When you drink the right amount each day. The key is figuring out how much you really need.
Many women who experience unwanted urine loss mistakenly drink too little, which can lead to dehydration problems. For others, the opposite may be true. Take Sylvie Light for example. She perspires a lot when she exercises. "Every morning, I filled a half-gallon jug with cold water," says the 46-year-old Tulsa, Okla. teacher, "and I made sure I drank it all by bedtime.
"I was so disciplined," she adds, "that...I drank the entire jug before I allowed myself any iced tea or soft drinks, which added even more liquid. And that doesn't count juice and hot tea for breakfast."
Light had read plenty over the years about drinking an adequate amount of water, so she thought her regimen was helping to keep her healthyasduntil the bladder spasms started. Instead of taking medications, Light solved her bladder control problem by cutting out 16 ounces of water asd about two glasses asd a day. Within a few days, her bladder spasms stopped.
Light did the right thing. "Most women I see need to make common-sense changes in their routines, more than they need meds," says Sangeeta Mahajan, M.D., director of the Women's Pelvic Medicine Center at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. Women aren't necessarily drinking too much; they're just not drinking wisely. "The biggest mistake I see isn't that patients with bladder control weakness drink too much in a day," says Dr. Mahajan. "It's that they go all day without drinking, then drink 20 or 30 ounces at night. Then they wake up; their bladders are full; there's a sudden surge of urine; and they leak on the way to the bathroom.
"If you have to get up to use the bathroom several times a night," adds Dr. Mahajan, "or if you can't make it there without 'piddling' on the way,' try cutting off the water intake at dinnertime, at least three hours before you go to bed. Then be sure you go to the bathroom again before you retire, and you should notice a difference."
What else can you do? Try these easy-to-follow tips:
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