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What lifestyle changes can you do to reduce urge incontinence symptoms?

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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.

SOURCES:

National Kidney and Urologic Information Clearinghouse: “Urinary Incontinence in Women” and “Kegel Exercise Tips.”

Kids Health: “Caffeine.”

National Toxicology Program: "Caffeine."

Kevin Stepp, MD, director of urogynecology and minimally invasive gynecology surgery, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, NC.

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts: “The Best Ways to Treat Overactive Bladder.”

Urology Health: “Adult Conditions: Overactive Bladder.”

Gregory A. Kitagawa, assistant professor, department of reproductive biology, Case Western Reserve University; ob-gyn, MetroHealth Medical Center; Cleveland.

National Association for Incontinence: “Diet and Daily Habits: Can This Affect Your Bladder or Bowel Control?”

University of Alabama Birmingham Medicine: “What Foods Make You Have to ‘Go?’”

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 12, 2017

SOURCES:

National Kidney and Urologic Information Clearinghouse: “Urinary Incontinence in Women” and “Kegel Exercise Tips.”

Kids Health: “Caffeine.”

National Toxicology Program: "Caffeine."

Kevin Stepp, MD, director of urogynecology and minimally invasive gynecology surgery, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, NC.

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts: “The Best Ways to Treat Overactive Bladder.”

Urology Health: “Adult Conditions: Overactive Bladder.”

Gregory A. Kitagawa, assistant professor, department of reproductive biology, Case Western Reserve University; ob-gyn, MetroHealth Medical Center; Cleveland.

National Association for Incontinence: “Diet and Daily Habits: Can This Affect Your Bladder or Bowel Control?”

University of Alabama Birmingham Medicine: “What Foods Make You Have to ‘Go?’”

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 12, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What foods should you cut back on to reduce urge incontinence symptoms?

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