I remember riding my bike when I was twelve years old with my brother and some other boys in the neighborhood. I was such a tomboy and loved every minute of it. Well, maybe not every minute.
We were riding up the street in the schoolyard, about four of us. Life was carefree and so much fun. I remember laughing about something one of the boys said, and that is when it happened; I wet my pants just a little. Talk about embarrassing! Although no one knew, I have never forgotten it.
Giggle incontinence, a term used to describe children who wet their pants when laughing, is more common than most people are aware. It occurs more frequently in girls than in boys. And, unfortunately, it can lead to bladder leakage in the teen years and far beyond. But, why does it happen to some women and not to others?
As a licensed women’s health physical therapist, I now understand. When I discuss the reason with my clients, I explain it in simple terms. “Do you know how some people have better hearts or veins than other people? Well, they can also have better bladders.” Everyone is different, and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. One of my weaknesses led to giggle incontinence.
As I grew, my bladder issues resolved. Although I was lucky, this is not always the case. One out of every three women will experience this problem. I have treated women, men, and children for bladder issues and urinary incontinence over the past 15 years. There is not much I haven’t heard or seen. And, it is quite common to hear many women who have bladder leakage as an adult can remember having had it as a child or teenager.
Remembering how I felt at 12 years old when I had my bladder accident was a large reason I chose the field I am in today. The past 15 years has taught me that this can be fixed, regardless how long you have had your symptoms. And, it can happen fast!
Here are three of the practices that will not only reduce but also can eliminate your symptoms for good. The solution is counter-intuitive; so don’t be afraid to try:
1. Water is your bladder’s best friend. Do not stop drinking it or your symptoms will get worse. Water helps dilute the concentration of urine. The more concentrated your urine, the worse your symptoms will be. Drink eight ounces of water every two hours from the time you wake in the morning until at least two hours before bedtime.
2. Many things can irritate your bladder. An irritated bladder will give you symptoms such as peeing frequently, peeing urgently, peeing in the middle of the night, and peeing before you reach the bathroom. The worse irritants are caffeine, carbonation, alcohol, and acid juices or drinks. You must limit these daily. There are many other options to replace these irritating liquids.
3. Do not pee ‘just in case’. Although it sounds like it will prevent you from leaking, it will not! Remember, counter-intuitive! The more frequently you pee during the day, the more frequently you will have to get up to pee at night. And, some women end up waking four to six times a night to pee because of peeing ‘just in case’. Do not make this mistake.
Although there are other practices to take into consideration, the above three will make a world of difference. And, you will see results fast!
Implement the above practices and you will no longer have to struggle. You can overcome this awful problem. It does not have to rule your life. Bladder issues are embarrassing and life altering. But, these issues can be fixed no matter how long they have been plaguing you. I know this for a fact.
Try these practices and find freedom. Life is too short to wait.
Leslie M. Parker