Incontinence and the Winter Holidays

Incontinence and the Winter Holidays

Why is incontinence worse during the winter months?

Urinary incontinence can be worse during winter for several reasons:

  1. Cooler atmosphere: According to Aleece Fosnight, MSPS, PA-C, medical adviser to Aeroflow Urology, cold weather also promotes a biological mechanism known as cold-induced diuresis. This is a heat-saving procedure that your body undertakes when it is chilly in order to avoid hypothermia. This is accomplished by pulling blood away from the skin and extremities and concentrating it around your vital organs. According to Fosnight, the body accomplishes this to conserve current bodily heat and keep internal organs warm. The more blood the kidneys filter, the more frequently you need to pee.
  2. Less sweat: When it’s cold out, your body produces less sweat, but it still needs to eliminate fluid.  This results in excess fluid in the bladder, generating the need to urinate.
  3. Decreased fluids: If you’re spending more time outside participating in winter activities or sports, it can be tempting to reduce your intake of fluids. However, without appropriate hydration, your bladder can feel irritated and make your symptoms worse. 

How can I reduce the risk of an accident?

  1. Avoid certain beverages: Coffee- Even decaf coffee can irritate the bladder, so avoid it entirely. A non-citrus herbal tea is a better substitute for coffee. There are lower-acid varieties of coffee available, but caffeine may still cause irritation. Alcohol - Regardless of the type (beer, wine, or spirits), alcohol can cause bladder irritation, particularly if carbonation is present. The best substitute is not nearly as exciting as alcohol, but water is the most ideal alternative. Water is a much safer option, and it should be consumed in large quantities. While this may influence how frequently one needs to use the restroom, drinking too little can actually irritate the bladder.
  2. Take regular bathroom breaks: it’s easiest to make and follow a set schedule in order to manage your incontinence. Try emptying your bladder on a schedule that works for you, even if you don’t have the urge to use the toilet.
  3. See your doctor: Although lifestyle changes can help, visiting the doctor is the best way to handle incontinence. They can give you specialized instructions and methods on how to manage your bladder control. 
  4. Be prepared: You can always prepare for emergency situations by stocking up on the supplies you need. Make sure to always have an emergency incontinence kit on your hands. This can include absorbent products (diapers, underwear, pads, or male guards), wipes, skincare products, and underpads.

If you have questions or need help making the right choice for your or your loved one's needs, our customer care team would be happy to help. 

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