Incontinence is defined as the involuntary leakage of urine (wee), feces (poo), or both. Accidental bladder and bowel leakage affects over four million Australians. Incontinence can affect men and women of any age, but it is more common in the elderly.
Incontinence can be avoided in many cases.
Urinating between four and six times per day, and once (or not at all) during the night, urine that is usually pale yellow – dark yellow or brown urine may indicate that you are not drinking enough (dehydration)
producing bowel motions (poo) between three times a day and three times a week having bowel motions that are soft and easy to pass \snot having any accidental leaks.
Symptoms of a problem with the bladder and bowels
Any of the following symptoms may indicate a bladder or bowel problem:
accidental leakage of urine or faeces
It is critical to avoid urinary and fecal incontinence by doing the following:
consume plenty of fluids
Eat a high-fiber diet, exercise regularly, practice good toilet habits, and make healthy lifestyle choices.
Drinking fluids aids in the prevention of incontinence.
Constipation or bladder irritation can result from dehydration. To avoid dehydration:
Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, drink up to two litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid (preferably water) per day.
Water is the best fluid for preventing dehydration, but fruit juice, tea, coffee, milk, or soup can also be hydrating. Limit your daily intake of carbonated beverages, alcohol, tea, and coffee because they can irritate your bladder.
The color of your urine can indicate whether or not you are drinking enough fluid. Your urine should be pale yellow if you are well hydrated (except for the first urine passed of the day, which is often more concentrated). Urine that is dark yellow in color may indicate a lack of fluid. Keep in mind that some medications, vitamins, and foods can alter the color of your urine.
A high-fiber diet can help prevent incontinence.
It is critical to eat well in order to keep your bowels healthy and regular. Fibre-rich foods should be included in your diet. Because dietary fibre is not digested, it adds bulk to the stools (poo), which is essential for keeping things moving and avoiding constipation. Chronic constipation caused by a poor diet can lead to faecal incontinence.
Here are some ideas for increasing your fiber intake:
Instead of highly processed or refined foods, consume a variety of wholegrain cereals (such as porridge, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread, or pulses such as lentils and beans).
Every day, eat at least two pieces of fruit and five servings of vegetables.
Every day, aim for 25-30 g of fiber. A bowl of muesli contains approximately 8 g of fibre, while an apple (with skin) contains slightly more than 3 g.
Consume up to two liters of fluid per day (dietary fibre needs water in order to plump up the stool).
Physical activity aids in the prevention of incontinence.
Physical activity helps to prevent constipation by stimulating bowel muscle activity (peristalsis).
Exercise also aids in the maintenance of a healthy body weight, reducing pressure on the pelvic floor – the sling of muscle directly responsible for bladder and bowel control.
Physical activity suggestions include:
You don’t have to spend money on an expensive activity; a brisk 30-minute walk every day is free and beneficial to your overall health.
Choose something enjoyable – if you enjoy the activity, you are more likely to stick to a regular exercise routine.
Obesity, pregnancy, childbirth, regular heavy lifting, high impact exercise, and a chronic cough can all weaken the pelvic floor muscles, but you can strengthen them with specific exercises.
Before beginning any physical activity, consult your doctor and complete an Adult Pre-Exercise Screening Questionnaire.
Good bowel habits aid in the prevention of incontinence.
Only urinate when your bladder is completely full. If you make it a habit to urinate ‘just in case,’ your bladder will learn to signal the urge to urinate even when it isn’t full.
Take your time using the restroom. Allow urine to flow at its own pace (do not push urine out with your pelvic floor).
When you feel the need to pass a bowel movement, go to the toilet. Constipation can result from holding on.
Allow yourself enough time to pass a bowel motion.
On the toilet, maintain proper posture (it can help you pass a bowel motion). Place your feet on a footstool, your elbows on your knees, your stomach out, and your back straight.
Treat laxatives as a temporary solution and focus on treating constipation through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
A healthy lifestyle can help you avoid incontinence.
Maintain a healthy weight – excess body fat strains the pelvic floor muscles. Lose weight gradually and sensibly by improving your eating habits and getting regular exercise. For more information, consult your doctor.
Seek medical advice; avoid self-diagnosis. Constipation can be a sign of an underlying health problem. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit. A smoker’s chronic cough weakens the pelvic floor and contributes to the development of incontinence.
Where to Look for Help
A pelvic floor or continence physiotherapist