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Multiple Sclerosis and Bladder Control Problems

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Dietary Changes to Help Bladder Control Problems

Dietary changes you can try that may help to reduce urinary control problems include:

  • Reduce the amount of fluids you drink if you drink more than 2 quarts (1.89 L) daily
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda, from your diet
  • Do not drink more than one alcoholic drink per day

Behavioral Changes for Bladder Control Problems

Behavioral treatments used to treat bladder control problems include:

Bladder training: Bladder training (also called bladder retraining) is used to treat motor urge incontinence (uncontrollable bladder contractions that force urine out of the bladder). Bladder training attempts to increase the time interval between urinating. A voiding schedule is established, and the person is trained to resist the first urge to urinate and refrain from urinating until the scheduled time. The interval between scheduled bathroom visits is increased until the person can refrain from urinating (remain continent) for several hours.

Timed voiding: Timed voiding (also called habit training) is used to treat functional incontinence. Functional incontinence occurs when something makes it hard for a person to reach or use a bathroom in time to urinate -- such as a physical disability. In timed voiding, the person follows a schedule consisting of set times to urinate. The schedule is determined by the person's own habits and does not attempt to increase the time between urinating or to teach the person to resist the urge to urinate.

Prompted voiding: Prompted voiding is also used to treat functional incontinence. It trains a caregiver to prompt the incontinent person to urinate. The intention is to decrease the chance of accidents by making the person aware of the need to urinate periodically. Prompted voiding is usually used in combination with timed voiding for people who are insufficiently aware of their bodily functions.

Kegel exercises: These exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which play a role in bladder control. Your doctor can specify how to perform this exercise.

Absorbent Devices for Bladder Control Problems

Absorbent products are items that absorb urine, such as mini-shields that attach to underwear or plastic-backed diapers. Most commercially available items are disposable (such as Depends or Attends), although some people with urinary incontinence may use absorbent cloths that can be washed and reused.

Absorbent products may be used to manage any form of incontinence.

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