Continence, or the ability to control one’s bladder and bowel movements, is an important part of everyone’s life. It is especially important for people with physical or mental disabilities, who may not be able to control their functions as easily as others. Over the years, many techniques have been developed to improve continence, ranging from medications to specialized forms of exercise. This article will discuss the various ways in which continence can be improved, including lifestyle changes, medications, and exercises.
Lifestyle changes are important for improving continence. Dietary modifications, such as avoiding spicy or acidic foods, can be beneficial for reducing bladder irritability (Liang et al., 2020). Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeine can help to minimize bladder and bowel spasms (Liang et al., 2020). Regular toileting habits are also important for improving continence. Scheduling regular toilet visits can help to reduce the likelihood of accidents (Liang et al., 2020).
Medications are also used to improve continence. Alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin, can help to reduce bladder irritability (Chen et al., 2021). Antispasmodics, such as oxybutynin, can be used to reduce bladder and bowel spasms (Chen et al., 2021). Antidiarrheal medications can also be used to reduce the frequency of bowel movements (Chen et al., 2021).
Exercises can also help to improve continence. Pelvic floor muscle exercises, such as Kegel exercises, are used to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can help to reduce urinary leakage (Finken et al., 2020). Postural exercises, such as the curl-up, can also help to reduce urinary and fecal incontinence (Finken et al., 2020).
In conclusion, continence can be improved through lifestyle changes, medications, and exercises. Dietary modifications, such as avoiding spicy or acidic foods, can help to reduce bladder irritability. Alpha-blockers and antispasmodics can be used to reduce bladder and bowel spasms. Pelvic floor muscle exercises and postural exercises can help to reduce urinary and fecal incontinence.
Chen, Y. C., Wu, C. C., Hung, S. M., & Chen, H. Y. (2021). Pharmacologic interventions for urinary incontinence in adults: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. International Journal of Urology, 28(1), 64–74. https://doi.org/10.1111/iju.14477
Finken, M. J., de Bie, R. A., Roovers, J. P., & van Kessel, K. E. (2020). The effectiveness of physical therapies for urinary and faecal incontinence in adults: A systematic review. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 39(3), 843–859. https://doi.org/10.1002/nau.24044
Liang, C. H., Hung, Y. C., Huang, W. F., Lin, C. L., Lin, C. C., & Hsu, C. C. (2020). The effect of lifestyle modifications on the improvement of urinary incontinence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Urogynecology Journal, 31(10), 2063–2073. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04042-6