How Cold Temperatures Affect Incontinence

How Cold Temperatures Affect Incontinence

Posted by Jeanne Lowry on Jan 25th 2023

How Cold Temperatures Affect Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a problem that can affect nearly anybody. It’s most common in those who are aging and women during or after pregnancy. However, those who have nerve damage, take certain medications, or have general prostate issues might also experience it.

Incontinence isn’t a consistent problem either. Sometimes, it rarely happens, while other times, it occurs much more frequently. There are many reasons why this irregularity arises in people, but many who deal with it have noticed that incontinence seems to get worse in the winter.

While there haven’t been any extensive studies that have proven this to be the case, there are some potential factors that could lead to this being accurate. In this post, we’ll go over what these underlying causes could b, so you can better understand how cold temperatures can affect your incontinence.

Reasons for the Increase

Despite the lack of definitive research, doctors and other medical professionals have created a list of potential reasons for the sudden increase in urination people experience in colder weather. Here are the main ones you should be aware of.

Your Blood Gets Colder

No matter where you live, during the winter, your body will have to deal with chillier temperatures that it’s not quite used to the rest of the year. When that happens, it might go into cold-induced diuresis, which is how it protects you from hypothermia. While this typically only occurs in extreme temperatures, your body might constrict blood flow at any time if it thinks your vital organs might be at risk.

While this is an amazing instinctual reaction for those in real danger, it can be a slight annoyance for those who aren’t. The reason for this is that the constricted blood flow will increase the amount of waste your kidney will have to remove, which will lead to more frequent urination.

You Sweat Less

On top of that, people also sweat less in the winter since it’s not nearly hot enough to do so. During this time of year, people only sweat if they stay active. Without a consistent amount of sweating throughout the day, your body will have no other way to remove excess water from your body than through urination.

You Drink Less Water

One thing many people do when it’s hot outside is sip on cold drinks to stay cool. Most of the time, that drink is water. However, when the weather starts to cool down, the need to stay hydrated also decreases. This leads to people drinking less water in general.

While this might sound like a good thing for those who experience incontinence, it can be more harmful than many people realize because dehydration could lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI). These aren’t pleasant to deal with and can increase the urge to go to the bathroom.

You Become More Sedentary

An unfortunate part of colder weather is that it tends to make people more sedentary. Being cold makes people want to cuddle up with some blankets rather than go out and do something. Even if you have the inspiration to go to the gym, bad weather could keep you from being able to make it.

While being sedentary can worsen some of the previous reasons we mentioned, this behavior can also negatively impact your food choices. Heavier meals and junk food can increase the amount of calcium your body takes in, putting additional strain on your kidneys.

You Still Do Some Strenuous Activities

Even though this time of year increases the number of people adopting a sedentary lifestyle, there are still some strenuous activities that winter brings with it. Shoveling snow off your driveway is the biggest culprit, but even fun activities like playing with your kids in the snow can be more difficult than it would seem.

While these activities are great for keeping you active, they will create more creatine and lactic acid in your body, which your kidneys will have to filter out. Once they do, you will need to urinate to remove that waste from your body.

How To Prevent This Issue

Now that you’ve seen the potential reasons cold temperatures could negatively affect your incontinence, you can understand why we need to do more research on the subject. However, until that happens, you need to deal with the increase in urination winter brings with it. Here are some tips that should help you out.

Keep Yourself Warm

The number one thing you should do is keep yourself warm. If your body is at a comfortable temperature, this will help you fight against most of the issues we went over. The key way to do it is to use your heat liberally.

Defaulting to bundling up indoors and using blankets can make you more sedentary. If the heat is high enough in your home to allow you to move around freely, you’ll be more inclined to do more activities.

Stay Active

Speaking of which, the next thing you should be sure to do in the winter is to stay active. Try to make a habit of going to the gym a certain number of times each week. If the weather is bad, don’t use it as an excuse to do nothing. Find ways to work out at home instead. Just try to avoid doing too many strenuous activities outside since that will put additional strain on your body.

Start a Bladder Journal

Something else you could try out is keeping a bladder journal. The main thing you’ll keep track of in this is how often you use the bathroom each day. Sometimes it might just feel like you’re going more often than usual when, in reality, there’s not a drastic change.

The number of trips isn’t the only thing you’ll track in this, though. Making a note of the foods you eat and activities you do will help you determine what some of the underlying causes of your increased incontinence might be.

Talk to Your Doctor

If things keep getting worse, it might be time to set up an appointment to talk with your doctor. They will be able to give you a more personalized recommendation based on your symptoms, which could end up being more detailed lifestyle suggestions or a prescription for medication. Regardless of what they recommend, you should always follow what they say over anything mentioned in this blog post.

Utilize Incontinence Products

Finally, don’t be afraid to use incontinence products if needed. Many people try their best to avoid this option due to the negative perception of public opinion. While there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to dealing with your incontinence, you can rest easy knowing that most of these products are undetectable by others. That means you can wear them without fear of someone calling you out.

If you’re also worried about going to the store to buy such products, My Care Supplies is here to help. We ship our incontinence care supplies directly to your door. Plus, we use discrete packaging, so no one will ever know what the contents of the package sitting on your doorstep are.

How Cold Temperatures Affect Incontinence