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We Have the Urge... To Talk About Bladder Control!
Urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, is a common problem among adults of all ages. However, it is not a normal consequence of aging. Symptoms of urinary incontinence can range from leakage of urine when coughing or sneezing to having an urge to urinate so strong that you are not able to make it to the toilet in time.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of urinary incontinence:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Practice easy, quick pelvic floor exercises. Focus on your muscles that you use to stop your flow of urine, squeeze and hold those muscles for about 3 seconds and then relax. Try not to use your stomach, thigh, or buttock muscles. Repeat and work up to doing this exercise 10 to 15 times. Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it and rest between sets.
- Avoid food and drinks that cause you to go to the bathroom frequently such as coffee, alcohol, and acidic foods.
- Limit your intake of fluids several hours before bedtime.
- Quit smoking tobacco.
It is important to reach out to your doctor if you feel like urinary incontinence is affecting your quality of life. For most people with urinary incontinence, lifestyle changes and medical treatment can help treat the symptoms.