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Urinary incontinence is quite common in older adults, as 45% of those aged 85 and older are familiar with the challenges it presents. Still, that doesn't mean that managing this condition is always straightforward or easy to discuss. And while you can easily obtain free catheter supplies online if necessary, inserting a urinary catheter won't typically be the first step when dealing with incontinence. Before you explore all of the urological supplies available to you through your medical supplier, read our helpful tips for managing (and potentially reducing) incontinence.

Make a list of symptoms
Before you schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss these issues, it may help to write down the symptoms you're experiencing. This can help inform your doctor and help you decide together on the best course of action in terms of therapies, medical supplies, or procedures you might need. Be sure to jot down how many times you use the bathroom, whether or not you experience difficulty or pain, and if you experience leaks and disruptions to your lifestyle. It's important to provide as much information to your doctor as you can so that your treatment will be an appropriate fit for your condition.

Know what to avoid
Before you resort to signing up for free catheter supplies, you may be able to make some lifestyle changes to reduce the severity of your incontinence. For example, you should eliminate caffeine, carbonation, and alcohol from your diet. You should also refrain from tobacco usage if you currently smoke. In addition, avoid foods that may create constipation issues and be sure to get plenty of fiber to alleviate bladder stress. While these changes will not completely rectify the problem, they can improve your quality of life.

Speak to a specialist
Incontinence is symptomatic of another issue, which means it's not a disease in itself. Your general physician may refer you to a specialist who can help diagnose and treat the reason for your incontinence. Depending on the source of the issue, you may need to see a urologist, a urogynecologist, or a gastroenterologist. These specialists will address your symptoms and can help you explore appropriate treatment methods pertaining to your specific condition. If you simply treat the incontinence without taking a closer look at what's causing it, the problem won't improve.

When it comes to incontinence, it's imperative to be as well-informed as possible. It may not always be easy to talk about, but your overall health and happiness depend on getting the information you need. Before you opt to get free catheter supplies online, make sure to talk extensively with your doctor and any specialist to whom they refer you. That way, you'll be secure in the knowledge that the treatment you pursue will help, rather than hinder, the issues you're experiencing.