Avoid these triggers: Tips for “peeing a little” less
Urinary incontinence is a very common problem—so common, in fact, that many people don’t think twice about “peeing a little” when they laugh, exercise, or sneeze. This thing is, while this might be common, it’s not normal and you can do something about it.
There are lots of different therapies to help you create optimal pelvic health, but the right course approach needs to be tailored to you. In the meantime, you’ll want to give your bladder a break and that’s where this article comes in.
Some triggers for urinary incontinence are well-known, like caffeine and alcohol which irritate the bladder muscle, but did you know you may be able to help out both your bladder muscle and your pelvic floor muscle my following a few easy tips? Read on for the inside intel about everything to do with your bladder.
Trigger #1: Diuretics
You probably already knew about this one—the clue is right in the name! The only thing a substance needs to be classified as a diuretic is that it increases the production of urine. If you’ve ever joked about “breaking the seal” after a glass of wine or two, you’ve experienced the diuretic effect of alcohol. The other big one in this category is caffeine, which carries with it the one-two punch of also being a stimulant. This trigger is particularly important to consider if you find you pee all the time or find your self running to the washroom because you can’t “hold it”.
Trigger #2: Bladder Irritants
Certain foods and beverages can irritate your bladder and thus make your bladder want to empty everything out. In general, these are spicy or acidic edibles so go easy on the hot sauce and citrus fruits. Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners might also irritate an overactive bladder, as might carbonated drinks. Again this is a trigger to consider if you have OAB or UUI.
Trigger #3: Medications
Well, this might not seem fair, but also won’t come as a surprise—many medications can actually trigger urinary incontinence. Check your cabinet for muscle relaxants, sedatives, and antidepressants, as well as blood pressure and heart medications. Even some over-the-counter products may not be conducive to optimal pelvic health. Talk to your doctor or local pharmacist to better understand if anything you are taking might be contributing to your leaking.
Trigger #4: Posture
If you have a heart condition or swelling in the feet or legs, putting your feet up may be a regular part of your routine but have you noticed that when you lie down you need to urinate more often? This is because when you lie down, the heart pumps fluid away from the swelling and speeds the water’s passage through the kidneys. If night-time urinating is an issue, it might help to put your feet up for an hour prior to bedtime.
Trigger # 5: Faulty Breathing
Yes you got it. Many of us have learned (partly to our slumpy posture and sitting too much) to breathe with our accessory breathing muscles (the ones that really should only be used when we are doing aerobic exercise) for everyday breathing. Actually, we should usually be using our diaphragm to breath and when we do, the movement of this muscle with each breath actually keeps the pelvic floor fit and the bladder happy. So, learning how to breathe properly can help with those pesky leaks.