A healthy lifestyle can help you to manage your symptoms of incontinence. As well as controlling your condition, taking steps to improve your diet and hydration, as well as developing an exercise routine, will improve your general health.
If you become constipated, the full bowel can push on the bladder. The additional pressure can make incontinence problems worse, as there is less room for fluid in the bladder. A healthy diet which includes high fibre foods as well as increasing your fluid intake can avoid exacerbating the problem. Where you can, choose wholegrain bread and pasta, and try to eat enough fruit and vegetables.
A good diet will benefit your general health by helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can cause extra muscle strain. Over time, this can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and reduce your bladder control.
Alongside a healthy diet, it’s important to remain active in order to take care of your general health. If your incontinence is caused by pressure being put on the bladder (stress incontinence) then you may feel wary of particular exercises. High-impact activities, such as running or jumping, put strain on the bladder and therefore could cause leaks. However, there are plenty of low-impact alternatives, such as swimming or cycling.
When you suffer from incontinence, it may seem that drinking lots could make your problem worse. Being properly hydrated is vital to making sure your bladder works properly. If you become dehydrated, your urine will become more concentrated, which can cause irritation to your bladder. You should be drinking around 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. If you don’t think you’re drinking enough, try to gradually increase your fluid intake.
Being selective about what you drink can also help. Alcoholic drinks, particularly strong or unmixed alcohol, can cause irritation. Some people find that caffeine and fizzy drinks also cause them problems. By remaining aware of what you’re drinking, you will be able to identify which drinks don’t agree with you. If you are experiencing more severe symptoms than usual, water and cordial juice are usually the safest options.
To avoid bladder or urinary tract infections, you can try to ensure you have healthy levels of vitamin C. It is believed that most bacteria thrive in an alkaline environment, and vitamin C makes the urine acidic. Taking supplements may help with this, but you should consult your doctor before taking any medication.
Unfortunately, you can’t control all bladder problems by leading a healthy lifestyle, but it can help to manage your symptoms, as well as improving your general health.
For more information on healthy lifestyle choices, contact a member of our team.