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Bottoms Up: How to Stay Hydrated with Incontinence for Better Bladder Health

Dec 4, 2023 9:25:40 AM / by ABC Medical

ABC Medical

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If you have urinary incontinence, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. Staying ahead of urges, accidents, and when to self-cath can be a lot. You might be tempted to drink less water to help cut down your to-do list, but that approach can cause more problems than it solves.

The human body is made up of at least 60% water. Medical research has shown that 17% to 28% of older adults in the U.S. are dehydrated, meaning their body doesn’t have enough water to function normally.

Dehydration can be caused by illness, medical conditions, medications, and not drinking enough water each day. It can cause or worsen health issues, including:

  • Constipation
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infections

Some of these, like constipation, can make incontinence worse. For example, full bowels can put pressure on the bladder, increasing frequency of urination and the need to cath. The best way to avoid these conditions is to stay adequately hydrated—knowing the early signs of dehydration can help you know if you or a loved one need to drink more water.

How Do I Know if I Am Dehydrated?

Urine color is one of the easiest ways to know if you are dehydrated. Urine that is dark is more concentrated, with too little water content. Concentrated urine can irritate the bladder, worsening incontinence. Aim for urine that is pale yellow, close to the color of lemonade.

Other symptoms of dehydration in adults include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Infrequent urination
  • Thirst

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Research from The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 125 ounces per day for men and 91 ounces per day for women. But that may be too much or too little water for you, depending upon several factors, such as:

  • Activity: The body loses water through sweat during exercise.
  • Age: When a person gets older, their sense of thirst can decline.
  • Health and medications: Some medications, called diuretics, cause your body to lose water. Others, including pain medications, antidepressants, and anti-inflammatories can lead to water retention.
  • Temperatures: When it’s hot outside, you may feel thirstier sooner and need to drink more water.

Speak with your doctor to determine how much water you need each day. If your doctor recommends drinking more water, it may be time to switch up your routines.

How Can I Increase My Water Intake?

If you find it difficult to consume the recommended amount of water each day, consider these helpful tips to help you stay hydrated:

  • At mealtime, serve water.
  • Choose water instead of sugar-based drinks.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Small amounts are easier for the bladder to handle.
  • Eat foods that have high water content, such as strawberries, cantaloupes, lettuce, spinach, yogurt, pears, apples, and carrots.
  • Keep a water bottle with you and refill it all day long.
  • Change up the taste of your water by adding a wedge of lemon or lime.
  • When eating out, order water. Stay hydrated and save money!

Avoiding water to reduce the number of times you cath can make dehydration worse. To get a better sense of timing, you can track your fluid intake. A healthy bladder holds 16 ounces of liquid, and what goes in must come out.

Water is the human body’s essential element. Dehydration can cause and worsen several health problems, including incontinence. Stay hydrated to make sure your bladder and overall health are at their best.

Experts are standing by to support all your supply needs. Fill out the form or call 866-897-8588.

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice, please speak with your healthcare provider.


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