Urinary incontinence can be reduced and avoided by lessening your risk factors. Those that suffer urinary incontinence can improve their symptoms sometimes just by being aware of the risk factors. The following are some linked to urinary incontinence:
Obesity- When a person is overweight, there is increased pressure on the bladder and surrounding muscles. This can increase stress incontinence, meaning when a person sneezes, coughs, or laughs, leaks occur. Too much extra weight can weaken the muscles. Getting weight under control can improve symptoms.
Caffeine consumption- Drinking caffeine regularly can increase risk of incontinence. Research done by the University of Alabama shows that men who drink approximately two cups of coffee a day are more likely to suffer urinary incontinence then those of the same age who don’t drink any, or drink less. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which means that it increase risk of accidents and leaking.
Smoking- Smoking is another risk factor for urinary incontinence. Why? Because many smokers develop a chronic cough, which can result in weakened pelvic muscles and increase stress incontinence. The stress placed on the urinary sphincter from chronic coughing is only one part. In addition, smoking can cause overactive bladder as well.
Of course, some risk factors are outside your control, including:
Gender- Women have an increased risk, often due to anatomy, and damage during childbirth as well as hormonal changes during menopause can all cause a higher likelihood of urinary incontinence. Men are at higher risk if they have prostate gland problems.
Age- The elderly often have a higher risk due to muscles in the bladder and urethra weakening with age. While incontinence is not an inevitable part of aging, it is more common among the elderly. A great way to reduce this risk is by doing Kegel exercises.
Diseases- There are some conditions or diseases, such as Diabetes, that lead to increased risk for incontinence. Kidney diseases are also linked.
The risk factors for urinary incontinence are many, but living a healthy lifestyle, practicing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and avoiding things like caffeine and smoking can all improve your chances of not dealing with embarrassing leaks.
If you do suffer from leaks, and the challenges associated with urinary incontinence, consider using absorbent products designed specifically for incontinence (not menstrual pads), and find the right fit and style for your needs. Incontinence does not have to get in the way of your life, and it is not something you just have to deal with. There are steps to take, ways to manage, and treatment options available. Do what you can now to reduce your risks for later.