Unfortunately, certain foods and drinks can aggravate incontinence. Therefore, knowing what to avoid in your diet is crucial for daily continence management.
Incontinence stems from various causes, including an overactive bladder, weakened pelvic floor muscles, chronic illnesses, mental or physical issues and more. Conversely, while typical incontinence treatment plans correlate to the cause of incontinence, there’s one more straightforward alternative to minimising its impact on your daily life. It entails examining your diet.
Since your bladder collects toxins, fluid and waste products filtered from the blood via your kidneys, there is a clear correlation between what foods and drinks you consume and incontinence. These outcomes are particularly true if your incontinence results from urge incontinence or an overactive bladder. Therefore, removing certain foods and beverages may significantly impact the frequency of incontinence occurrences.
Slow Down Your Fluid Intake
Drinking too much fluid without pacing yourself leads to an increased and more frequent urge to urinate. Hence, you must aim to spread out your fluid intake over the day, thus limiting the volume of fluids you take in quick succession. In addition, more fluid intake in the morning and afternoon helps limit sleep disruptions. This adjustment is particularly pertinent if your need to get up to urinate at night negatively impacts your sleep.
On the other hand, you are advised to avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they stimulate urine production.
Lastly, monitor your fluid intake: drinking too little fluid may lead to a build-up of body waste within your urine. This accumulation can impact your bladder, causing irritation and the growing urge to urinate more often.
Food and Drinks to Avoid to Control Incontinence
Some food and drinks will be more likely than others to impact your bladder negatively. Some examples of bladder irritants include:
- Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee
- Carbonated drinks
- Some acidic fruits, including lemons, oranges and limes
- Tomato-based foods
- Spicy foods
- Salty foods
Are some of your favourite foods and beverages on this list? Don’t despair. Instead, you can use the process of elimination to help identify which ones may promote incontinence and which you can safely reintroduce into your diet. You can carry out this process by eliminating everything from your diet and then adding one set back every few days while monitoring any changes to your urinary output, frequency, and urgency.
Please note that it is best to have expert guidance as you undertake this process. Moreover, please contact your physician if you are worried that eliminating the foods listed above doesn’t seem effective.
Foods to Increase
Restructuring your diet comes with more than elimination. Instead, adding foods that promote bladder health may positively affect continence management. These include fresh ripe vegetables and fruits, like:
Additionally, including foods high in fibre is crucial as they can help prevent constipation – a source of unnecessary pressure on the bladder.
Supplements may also be a good dietary addition depending on your nutritional needs. If you’re unsure which will likely increase your bladder health, your doctor can provide accurate advice for better outcomes.
While you can make lifestyle choices that contribute to minimising incontinence, the condition can still cause great concern. Therefore, you must take a proactive approach to continence management to ensure that it doesn’t negatively impact your daily life.