Sometimes it happens through a forceful sneeze or cough. Or, maybe you’ve had a few drinks with friends and notice the embarrassing occurrence?
Maybe you’ve begun to notice it more and more frequently, and you’re just trying to ignore the problem altogether?
What am I referring to? The often embarrassing occurrence of urine leakage!
If you’ve experienced or are continually experiencing urinary incontinence, you certainly aren’t alone.
More than 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence!
So, if it’s that common, what causes it? And, more importantly, how can you prevent it?
We’ll discuss its causes, some ways to prevent it…and, you might even be surprised to find you’re actually making some common mistakes that are making matters worse!
What Causes Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence, or urine leaking, is caused by a loss of control in your bladder.
There are basically three causes of urinary incontinence, one involves muscles, another involves nerves, and the other cause is rooted in lifestyle.
While made in the kidneys, your bladder is basically the storage unit for urine. When you need to urinate, muscles within your bladder tighten.
While those muscles tighten, sphincter muscles around your urethra relax to allow the urine to leave your body.
If your bladder muscles tighten, but those sphincter muscles aren’t strong enough to keep the urethra closed, this causes an overly strong urge to pee that your body may not be able to control.
Another cause of urine leakage involves nerves.
If the nerves to the muscles in your bladder or the sphincter surrounding your urethra are damaged, those muscles are then unable to function properly.
If the muscles there can’t tighten, you experience urine leakage, and if they can’t loosen, you become unable to release urine at that time. This then increases the likelihood of leakage at other times.
Some common everyday parts of your life may also cause urinary incontinence.
What you eat or drink (or medications) can work as a diuretic which increases the amount of urine you produce and can also stimulate your bladder.
Spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, drinks containing carbonation, chocolate, and some blood pressure medications can all cause urinary incontinence.
Genetics, obesity, age, and smoking can all be contributing factors in urinary incontinence as well.
And, believe it or not, loss of bladder control is actually a common problem.
Though women experience it almost twice as often as men, both can struggle with this issue.
Common causes of urinary incontinence include:
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Frequent UTIs, and urinary tract diseases
- Poor kidney function
- Various medications
- Various foods or drinks
- High intake of fluids
You can experience urinary incontinence due to physical stress, urgency (sometimes referred to as overactive bladder), an inability to fully empty your bladder, or a mixture of these things.
Physical stress, like exercise, heavy lifting, or even coughing, sneezing, and laughing, can put pressure on your bladder to cause leakage.
An increase in urgency is oftentimes a result of a specific problem such as an infection or even a disease or more serious medical condition, though it can be rooted in less serious conditions as well.
And, it probably goes without saying, but if you are unable to void your bladder when urinating, it’s then not uncommon for the leftover urine to later leak out.
So, how can you stop this embarrassing occurrence?
How To Stop Urinary Incontinence
There are some things that are within your control when it comes to preventing urine leakage.
For instance, you can do pelvic floor exercises (kegels), maintain a healthy body weight, eat more fiber, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and quit or don’t start smoking to aid in prevention.
But, there may also be some common mistakes that you may be making that can exacerbate this embarrassing issue.
1- Ignoring Common Bladder Irritants
There are some classic bladder no-no’s when it comes to the foods and drinks we consume.
Unfortunately, a common mistake people make when it comes to urine leakage is to ignore what may be causing the issue in the first place.
Know these common bladder irritants, and avoid them if you are experiencing urinary incontinence.
- Carbonated beverages
- Foods and drinks containing corn syrup
- Citrus fruits
- Artificial sweeteners
- Spicy foods
And, some lesser known foods/drinks can also irritate your bladder and may be causing embarrassing urine leakage:
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
- Raw onions
- Some condiments (soy sauce, mayo, ketchup)
- Creamy cheeses
- Processed foods
There are a lot of issues or problems that we can experience concerning our bodies that are rooted in our diet, and urinary leakage is no different.
Know the common (and less common) irritants and don’t ignore their possible role in the health of your bladder.
2- Mind Over Matter
When urinary leakage becomes common, this problem no longer only concerns your bladder but occupies your mind as well.
And, you could actually be making the mistake of creating urgency or even “urge incontinence” in your efforts to combat the issue.
If you experience urinary leakage, chances are you make the common mistake of heading to the bathroom “just in case” thinking it will help avoid such leakage.
The problem here is that you are essentially training your brain to associate certain functions with needing to void your bladder.
Ever feel like you have to pee just because you’ve left your house and sat down in your car? You then try to urinate and realize you don’t have to go.
Chances are you’ve just trained your brain over the years through those frequent “maybe I should try” bathroom stops before leaving the house to think that doing that exact action means it’s time to pee.
You could be training your bladder to actually hold less urine as well.
Perhaps you’ve heard or even said, “I’ve just got a small bladder.” Actually, you’ve just trained your bladder to hold less urine.
And, this creates unwanted problems with urgency.
3- Fluid Intake Reduction
I get it. You’re embarrassed or frustrated by the leakage, so you begin to drink less in an effort to produce less urine and hopefully avoid the chance of urinary incontinence.
The problem with that is you’ll inevitably become dehydrated. And, overall, the urine that is in your bladder becomes more highly concentrated.
You can tell if your urine is concentrated by its color. If your pee is dark or orange in color, not only is this a tell-tale sign of dehydration, but this means your urine is highly concentrated.
Concentrated urine causes irritation to your bladder. And, this not only causes pain and infection, but it will also counteract your efforts to stop urine leakage as it increases urgency as well.
So, if you are experiencing embarrassing urine leakage:
- Remember that you’re not alone!
- You can help prevent incontinence by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, losing weight, and quitting smoking.
- You can help to avoid such occurrences by eliminating common bladder irritants from your diet.
- Avoid “training” your brain to increase unwanted urgency.
- Don’t stop hydrating!
Stretch THIS muscle to stop embarrassing “pee leaks”
My good friend Alex was devastated the day her mother nearly died.
But she never could have guessed that battling this traumatic experience would cause her mom to suffer from humiliating “pee leaks” for years.
Her mom felt like she wasn’t in control of her body anymore.
She was ashamed.
And embarrassed to be a woman.
Alex’s strong confident mother was now struggling to even want to leave the house.
And Alex was heartbroken.
That’s when she decided something had to change…
And she dedicated her life to finding a solution.
But she never would have guessed her search to help her mom would lead her to discover the shocking secret that causes most women to suffer from involuntary leakage…
And a strange upper body stretch that would not only help her mom, but thousands of women around the world to stop peeing their pants.