8 Tips for Coping with an Overactive Bladder
Allison Bush | Oct 3, 2012
Don’t lean towards either extreme when drinking fluids. Drinking too much can overload your bladder and make you go the bathroom more often. However, while some might think drinking less will curb symptoms of overactive bladder, being dehydrated can irritate the bladder and cause infection. Also, it is best to avoid too many fluids in the evening before you go to sleep.
Keep a journal of what and when you eat and drink and also when you have the urge to go to the restroom. Try to keep it up for at least a few days and you may start to see patterns between consumption and urgency. Share the journal with your doctor and together you might be able to identify some triggers of your overactive bladder and take steps to avoid them.
Caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which means they trigger the production of more urine, therefore putting more strain on your bladder. Caffeine also stimulates the bladder, increasing the feeling of urgency. Alcohol, on the other hand, can inhibit control over bladder muscles, making it more difficult to manage your symptoms. It is best to avoid, or at least minimize, consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
Certain foods, like those that are spicy or acidic, can irritate an overactive bladder. It is best to find alternatives for these, or at least limit your consumption of them. High-fiber foods on the other hand are a great option for dealing with constipation, a common symptom of overactive bladder, because they regulate the digestive system. Also, a healthy diet can help put less stress on your bladder.
When it comes to overactive bladder, it is important to be prepared for any potential accidents. One option is to wear absorbent underwear or pads to avoid any big issues with leakages. They should be comfortable, fit well, absorbent and right for you. Another option is to just keep a change of clothes with you in case of an accident.
With an overactive bladder you don’t always know when you will get a sudden urge to use the restroom. The best idea is to know where the closest bathroom is. If you are in a theater or other seated venue, make sure you have a clear path to the exit so you don’t have to climb over people.
Pelvic exercises can help strengthen and control your bladder. Kegels are exercises that work your pelvic floor muscles. By strengthening these muscles and doing these moves when you feel urgency, the symptoms can be minimized. (Exercises do not replace any other treatment, such as medication, you are using).
Overactive bladder is an issue that can be treated with the right help. This is not an uncommon condition and you should not be embarrassed about bringing it up with your doctor. You can also incorporate these tips, and others, into your lifestlye to minimize your symptoms.