We discussed the concept of urinary incontinence, its symptoms, causes, and types in Part 1 of this series on the subject. We also made a point about why you should talk about suffering from this condition. Now that we have a good foundation to build our knowledge upon, heres looking at some proven tips to manage urinary incontinence at home, at work, or while traveling. This article looks at some handy home remedies and gives you an insight into the most popular incontinence management products and devices that can help you deal with the condition effectively.
Tips and remedies to manage incontinence.
The first and the foremost keep a bladder diary handy. Keeping a note of every little thing, right from what you ate and drank, how many times you used the loo for urination, how many times you had a leaking accident and what might have led to it (laughing, coughing, physical activity, etc.), will not only help you self-analyse the pattern, but also give your doctor a detailed insight into your condition. Here are a few more things that can help manage incontinence without medication (or in addition to your medical treatment:
- Bladder training exercises
Pelvic floor muscles might naturally become weak due to ageingor because of pregnancy, prostate surgery or even obesity. When suffering from incontinence, it is important that you train your bladder by doing Kegel exercises. Contrary to a popular myth, these exercises arent meant only for women. The best part about Kegels is that you can do them anywhere at work, in bed, while traveling, etc. Tense your pelvic floor muscles for about three seconds and then relax them for the next three seconds. Do 10 repetitions and three sets at a stretch and build up the numbers gradually. It might take a month or more for Kegels to start showing positive results but stick to a daily schedule in order to strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve the control onyour bladder.
- Double voiding
One of the simplest things you can do is to double-check whether you really have relieved yourself completely. Double voiding means waiting even after you have finished urinating and then trying again after a minute or two. This can significantly reduce the dribble effect and leave you feeling confident every time you use the bathroom.
- Scheduling bathroom visits
We all have got ourselves into a habit of waiting until the very last moment when the urge to urinate can no longer be controlled. This not only puts extra pressure on the bladder but can also prove to be a terrible habit if you are suffering from urinary incontinence. Scheduling bathroom visits at set times whether you feel like it or not can help your body get into a rhythm and also reduce the probability of having a leaking accident. You could start with going to the bathroom every two hours, and then increase or decrease the frequency depending on what works best for you.
When your body starts giving you signals, better do something about it sooner rather than later. It is a proven fact that certain foods and fluids can worsen your urinary incontinence. These include alcohol, caffeinated drinks, sodas, foods with high acid levels (orange, tomato, grapefruit, etc.), saturated fats, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. It is best to consult your doctor about what you can eat and what you stay off.
- Lifestyle choices and habits
Looking for a reason to give up smoking? Here it is. Science proves that tobacco can aggravate urinary incontinence, especially amongst men. Being overweight is another problem area that needs to be taken care of exercising daily and sticking to healthy meals can help you with weight management issues. It is also important to stay hydrated (although it might seem like an irony)! Not drinking enough water may irritate your bladder drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. For women, feminine perfumes and deodorants can cause irritation to the urethra, so it is best to stop using them. While these tips can help you slowly improve bladder control and your overall health over a period of time, there are certain useful products or devices that are known to aid those with incontinence without breaking a sweat. Read on!
Devices and products that enable the daily management of incontinence
Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of padding to help you get through the day! But since different people have different preferences, lets take a look at the most commonly-used devices or products so you can make an informed choice when it comes to incontinence care essentials for the elderly:
By far the most preferred way to manage incontinence is by using absorbent products, including protective undergarments, adult diapers, pads and shields. Urinary incontinence management through pads is perhaps the oldest known methods, too, as mentioned in the earliest medical book, Ebers Papyrus (1500 BC).
- Adult Pull-Ups Whats better than an ultra-comfortable product that you can wear like an underwear (or pants)? Pull-ups are available in different sizes and usually feature a stretchable waist and tear-away sides for convenience. Snug, well ventilated and highly absorbent, adult diapers are easily available online and at medical/convenience stores. Another key advantage is that you can use an adult diaper for hours together without worrying about odour or wetness.
Here are a few of the adult diaper products available online-
- Bladder Control Pads for Women Ideally shaped according to the female pelvic anatomy, bladder control pads provide quick absorption and greater comfort compared to traditional sanitary napkins. They also offer reliable protection in side leakages and keep any allergic reactions at bay.
- Bed Underpads While one cannot solely rely on underpads, they provide useful additional protection in cases where the primary absorbent product needs to be changed. Bed underpads are of great use especially when the patient is bedridden or hospitalized.
- Portable Urinals
A supremely hygienic and convenient solution for all those who love travelling but suffer from incontinence is a set of portable urinals. These unisex bottle-shaped things are leak-proof, spill-proof and easily washable. Whether you are away on vacation or wheelchair/bedridden, portable urinals make it possible for you to stay relaxed and focus on the good things in life rather than worrying about your incontinence problems!
- Collecting Systems
Discreet, convenient and prescribed by the doctor, collecting systems consist of a urine sheath worn over the penis. This helps funnel the urine and pass it into a urine bag that is to be attached to ones leg.
- Fixer Occluder Devices
When it comes to light or moderate urinary incontinence, these devices are effective since they softly press against the urethra to stop the flow of the urine. A Fixer Occluder Device is supposed to strap around the penis.
Foleys or inter dwelling catheters are often used in worst-case scenarios (usually in hospitals). Here, the catheter is connected to a bag so that the urine gets collected away from your body. However, there have been several cases of urinary tract infections due to the use of inter dwelling catheters in the past and hence, is considered relatively unsafe. Another type is the intermittent catheter which is inserted into the bladder in order to help the patient empty it in cases where he or she is unable to do so naturally. These are single-use catheters.
6.Diaper Disposal Bags Premium Adult Diaper Disposal Bags are OXO-biodegradable and easy to carry which makes them ideal for hygienic disposal. These discreet and mess free disposal bags are OXO-biodegradable and leak proof which helps in concealing the odour and is easy to carry.
Before you start taking any of these corrective measures, we would advise going to the doctor and getting your condition diagnosed first. Seeking professional medical help is the best way to ensure that you do not end up doing (or using) something that might not be right for you. Got questions? Ask us anything related to incontinence in the comments below and we will be happy to answer it to the best of our ability!