Leak proof tips to help battle incontinence
CHECK out these tips to help you laugh off incontinence and then download the loo finder app to find where your closest loo is when you are out and about.
1. Eat well
- Match your fluid intake to your needs.
- Include an adequate amount of soluble and insoluble fibre in your diet. The recommendation is 30 grams or more per day.
- More details on a healthy diet can be found at www.continence.org.au/pages/resources.html
2. Drink adequately
- Consume in your food and fluids about two and half litres per day.
- Moderate the amount of fluid dependent on your own health needs.
3. Keep active
- Minimum of 30 minutes walking per day.
- If you have poor mobility, try moving around your home instead.
4. Regular pelvic floor muscle exercises
- Details of the exercises for men and women can be found at www.continence.org.au/pages/how-do-pelvic-floor-muscles-help.html.
- These exercises are for the hold-on muscles of the bladder and bowel. They support all the internal organs. When we need to 'hold on', we contract these muscles around the bladder, vagina and bowel.
- Strong pelvic floor muscles give us control over the bladder and bowel.
5. Practise good toilet habits
- Avoid going to the toilet just in case and avoid hanging on instead of going.
- An average adult bladder will hold between 400 and 600mls so you should want to go to the toilet every four to five hours during the day.
- During the night, it can be zero to once, sometimes twice if you are over the age of 65.
- People need to sleep in their beds, not in a chair or on the couch, so your body can rest completely.
- On the toilet, if you have a squat one, great. If you don't, you can mimic it by sitting down, leaning forward, raising your heels so that you are balancing on your toes and remaining leaning forward. That action naturally alters the anatomy of the body and your stomach contents then gently put a little bit of pressure on the bladder.
- You need to relax your pelvic floor when you are on the toilet to help empty the bladder. If you don't empty your bladder it will keep building up and you could backflow up to the kidneys.
- Don't strain.
- At home, try using a small plastic stool or an old phone book to put under your feet.
Find a toilet
For more helpful hits and information, go to www.continence.org.au/pages/prevention.html or call the hotline on 1800 330 066 8am to 8pm (AEST).
After these hours -
- ACT, NSW, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia - contact the After Hours GP helpline on 1800 022 222.
- Tasmania - phone GP Assist on 1300 780 011 for access to after-hours GP phone advice.
- Queensland - phone 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).