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5 Things You Can Implement For Free to Improve Your OAB

It’s date night. You’ve been waiting all week to try the newest restaurant in town with your honey. The host is showing you to your seats and you become delightedly overwhelmed by the lush atmosphere and savory smells wafting from the kitchen. The pair of you chat excitedly about what you will order and what happened in your day when it hits you suddenly: you have to get to a bathroom and STAT.  

Good news? You’re not alone. Millions of men and women (33 million to be exact) deal with an Overactive Bladder (OAB) yet most of us are too embarrassed to bring it up. Granted, it takes a lot to discuss something so personal, but the more we can speak up about it, the faster we can work through it and see lasting positive results. It’s time to start talking about OAB and what you can do this year to improve it for good. Let’s dig in, shall we? 

 

The Urology Care Foundation indicates that the term Overactive Bladder refers to “three main symptoms: urgency, incontinence, and frequency.” Here are 5 urologist recommended ways you can help improve your OAB for free. 

  1. Get Active. Increased daily physical activity can help improve OAB symptoms and your overall health as well. In fact, there are 7 common conditions linked to obesity in urology, one of which, you guessed it, is overactive bladder. Our own Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson of Bluewater Urology Associates attests, “Even a slight weight loss can help to alleviate OAB symptoms.” Further, a recent study states that “women who lost about two percent of their body weight, (about three pounds on average for the women in the research project), were able to reduce their incontinence episodes by 28 percent.” Pro Tip: One of the most effective, least intensive modes of activity that is accessible (and free) to most people is walking. Just another great reason to enjoy the great outdoors while whittling your waistline.
  2. Watch What You Eat. Not in a, “you need to lose weight” kind of way. We’re talking about being mindful of the foods and beverages you consume that could result in a flare up for your OAB symptoms. These potential consumable hazards to be cautious of include: spicy foods, acidic foods such as those with tomatoes and citrus, chocolate (I know this is a tough one!), and alcohol, caffeine (think sodas, coffee and teas), and artificial sweeteners. The good news is that many people feel better simply by changing what they eat and drink and find their bladder much less bothered. Pro Tip: You can try removing these out of your diet, then add them back one at a time. Once you learn which foods and drinks make your symptoms worse, you can avoid them. Check out our Blog Post here on delicious, nutritious bladder soothing recipes you can try tonight!   
  3. Keep a Journal. Otherwise known as a bladder diary in the world of urology, simply writing down when you take trips to the loo is a proven way to help you gain a better understanding of your OAB. For example, you may discover what’s triggering your symptoms in terms of what you are eating or drinking (as mentioned above), or you may realize that you’re not making enough time in general to let yourself relax and use the restroom. This leads nicely into the next pointer: using valuable voiding practices.
  4. Implement 3 Valuable Voiding Practices. The triumphant voiding trifecta is made up of timed urination, double voiding, and delayed voiding. Timed voiding involves following a certain schedule for when you go to the bathroom, (i.e.,every two or four hours), double voiding is emptying your bladder twice when using the restroom, (so let’s say you finish in the bathroom, before you get up, you try to relax, and empty your bladder again), and delayed voiding means waiting to go to the bathroom when you get the “urge” to go. Talk to your urologist about which valuable voiding practice may be the best fit for your unique situation.
  5. Exercise Your Pelvic Floor. The pelvic floor like any other muscle group takes effort to strengthen. There are a series of exercises that can be utilized by both men and women, however, to do just that and in so doing, will help provide better bladder control thus decreasing your pesky OAB symptoms and bonus, will also increase sexual satisfaction. For more information on Kegel Exercises, check out our blog post on the subject here .

 

Sources: 

Bluewater Urology

The American Urological Association

Urology Care Foundation

Photo Credit: Halfpoint via iStock

Author
Lauren Rogers

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