Approximately 25 million people living in the U.S. have urinary incontinence. Five million men have the condition.Having the condition can cause emotional, physical and social problems, but there are ways to manage and control your symptoms.
You may be able to train yourself to control your bladder. You should start taking scheduled bathroom breaks regardless if you have to go or not. After a couple of weeks, you can extend your times between breaks. You may be able to control your symptoms and only have to go to the bathroom every three to four hours.
Use a Diary
You should keep track of what you drink, how often you have to go to the bathroom and when your bladder leaks. You’ll want to write down anything that may have triggered your symptoms.
Limit or Avoid Triggers
Alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, smoking tobacco and spicy and acidic foods commonly cause symptoms. All of these may bother the bladder and worsen symptoms. Try to determine what your triggers are. After you find out, avoid or limit your intake of them.
There’s evidence that shows smoking aggravates incontinence in men. There are patches, medications, gum and other remedies available to help you quit smoking. Talk with your doctor to make a treatment plan.
Try to lose some weight if you’re overweight or obese. Fatty tissue may increase pressure in the abdomen and worsen urinary incontinence.
Constipation and straining while using the bathroom can cause negative effects on the nerves you use to pee. You can treat constipation by eating foods that contain a lot of fiber.
Side Effects From Medications
Your doctor should know about all of the medications and supplements, if any, you’re taking. Some can cause or worsen urinary incontinence. Sedatives, diuretics, antidepressants and cold and allergy medications can cause symptoms.
Drink Plenty of Water
You should drink six to eight glasses of water each day unless your doctor advises against it. A lot of people who have urinary incontinence try to avoid drinking fluids, but limiting the amount of fluids you drink can make your condition worse. Limiting the fluids you drink reduces your bladder’s capacity, and dehydration can cause or worsen constipation.
Using the tips mentioned in this article may help your condition. If these tips don’t help, talk with your doctor. Treatment can help with urinary incontinence, and you’ll be able to gain your confidence back.