How to Enjoy the Summer despite UI
Summer has started. This means kids are out of school, it’s getting a little warmer outside and you’re in the mood for some summer fun. If you have incontinence though, these few months can be stressful. Here are a few tips to keep calm, cool and healthy without giving up summer fun.
Map out your breaks. Taking a road trip? Going somewhere new? Scout the bathroom situation before you go. Just as you would pick a hotel before going out of town, make sure you know where the bathrooms are before you leave the house. You can usually find out by calling a restaurant or other business in the area to ask them before you go. Embarrassed? Tell them you have small children with you, or use some other excuse. If you’re high-tech, try using an app that will find the bathrooms for you.
Stay Hydrated. Make sure you are drinking enough water and avoiding dehydrating beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. You may need to drink more than usual, especially if you are outside or doing an activity that will make you sweat. Dehydration causes your urine to become concentrated and sit in your bladder longer, which may irritate your bladder, cause infections, or worsen your incontinence.
Keep eating a healthy diet. Being overweight can put unnecessary pressure on your bladder and cause or worsen urinary incontinence. Make sure you are getting a lot of fiber as well, as fiber wards against constipation, which can also put pressure on your bladder. We know you love going to your neighbors’ barbeques, but keep portion sizes reasonable and maybe consider putting your burger on a whole grain bun. And instead of beer (alcohol can increase your symptoms too), opt for a lemonade or iced tea.
Watch out for infections! Summer is the easiest time for anyone to get cystitis or other infections, but people with UI are especially at risk. So watch out and catch any infections early. The longer you wait to get them treated, the worse your symptoms will get.
Keep clean - but not too clean. Bacteria thrive in hot weather, so make sure you change any pads or products a little bit more often than usual and keep yourself clean and dry. This will help prevent rashes and sores, as well as infections. Don't go too far though. Scrubbing can cause irritated skin which makes fertile ground for bacteria. Use a soft washcloth to clean and then let yourself air dry.