Despite being experienced by roughly 25 million Americans, incontinence, or the involuntary leakage of urine, can be a difficult condition to live with. For starters, it can be difficult for people experiencing incontinence to talk to someone about their issues and get the necessary help – or treatment – that they need to manage or completely eliminate symptoms.
Often times, however, those experiencing incontinence don’t even need to seek medical attention – they just need to adjust their lifestyle to kick the symptoms completely. With that being said, here’s a look at some simple lifestyle remedies and techniques that you never knew could help with incontinence. News flash – they can!
7 Things You Didn’t Know Could Help with Incontinence
Water: The right diet is one key to overcoming incontinence. For instance, caffeinated and alcohol beverages – as well as acidic foods – can trigger symptoms. However, foods high in fiber can actually help symptoms. Another drink that can help symptoms is arguably the most accessible of them all – water. It’s important to stay hydrated when managing incontinence, as dehydration can damage the lining of the bladder and trigger symptoms. Drinking at least 8 cups of water per day can help.
High fiber foods: As we hinted at above, foods that are high in fiber (think: non-citrus fruits, grains, vegetables, and legumes) are ideal for managing incontinence. Conversely, foods that are acidic, spicy or high in sugar should be avoided. High-fiber foods also help avoid constipation, which can weaken the pelvic muscles.
Magnesium: Studies show that magnesium-rich foods and supplements can reduce incontinence symptoms in about 50 percent of those who experience the condition. This is because magnesium helps reduce bladder spasms, thereby allowing it to empty more completely. Foods like corn, bananas, and potatoes are all rich in magnesium.
Exercise: But not just any exercise, the right exercise. Exercises that are intense (i.e. running, weight lifting) can actually lead to leakage, but exercises that focus on building the core and pelvic muscles can actually strengthen the body to prevent leakage. Pilates, yoga, and pelvic floor exercises have all proven to help symptoms improve or make them dissipate completely.
Weight loss: Obese men and women are more likely to experience incontinence because the excess fatty tissue tends to put pressure on the bladder, thereby making urine leakage more common. While eating right and exercising – as noted above – can certainly help with weight loss, losing weight to get closer to your recommended body mass index can help relieve pressure on the bladder, minimizing or completely eliminating incontinence.
Acupuncture: Strange but true – acupuncture has been proven to help with incontinence. It’s believed that incontinence isn’t just a byproduct of the kidneys and bladder, but of other body organs. Acupuncture can help balance out the body and treat such issues over time.
Hypnotherapy: Recent research has had mixed results on the effect that hypnotherapy has on eliminating incontinence, but most researchers agree that the potential is there for this type of therapy to be an effective treatment. Researchers believe that by putting patients in a state of deep relaxation and concentration, they’ll better be able control the bladder. Stay tuned for more research and understanding on this technique.
So while incontinence can be frustrating – and perhaps even embarrassing – often times it’s just some simple life hacks that are needed to greatly minimize or completely eliminate symptoms. Look to our incontinence briefs and panties to assist with your journey to wellness through incontinence.