Tips For Better Bladder Control
Bladder control is something most people take for granted – until it’s gone. But if your bladder control could be better, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Roughly 33% of people aged 30 to 70 suffer from incontinence issues.
The most important first step to better bladder control is to find the cause, treat the problem. Make sure you see your GP or specialist to discuss how incontinence is affecting your day-to-day life. Together you can work to discover why that might be so and what you can do about it.
But there are things you can also do every day by yourself to help keep your bladder healthy and minimise problems.
Watch the video below of Phil who gives us 11 of his best tips for a healthier bladder
By Phil Wilkinson
Urology and Continence Nurse
Independence Australia stocks a range of bladder products.
1. Keep Fighting Fit.
The heavier you are, the more your weight presses on your pelvic floor and abdominal region. Eat lots of fibre, fruits and vegetables and stay active and healthy to keep your bowels regular.
2. Drink at least 1.5 litres of water.
Drink 1.5 litres water per day or around 8 glasses, unless your doctor says otherwise. This might seem counterproductive when you’re running to the bathroom so often. But reducing your fluid intake can make things worse not better, as concentrated urine will irritate your bladder’s lining.
3. Decrease caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks.
These can stimulate your bladder, giving you the urge to go to the toilet more frequently to pass smaller amounts of urine. As in most things, moderation is the key.
4. Ditch the smokes.
Smoker’s cough is bad enough without feeling like you need to go to the toilet every time you do it. Persistent coughing weakens your bladder, which can then cause bladder leakage.
5. Don’t strain when you go to the toilet.
It can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and bladder leakage which leads us to the next point.
6. Flex your floors.
Your pelvic floor muscles connect to your bladder via nerves, so training them to be stronger can help you control your bladder. It’s important to do your pelvic floor exercises 2 to 3 times per day for best results.
Don’t know how? The Continence Foundation of Australia has some great how-to guides, click here to find out more.
7. Avoid foods that compromise bladder control.
Some foods can irritate the bladder, causing you to go to the toilet more frequently. Watch out for chocolate (another source of caffeine), as well as spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits
8. Don’t hold back.
Not emptying your bladder completely can cause infection. So, don’t hold on, let it all go!
9. But don’t go “Just in case” either.
Try to go to the toilet only when your bladder is full, and you need to go. It’s a slippery slope: frequently visiting the toilet (“just in case”) can make your bladder more comfortable voiding lower volumes of urine – so you’re actually training it to go more often.
10. Take a walk.
People with fluid build-up in their legs should elevate their legs or exercise daily to promote fluid re-absorption back into the system. If walking is a problem, an alternative is chair aerobics.
11. See your GP for a urine test.
If your urine smells offensive or if you are passing small frequent amounts of concentrated urine (dark in appearance). You may have a Urinary Tract infection (UTI).
Product to help…
If you live with continence care and need support with continence pads, you may want to consider which brief can ease your worries. Some important considerations are the absorbency level, hygienic comforts, and ease of use and replacement.
A flexible belted continence brief that is adjustable helps make the product changes easier. Tena Flex range is designed with this feature, and according to personal needs and situations, it is recommended for mobile, semi-mobile or immobile people. The belt’s easy-grip hooks, which can be attached at the front and are completely adjustable to fit different body types, make it simple.
Remember, consider the type of continence-related issue you experience first, then it can help you choose your suitable continence brief.
More health advice
View our wide range of health advice, tips and recommendations by visiting our health articles or checking out our top health articles below.
Staying free from Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are a relatively common but unpleasant problem which affects the bladder and/or kidneys. Symptoms may include; changes in bladder habits, burning pain with urination.etc
Common Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Problems
Early prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause urinary symptoms. The only way to identify is by digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. I suggest that you speak to your doctor about this.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you’re a woman with poor bladder or bowel control – and perhaps you’ve had this problem for some years – the time has never been better to do something about it.