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6 Tricks for Taming Your Overactive Bladder (OAB)

It’s game day. All of your friends and family have gathered to cheer on your team. Chili simmers in the background as you make your way to your favorite seat. Just when your team gets the ball, your Overactive Bladder strikes again, and you have to excuse yourself for what feels like the millionth time to run to the restroom, inevitably missing the play of the game.

Though there is never a good time to experience an Overactive Bladder (OAB), certain times are definitely worse than others, like for example during a yoga class or at your kid’s school play. Fortunately, when it comes to taming your OAB symptoms, there are many behavioral therapy steps you can take and lifestyle changes you can make to keep calm, stay dry and give yourself relief.

  1. Limit Trigger Foods: Do you ever feel that certain foods trigger your OAB? You may be right. Experts say that some foods and beverages like caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, acidic fruits, carbonated beverages and spicy foods could actually be triggering your overactive bladder symptoms. Easy Tip: to find out which one of your favorite foods from the list above may be setting off your symptoms, try restricting one per week. If symptoms improve, you may have identified the culprit. Work on eliminating or limiting that food from your daily routine to keep urges and leaks at bay.
  1. Get Regular: Let’s face it. Being constipated is the worst. And, if you are already suffering from OAB, it’s doubly aggravating. A full colon puts extra pressure on your bladder making your already there symptoms even more apparent. The good news is that there are things you can do to promote healthy (and regular) elimination and say buy-bye to constipation. Daily exercise, lots of water and choosing foods high in fiber like beans, oatmeal and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies will get things moving for you. In some instances, fiber supplementation may be recommended by your healthcare provider for an extra added boost.
  1. Shed Excess Pounds: “Even a slight weight loss can help to alleviate OAB symptoms,” attest Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson of Bluewater Urology and Associates. According to a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, women who lost about 2 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. Hello workouts, goodbye stubborn poundange and OAB. Ask your physician for a recommended exercise and diet plan.
  1. Engage Your Floor: Understanding the pelvic floor muscle system and how it plays into OAB can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. While strengthening your pelvic floor can provide better bladder control, overly tensing them throughout the day “can contribute as much as weak muscles to urgency and even leakage,” says Jessica Reale, a pelvic floor physical therapist and a Board-Certified Women’s Health Specialist. Talk to your physician to learn more about activating your pelvic floor for greater OAB symptom relief or check out our blog post on the subject here
  1. Time Your Tinkles: Get relief from your OAB symptoms by timing your tinkles. Scheduling bathroom breaks every two hours instead of waiting for the urge to strike can help prevent accidents. Talk to your doctor about “timed voiding” which trains your bladder to go at the same time daily.
  1. Keep The Fluids Flowing: Even if you’re struggling with incontinence, don’t restrict your fluids. Doing so can lead to dehydration, constipation and more concentrated urine. These increase your risk for bladder irritation and can lead to more intense OAB symptoms so make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day.

Have you done your 6 today?

Lauren Rogers

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