As embarrassing as it can be, loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) is common. It may start with occasional urine leakage when you sneeze, cough, or laugh — but can escalate to having the urge to urinate so strong and sudden that you can’t make it to the bathroom in time.
For many men and women experiencing urinary incontinence, simple dietary and lifestyle changes can treat the symptoms. If home remedies aren’t working, Abraham Lincoln Woods III, MD, at the Center for Urology can help.
Symptoms of urinary incontinence
Over 25 million adults experience urinary incontinence. It can occur at any age and in both men and women, but it is most common in women over 50. Types and symptoms of urinary incontinence include:
Some foods, medications, and beverages act as diuretics that stimulate the bladder and increase the volume of urine, including alcohol, caffeine, soda, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, large doses of vitamin C, heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives, and muscle relaxants.
A physical or mental impairment prevents you from getting to the toilet on time, such as severe arthritis or physical disability.
An intense and sudden need to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Many people with urge incontinence also have the need to go frequently, including during the night.
A common form of incontinence, stress incontinence is caused by something placing pressure on the bladder, like coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercising, or lifting heavy objects.
Your bladder doesn’t empty completely when you urinate, causing a frequent or constant drip of urine and the inability to get to the bathroom in time.
How to prevent urinary incontinence
Prevention is not always possible, but there are several things you can do to reduce your risk or reduce symptoms of some types of urinary incontinence:
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid bladder stimulants, such as alcohol, caffeine, and acidic foods
- Exercise your pelvic floor muscles
- Quit smoking
Because constipation is a cause of urinary incontinence you can also increase your fiber intake to reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence.
If these at-home prevention strategies aren’t offering relief of your symptoms, visit the Urology Center for diagnosis and treatment options. Urinary incontinence is not just a medical problem, it can also affect your psychological and emotional well-being and your social life.
How to eliminate urinary incontinence
Dr. Woods uses the Emsella® Chair treatment for male and female urinary incontinence. It’s an FDA-approved, nonsurgical, and non-pharmaceutical treatment option to relieve overactive bladder and stress urinary incontinence.
You sit on the EMSella chair for 30 minutes, fully clothed, and the chair produces the same result in your body as doing 10,000 kegel exercises. The chair delivers high-intensity electromagnetic technology to stimulate the deep muscles of the pelvic floor. The muscles contract and get stronger, which relieves the symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Most people need six treatments total, and Dr. Woods recommends two sessions per week for three weeks.
Find out if the Emsella Chair treatment is right for you. Call the practice or book a consultation online.