Aging can bring a variety of inconvenient symptoms that can also be embarrassing to talk about. Urinary incontinence is one of these topics. Urinary incontinence, otherwise shortened to UI, means that a person leaks urine by accident, and can be provoked by simply coughing or laughing. It is more common than you might think: 1/3 of both men and women experience bladder control issues, but many people are too embarrassed to talk about it, much less get help for the issue. The good news: incontinence can be cured or controlled, so long as you seek help!
For many, UI is caused by weak bladder or pelvic muscles, but it can also be caused by diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. It is also common among men with prostatitis or enlarged prostates.
If you think you are suffering from UI, here are our recommendations:
1. Speak up. UI is a very common issue in older adults, but many people don’t seek help because they are embarrassed to talk about it. It’s nothing to be ashamed about and is more common than you think!
2. See a doctor. He/she will be able to give you a physical exam and examine your medical history. They may ask you to keep a daily diary of when you urinate and when you leak to give them a better idea of how to manage your unique situation.
3. Consider lifestyle changes. Certain health-related habits such as smoking and drinking can exacerbate UI symptoms. If you are overweight, consider talking with a Registered Dietitian on ways you can improve your weight and increase your exercise. These healthy lifestyle changes could help improve your UI symptoms as well.
4. Drink the right fluids. Avoid caffeine wherever possible. Caffeine is a diuretic and can increase urination. However, don’t skimp on your water intake. Staying hydrated is very important for keeping your bodily systems functioning properly.
5. Get to the bathroom regularly. If you are able to plan your day, try to map out regular bathroom breaks to avoid any accidents. Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes regularly on health and vitality. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit forheathandliving.com/ivhpevents.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan