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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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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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