Lifestyle changes

There are a number of simple changes you can make to your lifestyle to ensure that your bladder and bowel are as healthy as possible.

Who is it for?

What does it involve?

There are a number of simple changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle in order to ensure that your bladder and bowel are as healthy as possible. Take a look at the two infographics below to find out more:

Bladder health: 

Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bladder Incontinence 1
Limit your intake of caffeine, artificial sweeteners, fizzy drinks, juices and alcohol, as these can irritate the bladder, and drink just the right amount of fluid each day - that’s 6-8 glasses!
Try to go to the toilet every 3-4 hours, including just before going to bed.
Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bladder Incontinence 3
Avoid putting extra pressure on the bladder by maintaining a healthy weight, and quit smoking, as nicotine is thought to have a negative effect on the muscles of the bladder wall.
Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bladder Incontinence 4
Exercise regularly (try to do some light exercise every day of the week).

Bowel health:

Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bowel Incontinence 1
Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners, as these can irritate the bowel, and drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bowel Incontinence 2
Avoid very spicy or greasy foods, and choose foods that are high in fibre, such as fruits and vegetables.
Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bowel Incontinence 3
Eat less and more often (smaller meals are easier to digest).
Support_In_Continence_Infographics_Bowel Incontinence 4
Get moving! Exercise can help keep your bowel healthy.

How can I find out more?

Your usual doctor should be able to give you advice on how to make small changes to your diet and lifestyle. They may also advise you to visit a dietician or nutritionist, who can help create a programme tailored to your individual needs.

If you are worried that your diet is making your incontinence worse, you can find further tips and information here

If you are worried about exercising with incontinence, you can find further tips and information here.

References:

Buckley BS, Lapitan MCM. Prevalence of urinary incontinence in men, women, and children—current evidence: findings of the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence. Urology. 2010;76(2):265–270.

Gordon B, Shorter B, Isoldi KK, Moldwin RM. Obesity with comorbid stress urinary incontinence in women: a narrative review to inform dietetics practice. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017;117(6):889–907.