Stress urinary incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, and has been linked to anxiety. There is a connection between anxiety and stress incontinence in some patients.
What is Stress Incontinence?
Stress incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine. This usually occurs when there is pressure on the bladder from coughing, sneezing, running, or jumping. It can be caused by aging, childbirth, smoking, chronic cough, and more. It can also be caused by anxiety, which has physical manifestations. This can begin a cycle of incontinence anxiety, exacerbating the anxiety. Nearly two-thirds of anxiety sufferers in the United States are women, and incontinence is also more common in women, so they may be at a higher risk for both.
Here are five tips that will help you manage your incontinence, and as a result hopefully minimize your stress.
- Always be prepared: Planning ahead can remove the stress from any situation. If you know you will be away from a restroom for a long time, pack any supplies you may need such as adult diapers or a change of clothes.
- Get active: Certain pelvic exercises can help you strengthen muscles and improve symptoms.
- Write it down: Starting a voiding diary can also help you manage your symptoms while assessing the severity of your condition.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and consuming either one in excess can significantly increase your urgency to go.
- Eat healthy: Choosing fresh, healthy foods can help you reduce additional weight that might be putting pressure on your bladder or urethra.
Some treatments which can be done at home include keeping a diary of drink intake, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and doing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles.
Are you stressed out? According to the American Psychological Association’s 2015 Stress in America report, overall stress levels of American adults are rising and 51 percent cited personal health conditions as a main source of their anxiety.
A psychiatrist may be able to help get to the root of an anxiety issue, or provide coping mechanisms to combat the problem. But if urinary incontinence persists, it is time to seek help from a medical professional.
At the Incontinence Institute, we offer individualized treatment plans. Contact us or call our discreet, professional Medical Concierge at 1-800-771-1953 if you have questions or to set up an appointment.