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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

Urge Incontinence: Tips for Daily Life

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Lifestyle Changes for Bladder Health

Tension, diet, and being overweight can all contribute to urinary incontinence. The good news is that you can do something about all three:

  • Eat more vegetables and fiber. Fiber helps you avoid constipation, which may help reduce pressure on your bladder.
  • Reduce tension. Tense situations can make you to feel as if you need to pee. Deep breathing exercises are one of the tools that can ease tension.
  • Exercise. If you're overweight, losing weight will keep extra pounds from adding to the pressure on your bladder. Exercise may aggravate stress incontinence, though.
  • When you need to go, then go. Holding back too much can create other problems. For example, teachers and nurses may have bladder problems because they wait too long between bathroom breaks.
  • Use good posture when you urinate. Sit back on the toilet. Don’t lean forward, since this may put unwanted stress on the urethra and bladder.

OAB and Your Diet

In addition to cutting down or eliminating alcohol and caffeine drinks, limiting other foods or beverages may help OAB. Try cutting back on: 

  • Acidic foods and beverages, such as tomatoes, pineapple, and citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes
  • Salty foods, which can make you thirstier and hence, lead to drinking more liquids
  • Spicy foods, such as chilies, which can irritate the bladder
  • Carbonated beverages, such as sodas or seltzers

Though urge incontinence is uncomfortable, it's also very treatable. Changes in your lifestyle and habits can play a part in treating it.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on July 16, 2013
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