While urinary incontinence is not the worst health issue one can have, it is certainly discomforting. The embarrassing leakage and the sudden strong urges to urinate can severely disrupt your life and your willingness to socialize. If you struggle with urinary incontinence, you may be surprised to learn that sometimes a simple change in diet may help you manage it.
Take a look below at 10 foods to avoid if you have urinary incontinence:
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases bladder activity, thus worsening the symptoms of incontinence. Eliminating caffeine from your diet can go a long way in incontinence relief. This means no more coffee, tea, or energy drinks. If you can’t quit cold turkey, reducing the amount of caffeine, or even drinking decaf can also help.
You should avoid alcohol for the same reason you avoid caffeine: alcohol is a diuretic. It is also a bladder irritant, so it potentially increases both the frequency and the urgency of the need to urinate.
You are probably sensing a pattern here. Because of the small amount of caffeine present in chocolate, it is best to reduce your intake of this sugary treat.
4. Spicy foods
The spicy food that makes your mouth burn can also make your bladder “burn” in a sense. Spicy foods irritate the bladder lining and exacerbate the symptoms of incontinence. Try replacing spices with herbs for flavor.
5. Citrus fruits
You may have to start getting your vitamin C from somewhere else. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, contain high amounts of citric acid, which can irritate the bladder, worsening your incontinence. As a substitute, try bananas or apples, or other fruits with less acidity.
Tomatoes are like citrus fruits in that they are quite acidic. This acidity exacerbates symptoms of urinary incontinence. If you have severe incontinence, it is best to cut out all tomato-based products, including pizza, pasta, and even ketchup.
Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Because cranberry juice is used to treat urinary tract infections, people often assume that it will help with incontinence. Unfortunately, because of the acidic nature of cranberry juice, it can actually have a very negative effect on the bladder and worsen your incontinence. Try pears if you are looking for a fruit to replace your cranberries.
Although not proven, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that sugar, both natural and artificial, can aggravate the bladder and increase symptoms of urge incontinence. Even honey can be dangerous if your incontinence is severe.
9. Carbonated drinks
The fizz in carbonated drinks can irritate a sensitive bladder and stimulate the urge to go. Soda is particularly bad because is contains sugar, caffeine, and carbonation. Champagne can also be a doozy because of the combination of carbonation and alcohol. It is best to avoid carbonated drinks all together.
10. Too much (or little) water
It should come as no surprise that too much fluid intake is bad for those who suffer from incontinence. However, greatly reducing your fluid intake is also tough on your bladder. Limiting fluids can lead to dehydration, constipation, and even kidney stones, all of which can exacerbate incontinence.
Don’t let urinary incontinence get the best of you
Even if the above dietary changes do not completely alleviate your urinary incontinence, you can still live a quality life. At PA Healthcare, we carry a variety of urinary incontinence products, including control briefs, control pads, and reusable underpads for beds, sofas, and wheelchairs to help you live more comfortably.