Living with bladder weakness may seem challenging at first, but if you only have a light to moderate bladder weakness, some simple lifestyle adjustments will make all the difference to managing your condition.
Read on for our advice and tips to help manage bladder weakness or an overactive bladder:
Firstly, see your GP or medical practitioner: what you might think is incontinence, could actually be a different condition, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), diabetes, or a kidney infection. It’s important to have a clear diagnosis, so your GP can offer the appropriate advice to help you manage your symptoms. In some cases, they might refer you to a specialist physiotherapist – for bladder retraining if they diagnose urge incontinence, or pelvic floor exercises to help with urge or stress incontinence.
Keep an eye on what you eat and drink: not drinking enough can lead to concentrated urine, which actually irritates the bladder and can make the problem worse. So try and drink lots of water (up to 2 litres a day unless your GP advises otherwise) and avoid fizzy drinks and too much caffeine or alcohol – all of which are known irritants. Eating a balanced diet, with plenty of non-citrus fruit, vegetables and wholegrains will help your overall health, and avoiding spicy and acidic foods, along with sugar and dairy can also be beneficial. If you are not sure which food and drinks impact you, keep a diary and see if there are any particular triggers to your condition.
Don’t forget to exercise; as tempting as it might be to avoid exercise, some people find lower impact activities such as cycling, yoga, pilates, swimming or even walking particularly helpful. Exercise also helps to maintain a healthy body weight, which reduces pressure on the pelvic floor, and of course exercise has a significant impact on your mental health, lifting your mood and helping you feel more positive about life.
Use the right products: women will sometimes reach for sanitary products rather than incontinence products when dealing with mild bladder weakness. But the two products are designed quite differently, and an incontinence product will give far better protection to handle the thinner, faster flow of urine and to also neutralise any odours. Use the guide on our website to help find the right product for you.
Be prepared: for light to moderate incontinence, you might find that discreet mattress or seat protection offers you some security and peace of mind. When away from home, we suggest you remember to take a small supply of products with you. Whether that’s pants or pads, having something with you certainly saves the stress of having to race to the shops to find your preferred product in an emergency.
Have you got a top tip you’d like to share? Let us know! And if you’d like some one-to-one advice on the best products to manage your condition, do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0800 389 3597.