A leaky bladder is a very common concern, yet it is something that a lot of people don’t freely discuss—not even with healthcare providers.
But leaky bladders are caused due to a condition called urinary incontinence, which affects more than 25 million American adults. In fact, it is one of the most common bladder issues in women. So, you are definitely not the only one with a leaky bladder, and therefore, it is not something to be embarrassed bout.
Here are a few dos and don’ts you can keep in mind, though, if you are struggling with a leaky bladder.
DO: Drink Plenty of Water
Just because you have a leaky bladder, it doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water or resort to a unhealthy habit of drinking only one or 2 glasses of water in a day.
Ideally, it’s best to drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day. But make sure to space out your water intake over several hours instead of chugging down large amounts in shorter timespans—that might cause leaks.
Remember, dehydration can cause your urine to become concentrated, which in turn will just increase the urge to go.
DON’T: Drink Too Much Caffeine or Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and urge your bladder to urinate by irritating its lining. Limiting them in your diet is a good idea, mainly because most people have different bladder irritants; but almost everyone seems to be affected by these two.
Reducing the caffeine and alcohol in your diet will instantly help you feel the difference in the urgency and frequency of your bathroom visits.
DO: Try and Lose Weight
A leaky bladder and excess weight may not work in your favor. The extra weight can put undue pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, and as a result, you may experience accidental leaks.
Losing some of the excess weight can also help you go a long way in improving your bladder habits.
DON’T: Underestimate Physical Therapy or Coaching for Pelvic Health
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that supports the bladder; its health is closely connected with your bladder’s health.
Over time, our pelvic floor muscles can get weaker, leading to a leaky bladder. But this is a problem that can quickly be taken care of with exercises to improve bladder control.
If you want to learn more about our solutions for a leaky bladder, watch a free presentation on how to reduce your bladder leaks at: thepelviccoach.com/free
Dr. Shelia Craig Whiteman DPT, CLT is a doctor of physical therapy and a health coach. While practicing physical therapy, she specialized in pelvic health, lymphedema and oncology. As a health coach Dr. Shelia is particularly passionate about helping women to reduce and stop bladder leaks.
She is the best-selling author of “To Pee or Not To Pee?” The Guide for Reducing and Eliminating Urinary Incontinence. Her second book, Stop Worrying About Bladder Leaks, further explains how and why bladder leaks can happen. As an advocate for health and wellness, she participates in several educational presentations and volunteer activities in her community. Dr. Shelia is a certified fitness instructor and has taught fitness and pilates classes over the past 20 years. She lives with her family in Mitchellville, Maryland.