Behavioral Changes for a Better Bladder

We take great pride in offering the very best incontinence supplies on the market today. Our incontinence supplies are offered to help our customers live happier, healthier lives. A lot of happiness comes from a sense of comfort. Unfortunately, lack of bladder control can often cause a lack of confidence. Fortunately, there are behavioral changes that can be made that can provide some relief.

What Causes an Overactive Bladder?

When the muscles of the bladder begin to involuntarily contract, a sudden urge to urinate comes about, whether or not your bladder is full. Feeling the need to use the toilet more often than normal during the day or noticing that you need to urinate several times throughout the night suggests that you might be suffering from an overactive bladder.

So how does a person end up with an overactive bladder? There are some neurological conditions that affect the transmitted signals between the bladder muscle and the nerves such as Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, or Multiple Sclerosis. However, suffering from diabetes, a spinal cord injury, or a birth defect can also be conditions that can lead to an overactive bladder because of nerve damage.

How Diet Affects an Overactive Bladder

The first behavioral change a person can make to improve their overactive bladder is to make some minor dietary changes. Many people who suffer from an overactive bladder don’t realize that they are doing more harm than good by drinking their morning cup of coffee or enjoying a sugary treat for dessert. Different people have different bladder triggers, so it’s important for each person to listen to their body and discuss their symptoms with their doctor. A great habit to start is keeping a bladder diary. Track food and drink intake and notate how your body reacts to different foods.

The most common trigger foods and drinks include:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Sodas
  • Citrus Juices
  • Spicy and Acidic Foods
  • Tomatoes

Pelvic Floor Exercise May Prevent Leaks

After diet, it’s important that a person with an overactive bladder regularly exercises. Exercise not only helps tone muscles and manage weight; it also improves bladder health. The more overweight a person is, the more likely they are to be impacted by leaks. While all exercise is helpful, the most important exercises for those who suffer with incontinence are those that strengthen the pelvic floor. Talking with a physical therapist can show a person what it takes to strengthen their pelvic floor so that they can retain urine in their bladder for longer periods of time.

Coughing, sneezing, and laughing can all cause leakage. Coughing fits caused by smoking are common, so while it’s important to quit smoking for a number of reasons, it’s certainly important to stop smoking for anyone who battles urinary incontinence.

Keeping a Bladder Journal Can Help

In reference to the bladder diary mentioned earlier, it can be used to help a person that is attempting to retrain their bladder. The first step of retraining the bladder is creating benchmarks.  If you urinate every hour, you have your benchmark. The first goal can be every hour and 10 minutes and it can continue to progress in increments. When the urge to go hits, a person can try different breathing techniques to relax until the urge passes and they can reach a restroom.  When a goal is achieved for more than one week, the timing goal can be extended. The more a person practices, the better their overactive bladder systems will be.

We’ve provided a sample Bladder Diary that you can download and save or print for your convenience.

Making a few changes and talking to your doctor can really help if you suffer from an overactive bladder.  If you have any questions about the incontinence supplies we offer, please give us a call and one of our Product Experts would be happy to guide you through our selections. We carry everything from liners and pads to briefs and underpads that range from light to heavy leakage protection. Whatever your needs are to manage your overactive bladder, we are sure to have the incontinence supplies you need!