Incontinence affects millions of Americans, including over 50 percent of seniors.
If you’ve been struggling with incontinence, regardless of your age, you may want to take a closer look at your diet. You could be consuming foods on a regular basis that exacerbate your problems.
Read on to learn about some foods and drinks that are most likely to make incontinence symptoms worse.
Foods That Can Trigger Incontinence
Did you know that the choices you make when it comes to the foods you consume could also be to blame for your more frequent bathroom visits? The reason for this is that certain foods and drinks cause bladder irritation. Find out more about the foods that cause incontinence.
Citrus foods are often not recommended for those with incontinence. Foods like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits (as well as their juices) have the potential to be irritating and are known to make bladder control issues worse for lots of people.
Yes, unfortunately, chocolate is included on the list of foods that cause female bladder incontinence in some individuals. This is because it contains a small amount of caffeine. If you don’t want to give up chocolate altogether, consider switching to white chocolate, which doesn't contain any caffeine at all.
For many people with incontinence, spicy foods cause problems. They can be irritating to the bladder, and they can also make for some rather uncomfortable trips to the bathroom.
Foods that cause urge incontinence sometimes come from unexpected sources. Both natural sweeteners like sugar and artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Stevia can worsen incontinence symptoms. You don’t have to cut them out completely, but reducing your intake can help.
Finally, it’s best to avoid processed foods (chips, crackers, cookies, fast food, etc.) or at least enjoy them in moderation when you’re dealing with incontinence. They often contain artificial ingredients and preservatives that can trigger bladder irritation.
Beverages That Can Trigger Incontinence
It’s no surprise that drinking an excessive amount of fluid can make you need to visit the bathroom more often. However, just like foods that cause incontinence, certain beverages cause bladder irritation and send you running to the bathroom to urinate more frequently than usual.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea (both caffeinated and non-caffeinated) have diuretic properties. For sensitive people who struggle with incontinence, this can cause them to visit the bathroom more often or be more prone to accidents.
Alcohol is another diuretic beverage that’s not ideal for people with incontinence. It can irritate the bladder, and it may also cloud your judgment. This, in turn, can make it harder for you to stick to a bathroom schedule and avoid accidents.
What You Can Do to Relieve Incontinence Symptoms
Eliminating Foods From Your Diet
As you can see, there are quite a few different beverages and foods that make you urinate more often. You may want to start avoiding them if you struggle with incontinence. Eliminating these items for a while and then adding them back in one by one can help you figure out which ones are most problematic for you.
It’s best to start by cutting out possible trigger foods and drinks for an entire week and then wait a day or two between each one as you add them back into your diet. Pay close attention to how your body reacts during your period of abstaining from bladder irritants, and what happens when you attempt to reintroduce the foods. It’s possible that simply cutting down on a favorite food provides enough relief that you don’t have to eliminate it from your diet completely in the long term.
If you need more information on managing incontinence or shopping for incontinence products, check out some of the other articles on our site today.
Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
An excellent approach to lessen the severity of bladder incontinence, or possibly eliminate it entirely, is to perform pelvic floor exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the bladder. Target these muscles with Kegel exercises.
Performing Kegels is easy; just squeeze your pelvic floor muscles the same way you would stop your stream of urine. Hold for three to five seconds, and then relax. Do a set of 10 Kegels three times throughout the day. You can complete them while sitting, standing, or lying down. Talk to your doctor to get recommendations specific to your needs.
Wearing Incontinence Products
Urinary incontinence pads come in a range of sizes and absorbencies, so you can choose the one that best fits your body and needs. Pads are designed to prevent leaks, control odors, and allow you to participate in your favorite activities without worry.
If you prefer another option, disposable underwear uses soft, breathable materials that feel like cloth, stay in place to prevent leaks, and keep you dry and comfortable. The underwear is designed to be form-fitting and thin. It fits comfortably under your clothes for complete discretion.
The Bottom Line
If you deal with bladder issues like incontinence, there are plenty of ways you can take action to improve your condition. Simple changes like adjusting your diet to avoid beverages and foods that cause incontinence can make a big difference. With a little time, patience, and attention to detail, you can learn which of them affect your body in a negative way and which ones you can enjoy in moderation.
Committing to doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can also help. Both of these changes are easy to make and can provide greater control over your symptoms.
Of course, one of the fastest and easiest things you can do to manage bladder incontinence is to wear products that protect you from bladder leaks. Nexwear has a line of products to help you deal with urinary incontinence easily so you feel more confident and maintain your lifestyle with minimal discomfort or embarrassment. Choose between a variety of pad sizes or opt for the disposal underwear. Nexwear delivers no-fail protection with complete discretion, and you can get your favorites shipped right to your door. Shop the complete collection now.