Taboo topics (Incontinence)

Incontinence is one taboo topic that many face across the world, yet do not talk about. The market size has significantly gone up over years – making it a $9B industry at the onset of 2020. A Urology study at Las Vegas university says 1 in 3 women over 45 go through this. Only those who face it feel the pain. Sharing some home remedies to help!

Urinary incontinence is a common issue these days across the world. Look at your local pharmacy and the accessories they supply and the sizes. The issue that used to exist in smaller numbers a decade back seems to have significantly increased over the years.

  1. This is an issue specific to women
  2. It is related to childbirth
  3. Occurs with old age
  4. Need to live with it for the rest of your life
  5. Issue faced by only hospital patients
  6. Issue faced by those who need nursing care

Sharing what I realized over the years.

  1. Women find it uncomfortable to discuss it openly and delay talking to their physician about it
  2. Mothers, sisters and friends get to know much before doctors
  3. Emotional trauma one goes through is much higher compared to other health issues
  4. Self-confidence & self-esteem is significantly impacted
  5. Stepping out of the door needs a preparatory process and fatigue takes over
  6. 1 in 3 women over age 45 go through this (Las Vegas Urology study)
  7. Tend to have an overweight / obesity problem
  8. Do not take their meals on time
  9. Have the habit of replacing their meals with coffee / tea / other beverages
  10. Men have these issues as well
What helps?

To those who are going through Incontinence issues, you will find the below tips helpful during those times.

  1. Kegel exercises help
    • Look up the right type of exercises and tone your pelvic muscles.
    • 2-3 minutes every hour while sitting in front of your computer / TV also helps
    • Slowly increase the length and change positions
  2. Increase water intake
    • Water acts like therapy for incontinence. Increase your water intake and make it a habit.
  3. Cranberries
    • Have a handful of cranberries or a bottle of cranberry juice
    • Works like a miracle, every single time
  4. Increase fruit intake
    • Mostly fruits are known to be alkaline foods. Eating more fruits significantly helps reduce the issues
  5. Re-evaluate your meal plans and timings
    • Ensuring you plan and eat your meals on time is extremely important to create a balance
    • Avoid excessive sweet, salty, spicy food (keyword being excessive). I would not suggest to avoid these altogether – however, reduce the ones you take in higher quantities – that significantly helps
    • Eat your meals on time. Do not wait for everyone to settle down delaying your meal time by a few hours. It will only continue to impact your health
  6. Coffee lovers
    • It is okay to drink coffee – but not as a meal replacement
    • Make it a habit that for every cup of coffee, you will drink a cup of water. Helps balance!
    • For every cup of coffee, 2 cups of water or Gatorade – the issue will reduce
  7. Constipation worsens the issue
    • If you are constipated, the issue worsens.
    • If you are constipated for a few days, try to address your constipation issue, incontinence issue will resolve naturally.
  8. Brisk walking helps
    • Somehow brisk walking for 30 minutes a day – while it might sound impossible in the beginning, it does help!
    • Climbing stairs does not help as much for this issue – but brisk walking does. If you do not have a place to walk, just stand in one place and move your hands and feet in a walking posture (as if you are on a treadmill). That in itself helps!
  9. Avoid exchanging clothes
    • Exchanging clothes without washing seems to have an impact on spreading the issue to others.
    • Make it a point to wash and wear the clothes (if you plan to exchange clothes)

For those face this issue and who need that extra boost of self-confidence and self-esteem , sharing a few tips –

  1. There are many accessories in the market. Check with your local pharmacy. A $9 Billion dollar industry. Plenty of accessories are available now.
  2. Choose what you feel comfortable to wear and step out. Take a walk in the fresh air, it genuinely boosts your confidence level.
  3. Take up a job that is remote for starters. It helps boost your self-confidence that you are still capable of doing work, instead of shying away because of this issue.

While this post does not replace medical advice, please talk to your physician about your symptoms. There are many medical procedures and medications that can be prescribed as appropriate by your physician. This post is to help understand the criticality of the issue and simple ways that one can adopt their lifestyle to deal with it and live through it. Life does not have to stop because of incontinence issues.

I wrote this post for a friend upon request. If you found it helpful, do share it with your friends or colleagues who would benefit from the same. Subscribe to learningthursdays blog below.

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