Some people may shrug off their leaky bladder symptoms as no big deal. But a leaky bladder, also known as urinary incontinence, can be a big deal for those suffering from it. Urinary incontinence comes with rushed trips to the bathroom, accidents when you least expect it, or leaks when you do something as simple as sneezing.
Oftentimes a leaky bladder is a symptom of something greater going on within your body. It can be your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. For this reason, you should also consult a urology doctor in Springfield, Ohio if these symptoms persist.
Urinary incontinence affects people of all ages and all walks of life. Luckily, there are some things that can be done to prevent a leaky bladder and lifestyle changes that can improve symptoms. Interested in learning more? Read on to see a few things you could do to help lower your chances of developing urinary incontinence.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Urinary incontinence can become a side effect of being overweight. When you carry the extra weight it can increase pressure on your bladder and surrounding muscles. This can cause them to weaken or become fatigued which leads to bladder leaks when you do things like cough or sneeze.
Avoid Bladder Irritants
Caffeine and alcohol are known to be bladder irritants and increased intake of these beverages can increase your chances of developing bladder leaks. Caffeine is a stimulant with natural diuretic properties. The more coffee you drink the more urine your body produces which adds to bladder pressure. Switching out your coffee for less caffeinated beverages may help relieve some urinary incontinence symptoms.
Similar to caffeine, alcohol is a bladder stimulant and large amounts result in increased urine production. Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume in a sitting also assists with the production of the hormone vasopressin, which is responsible for telling your kidneys to reabsorb water rather than converting it to urine.
Smoking increases your risk of developing urinary incontinence. If you are a smoker, it is negatively affecting your lungs and likely causing increased coughing. This may seem unrelated to a leaky bladder but the chronic cough can damage pelvic floor muscles which control your bladder. Smoking has also been proven to increase your risk of bladder cancer. Now is the time to quit smoking!
Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that control your bladder, so strengthening these muscles will ultimately help you have more control over your bladder. Your pelvic floor is made up of the muscles located around your bladder, genitals, and lower digestive tract. These muscles can be felt by trying to stop the flow of urine when using the bathroom.
One way to strengthen or exercise these muscles is to squeeze your stomach, buttock, and thigh muscles all at the same time, 10-15 times in a row. Doing this over time, while gradually increasing the frequency can have noticeable results in both men and women suffering from urinary incontinence.
Meet With a Urology Doctor
Keeping up on your urological health will certainly help you stay on top of any leaky bladder symptoms you may be experiencing. Our team urologist at Urology Specialist of Ohio can help you navigate which lifestyle changes may benefit you and ultimately can help treat Urinary Incontinence to get you back to living a normal life.