The National Association for Continence recently stated that one in every five Americans over 40 years old suffers from urgency, overactive bladder or frequency symptoms. If you find yourself dealing with these symptoms, here are four easy behavioral techniques for battling incontinence.
- Schedule all Toilet Trips
A great way to keep incontinence at bay is to schedule bathroom breaks. If you find yourself frequently forgetting to use the restroom, scheduling can help take the surprise factor out of having an urgent need to go.
Schedule your breaks to fit your own routine with regularity. This normally falls within the range of two to four hours, but this can vary based upon the person. Work with your doctor or caregiver to find the right amount of bathroom breaks for you and your medical needs.
- Avoid Substances that Inflame Your Need to Urinate
If you are on the process of ending incontinence, you may need to manage your fluid and diet choices. Namely, you should probably scale back on your intake of substances like coffee, caffeinated teas, alcohol, and overly acidic foods.
This limiting of substances is important because they can often be the culprit of the incontinence. For example, coffee, although delicious, is a diuretic. This means it increases the passage of urine. Thus, when you drink your morning cup of coffee, you may be setting yourself up for incontinence!
- Train Your Bladder
Another great behavioral technique for dealing with incontinence is bladder training. This is simply a process of training yourself to control your bladder, instead of the other way around! Whenever you find the urge to urinate, hold off on using the restroom immediately. Wait for small increments of time, and then go.
It’s important to start with small spans of time, and then work your way towards your bathroom goals. Start by holding off using the restroom for ten minutes. Then lengthen this time until you have reached the optimum waiting time.
- Practice Double Voiding
A great behavioral technique for combating incontinence is to practice double voiding. To ‘void’ is to attempt to empty your bladder of any unwanted contents. Thus, when you double void, you take two occasions to empty out your bladder. This is great for battling incontinence because it allows you to train your body to truly empty itself upon voiding.
To practice double voiding, simply wait a few minutes after voiding the first time. After waiting these moments, try and urinate again. It can also be helpful for an elderly loved one to have help from certified nursing assistants.