By Myke Thomas
Careful What You Eat
Certain foods can trigger your need to urinate. Pay attention to what you eat and notice if a specific food, or food category, is sending you to the bathroom every time. Common trigger foods are chocolate, fruits, and spicy foods.
Drinks with caffeine can bring on that inconvenient and sudden need to pee. Coffee and tea are the obvious culprits, as well as soda. Artificial sweeteners can also have the same effect, so unfortunately you will not be better off drinking diet soda or fruit juice.
Yes, alcohol also stimulates the bladder, sending you back to the toilet. Alcohol also impairs your judgement, so it’s doubly dangerous. The best tactic for all your liquid intake is to stick to water. It’s better for your bladder, and better for your health overall.
Have a Plan
Don’t miss a chance to use the bathroom. Anytime you leave a building, stop by the restrooms on the way out and you’ll be much more comfortable getting to your next destination. If you are going on a long trip, or a short trip to somewhere new, plan ahead. There are multiple websites and smartphone apps that will help you find all the nearby bathrooms.
Keep a Schedule
You may have heard the very common sleep advice to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. That strategy works for other biological functions as well. Visit the bathroom on a regular and consistent schedule, and your body will be less likely to surprise you with sudden needs to pee.
Take a Seat
Sometimes all the planning in the world can’t prevent an attack. If you get hit with a sudden urge to pee, sit down and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles about five times. Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones that you would use to stop peeing, so you’ll know exactly which ones to squeeze in the moment! This action should give you some temporarily relief and let you get to the bathroom.
Just like any other muscle, you can train those Pelvic Floor Muscles to be stronger. Use three positions: lying down, sitting, and standing. Each day, practice squeezing those muscles from all three positions. Split up your “workouts,” so that you are spreading them out over the day, don’t do them all in one fell swoop.
Incontinence can be inconvenient, but there is no need for it to ruin your lifestyle. Be mindful of what you eat and drink, plan ahead, and work on those muscles, and you can control your trips to the bathroom, and control your life.