active. Some studies indicate that regular physical activity improves bladder control. For at least 30 minutes on most days of the week, for moderate, low-impact activity (eg, walking, cycling, or swimming).
- Minimize constipation. Stress during bowel movements can damage the pelvic floor. Unfortunately, some medications used to treat bladder control problems can make constipation worse. Exercising, drinking enough water and eating high-fiber foods such as lentils, beans and fresh vegetables and fruits can help relieve constipation.
- Relieve chronic cough. Your cough can make your bladder problem worse. Ask your doctor about treatment options.
Your role in treatment
Behavioral therapies that require time and exercise can improve bladder control. If you stick to the program, your symptoms will probably get better. And if one of these approaches does not work, talk to your doctor about a different strategy.
Release date: 2007-05-08