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Tips to prevent and/or treat incontinence

 Tips to prevent and/or treat incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a disease that affects both women and men, even if the latter is less affected, especially at younger ages. Urinary incontinence is manifested by urine leakage, frequent urination, or difficulty controlling urination.


What causes incontinence?

Article written by Dr. Henri, urologist at Anthony Private Hospital (Paris)

Urinary incontinence is a disease that affects both women and men, even if the latter is less affected, especially at younger ages. Urinary incontinence is manifested by urine leakage, frequent urination, or difficulty controlling urination.


There are several reasons behind urinary incontinence. These are phenomena that generally lead to weakening or relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles and thus disrupting the proper functioning of the bladder closure. Thus, age, childbirth, many pregnancies, menopause or painful physical exertion are among the first causes of the development of this pathology. In addition, certain diseases such as diabetes or cystitis can be the cause of incontinence. Preventive measures against enuresis can be taken throughout life, you just need to follow the right habits as soon as possible.


Diet: which drinks to choose?

Good food hygiene is a big step in combating incontinence.

To avoid or relieve urinary incontinence, you should monitor your diet. Drinks such as alcohol, tea or coffee, which stimulate the urge to urinate should be avoided or reduced gradually. Artificial sweeteners that rely on sugar substitutes should also be banned in the same way as soft drinks. Getting used to not drinking much in the evening reduces urine production at night and thus potentially leads to nocturnal urine leakage.


During the day you should try to drink as much water as possible, taking care to evenly distribute the amount consumed to avoid drinking too much water in a very short period of time. Certain drinks can also be useful on a daily basis to help with urinary tract problems, such as cranberry juice, which is often noted for its antiseptic effect on the urinary tract. Bilberry juice is also known for its incontinence benefits.



Healthy foods to eat every day

Aggravating factors such as obesity that puts the bladder and muscles under constant pressure, or constipation should be avoided. Eating figs prevents constipation and water retention. If leaks appear at the time of menopause, it is possible to try to compensate for the estrogen deficiency with a more appropriate diet.


Urinary incontinence is called an emergency if it is caused by a malfunction between the nerves and the muscles of the bladder. In this case, it is preferable to follow a citrus-free diet, without spices and any food that is acidic or irritating to the bladder. Chocolate, tomatoes, parsley, and asparagus are foods to be avoided in the diet. To restore a certain balance, vegetables rich in fiber are recommended. Leeks, lettuce, cabbage, kale, and fruits such as raspberries or red currants are preferred.


Muscle re-education exercises

To prevent incontinence, there are exercises that women, whether they have already given birth or not, should do regularly to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Before dealing with the exercises, it is obviously important to be able to locate the target muscles. It is simply enough to stop the urethra at the time of urination. Once the muscles are well defined, the exercises can begin.


basic exercises

To start, it is possible to practice contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. The stage of getting to know these muscles is a crucial step, because it is not a question of working out the gluteus or stomach muscles, but correctly targeting the muscles of the perineum. Each movement can last for 5 seconds and can be repeated 10 times at first to gradually increase thereafter. Other variables such as contracting the muscles in a really gradual way or pushing them through the vagina as if you were urinating as the exercises progressed could also be done.


cone exercises

Kegel exercises consist of doing the same movements i.e. tightening the muscles as if to stop urinating, then releasing them, but this time, you have to make each contraction last for 3 seconds before releasing them. The same process is repeated 15 times and is repeated 3 times a day, 3 days a week.


People who want trained support in rehabilitating their muscles can take courses. These sessions are highly recommended for pregnant women or women who have just given birth, as they help tone the perineum muscles faster and avoid the risk of urine leakage.


In addition to eating a more balanced diet and exercising, changing certain habits also helps reduce your risk of developing incontinence. It is therefore necessary to know how to maintain the bladder and not to hold back too much or, conversely, to force urination. Carrying very heavy loads, and doing some sports that can cause vibrations such as jumping, running or aerobic exercise, should also be moderate, because an increase in abdominal pressure can promote incontinence.

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