Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Healthy lifestyle practices can ease symptoms of stress incontinence. These include:

  • Shed extra weight. If you're overweight — your body mass index (BMI) is 25 or higher — losing excess pounds can help reduce the overall pressure on your bladder and pelvic floor muscles. Moderate weight loss may markedly improve your stress incontinence. Talk to your doctor for guidance on weight loss.
  • Add fiber to your diet. If chronic constipation contributes to your urinary incontinence, keeping bowel movements soft and regular reduces the strain placed on your pelvic floor muscles. Try eating high-fiber foods — whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables — to relieve and prevent constipation.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that can irritate your bladder. If you have mixed incontinence and you know that drinking coffee or tea (regular or decaf) tends to make you urinate and leak more frequently, try eliminating that drink, especially on days you really don't want to be bothered by leakage.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking can lead to a severe chronic cough, which can aggravate the symptoms of stress incontinence. Smoking is also associated with a drop in your oxygen-carrying capacity, a factor thought to increase the risk of an overactive bladder. And smoking is associated with bladder cancer.
Sep. 16, 2014

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