If you suffer from overactive bladder or urinary incontinence, you may be a little more than confused on what and when to drink in order to control leaks. There is varying advice out there. And you may assume that you should just not drink anything at all to avoid accidents.
First of all, it’s important that you do stay hydrated. That seems counter intuitive but it’s true. Since our bodies are mostly water anyway, staying hydrated is important to overall health. Cutting back too much on liquids can make you dehydrated, and concentrate your urine. You can tell this is happening because your urine will be darker. Concentrated urine caused by dehydration can irritate the lining of the bladder and urethra and worsen your incontinence.
That being said, there are things you can do to help safely reduce liquids, and one method is called fluid management. It is essentially drinking enough to stay hydrated, but not overdoing the liquids. Excess fluid means more pressure on your bladder, and a greater urge to urinate.
Here are some tips for fluid management:
- Be mindful of how much you are drinking. Don’t gulp down anything.
- Stop drinking coffee and soda. Unfortunately, they are probably doing you harm. Carbonation and caffeine irritate your bladder.
- Avoid alcohol. It can also make incontinence worse.
- If you get up a lot at night to use the restroom, try to stop drinking after 8 p.m.
- Write down how much you are drinking. Use a water bottle that has ounce markers on it.
Essentially fluid management is being more mindful of how much you are drinking. Yes, you should still be drinking but you need to pay close attention to how much and when you drink. You can try to look for patterns in your incontinence or urgency.
This is an easy first step in trying to manage your incontinence. Of course, it is just that, a first step. It is important to take it, but if after a few weeks there is no improvement, then it’s time to see a physician. There are a variety of treatment options available to you. Contact us or call our dedicated, discreet Medical Concierge at 800-771-1953.