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Complete Bladder Training Guide For Urinary Incontinence

Complete Bladder Training Guide For Urinary Incontinence

Back when I was pregnant, a good sneeze would drench my pants. My life revolved around frequent trips to bathrooms and any long journey had to be chartered out with the whereabouts of restrooms along the way. There was even a party where I resorted to wearing a diaper rather than embarrass myself with a leak.

This fear of embarrassing leaks had me staying at home rather than going out and enjoying life with friends or family. I thought it would be fine after the delivery, but even afterwards, it took months of pelvic exercises to tighten the bladder muscles before I was able to leave the house confidently. Urinary incontinence is a reality for more people than you might think. For those of you currently going through it, here is the guide for you:

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Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Many people hide their bladder control issues and find it difficult to discuss it even with their doctors. Identifying the cause and treating it can provide you with the right solutions and you can walk around with your head held high, free from caring about your bladder woes.

The involuntary loss of urine, or urinary incontinence, is more common in women than men. It usually occurs after childbirth and menopause.

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Urinary incontinence is classified into four types:

  1. Urge incontinence: Your bladder contracts even when it’s not full and you often feel a sudden, strong urge to go to the bathroom. You might find urine trickling down even before you reach the toilet.
  2. Stress incontinence: Coughing, sneezing, laughing, or any sudden pressure on your abdomen can cause you to accidentally pee.
  3. Mixed incontinence: When stress combines with urge incontinence, you know you’ve lost the war. It’s best to be armed with diapers if you are out for long periods.
  4. Overflow incontinence: Urine leakage can arise even after a visit to the loo if the bladder was not emptied completely.

Ways to Train the Bladder

Bladder retraining is usually the first treatment doctors suggest for bladder control problems. This is a kind of behavioral therapy that helps you regain control over your urination. It gradually trains your bladder muscles to hold in urine for more and more periods of time to prevent leaks and emergency bathroom incidents. Bladder retraining can also be used as a treatment for children who bed-wet.

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  • Schedule bathroom visits: Jot down in a diary every time you go the bathroom and make a schedule by adding 15 minutes to that time. Even if you don’t actually feel the urge to go, visit the bathroom at each scheduled visit. Slowly try to increase the time between bathroom breaks.
  • Delay urination: Even if you feel the urge to urinate, try to hold on until the scheduled time for the bathroom visit. If you find it feels too urgent, try to delay it for five or ten minutes by distracting yourself. Try counting backwards from 100 to one or use deep breathing relaxation techniques. Even if you ended up rushing to the bathroom for an unscheduled visit, you still have to stay on the schedule and make a visit at the next scheduled time slot.
  • Kegel exercises: Using a combination of pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels, with other bladder retraining techniques has been found to be effective in treating urinary incontinence.

To do Kegels, you must squeeze the muscles, pretending you are holding them to stop the flow of urine. Start with a five-second hold and release, then work up to holding these pelvic muscle contractions for 10 seconds each, with 10 second rest periods in between. You can do three sets of 10 contractions every day.

To improve your success with bladder retraining, you can try out these different variations of Kegels and strengthen your pelvic muscles:

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kegels
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    You can also watch this excellent video that explains all that you need to know about doing Kegels correctly.

    Conclusion:

    In addition to journaling your bathroom breaks and practicing Kegels, limit caffeinated beverages, like sodas, coffee, and tea, that increase urination. Avoid fluids as bedtime nears and go to the bathroom one final time before heading off to sleep. Bladder training helps you hold on for longer periods of time between bathroom visits, giving you control over the urge to go.

    Bladder retraining takes time and might take anywhere between six to 12 weeks to see results. If there is no improvement despite several weeks of bladder training, then your doctor might advise medication or even surgery to treat urinary incontinence.

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    Anju Mobin

    Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

    More Health Tips

    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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