4 Tips on Reclaiming and Controlling Your Overactive Bladder

This is Jane Brown. Thanks so much for joining me again to talk about a topic that most women and men do not want to talk about and this is an uncontrollable bladder.

It is surprising to learn that you are not alone. Researchers say that about one in three women have this problem and never share their story.  And the worst part is they are too embarrassed to talk about it openly.  I am glad that I have some great friends who have shared their stories with me and now I can pass along some information to you, so that we can deal with the embarrassment and uncomfortable feelings.

Definition:

“The International Continence Society defines urinary incontinence as a “condition where involuntary loss of urine is a social or hygienic problem and is objectively demonstrable.”

This condition is such that it can affect women and men of all backgrounds, all age groups and of all fitness levels. It is surprising to listen to people who have had the problem for years and look at it as part of the “aging process” and just deal with it with absorbency products. The good news is that there is many treatment options that are now available to you.

The causes of incontinence (bladder leakage) can be varied. Commonly, people later in life may develop these symptoms but women may develop problems after childbirth or women who have had back injuries, or nerve damage. Menopause also may be a cause – when tissue and muscle changes occur and may affect bladder control.  Most people believe that they can manage or cope with these issues and do not completely gain control. My advice is to take control before your emotional and overall physical health is affected every day by this problem.

4 Types of Bladder Problems are:

1.  Overactive Bladder (Got to GO)

2.  Stress Bladder (Laugh and Leak)

3.  Combination Overactive and Stress

4.  Overflow Problems (Not Common)

One of the most important things you can do to understand your bladder problems is to seek medical advice from your doctor to determine the best steps for your treatment and to take control with steps to prevent these health problems from getting worse.  These conversations may be embarrassing and difficult but you need to ask questions and seek medical explanations so that you can learn more about your condition.

One of the most important factors that contribute to overactive bladder problems or leakage, is that there is miscommunication between your brain and your bladder. This miscommunication results in sudden urges or sensations that are uncontrollable.

4 Tips on Reclaiming and Controlling Your Overative Bladder:

1.  Keep a Diary:

Start by tracking what you eat and more importantly what you drink during the day and particular the time of day – this may seem silly but you will be surprised what a difference this can make – especially if you are drinking a lot of coffee – this may increase your urgency to run to the bathroom.  Instead when you crave a cup of coffee – try to go for a walk – call it a “walk break” instead of a coffee break or a “shopping break” or a “writing in your diary break”.

2.  Build and Strengthen Your Pelvic Muscles:

One of the causes is that your pelvic floor muscles have been weaken by childbirth and pregnancy, or from being overweight or from excessive and chronic coughing. This could be the cause of problems later in life and more reason for you to start early in life to exercise on a regular basis.  In particular exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles are voluntary movements which each person can control and practice on a daily basis. The exercise is when you lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and “squeeze” your muscles as though you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Very important when doing this exercise is to not hold your breath.  These exercises can also be done standing in the grocery line, watching a movie, doing dishes – you choose – but try to be consistently thinking about doing them!

Researchers have found that in 60 to 80 percent of women who tried to do pelvic exercises for 3 months were able to reduce and sometimes eliminate bladder control problems.

3.  Do Not Over Think Bathroom Breaks:

Sometimes, if you are really worried or anxious about not making it to the bathroom – we try to go to the bathroom even if we really don’t have to go.  We need to retrain our brain.  Keep a schedule and try to only go when you have an “urge” – increase the time between bathroom breaks and keep your exercises going – only go to the bathroom at night if you wake up – Try to stop the habit of going to the bathroom at a certain time every night – THIS IS A BAD HABIT – and gradually increase the times between bathroom breaks. Continue to drink the same amount of liquids and monitor your own schedule. Taking control of these urges is the first steps to being able to move forward and progress to leading a healthier lifestyle.

4.  Keeping Track of What you Eat and Your Diet:

Consuming a good amount of fiber and water in your diet keeps the toxins moving through your body. Many researchers feel that you will be in optimal health if you keep your bowels working properly. But remember, that too much caffeine, spicy foods and citrus fruits can contribute to making your bladder problems worse. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day is ideal.  Your goal is to make sure that your urine is “light colored”. This means that you are getting enough water in your diet. A dark yellow means you are not getting enough water. If you notice that you are going to the bathroom during the night too many times, stop drinking liquids early in the afternoon.  You are the judge of your body and you need to pay attention.

For every health issue that you may encounter, please be sure to contact your doctor for medical advice.

However, carefully monitoring your own body, is the way to controlling and reclaiming your bladder control problems.  Be sure to visit us again on our site for more helpful, healthy tips on your health.

Take care and have a healthy, happy day.

Jane Brown

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