Urinary or Bowel Issues? Track Your Symptoms With a Bladder and Bowel Diary

Learn how to track your urinary and bowel habits to help manage urgency and urinary or fecal incontinence

Published Date: Apr 17, 2024
Person sitting on toilet

Urinary or Bowel Issues? Track Your Symptoms With a Bladder and Bowel Diary

Learn how to track your urinary and bowel habits to help manage urgency and urinary or fecal incontinence

Published Date: Apr 17, 2024
Person sitting on toilet

Urinary or Bowel Issues? Track Your Symptoms With a Bladder and Bowel Diary

Learn how to track your urinary and bowel habits to help manage urgency and urinary or fecal incontinence

Published Date: Apr 17, 2024
Person sitting on toilet

Urinary or Bowel Issues? Track Your Symptoms With a Bladder and Bowel Diary

Learn how to track your urinary and bowel habits to help manage urgency and urinary or fecal incontinence

Published Date: Apr 17, 2024
Person sitting on toilet
Table of Contents

It’s not easy dealing with incontinence (leaking urine or feces, or having sudden urges to use the bathroom). These issues can be unpredictable, frustrating, and embarrassing — and take a big toll on your work, social life, and relationships. But they are very treatable, with a combination of pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle modifications, and other treatments and medications as needed.

To figure out what’s contributing to your incontinence episodes, your provider may ask you to keep a bladder/bowel diary. Print the diary (below) and follow these tips to fill it out.

Timing

  • It’s best to complete a diary at least three days in a row, and ideally over a mix of work and leisure days. Circle the day (1, 2, or 3) at the top of the diary.

  • Draw a line showing when you go to sleep and when you wake up.

Fluids

  • Measure and record your fluid intake in ounces (1 cup = 8 fluid oz., 30 mL = 1 fluid oz.

  • Describe the type of fluid you drink. (Certain fluids can act as bladder irritants, so this can help you look for patterns.) For example:

    • Caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, etc.)

    • Alcohol (beer, wine, cocktails, etc.)

    • Carbonated beverages (seltzers, sodas, etc.)

    • Juice (tomato, orange, etc.)

Urine and Bowel Movements

  • Count the number of seconds it takes you to urinate (from start to stop)

  • Describe your urine flow (L = Light, N = Normal, H = Heavy)

  • Note the size of your bowel movement (S = Small, M = Medium, L = Large)

  • Note the form (R = Runny, S = Soft, H = Hard)

  • If you are experiencing urgency (a “gotta go” feeling,) you can give this a rank (1 = Mild, 2 = Moderate, 3 = Severe)

Incontinence Episodes

  • Track any activity that occurs with the episode (urgency, running water, laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercise, lifting)

  • Note any other issues (needing to change panty liner, pad, underwear) or severity of soiling (1 = Mild, 2 = Moderate, 3 = Severe)

Learn More About Hinge Health for Pelvic Symptom Relief

If you have pelvic pain or symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, you can get the relief you've been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you.

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

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