The US National Library of Medicine offers the definition of urinary incontinence as the inability to keep urine from leaking out of urethra. It can occur from time to time, or regularly. If you experience urge incontinence, it is also called an “overactive bladder.” While there are medications and formal treatments on the market, many people who suffer from incontinence wonder if there is anything that can be done at home to lessen the symptoms and severity of the ailment.
There is no official “urinary incontinence diet”; however, the things you do or do not eat and drink can have an impact on your incontinence. Doctors often advise those who suffer from urinary incontinence to avoid eating and drinking certain things, but most doctors realize that the triggers for one patient may not be the same for another. It is important to look at an incontinence eating plan as a work in progress. Trial and error is the best way to figure out how certain things affect your body. While you probably want to talk to your doctor before making any major dietary changes, consider these tips for eating better to control incontinence.
Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol has an effect on both the bladder itself (as it acts as a diuretic), and the nervous
system, reducing control over your bladder. Some people might consider eliminating it altogether, while others may be able to handle small quantities.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine, in the form of coffee, tea, or soda has a triple effect on your incontinence. Not only is caffeine a diuretic, but it also stimulates the bladder and encourages you to drink more liquids than you may have drunk otherwise. Eliminating or reducing these drinks from your diet can make a big difference in your symptoms.
Spicy Foods Cause Urges
If you are plagued by urge incontinence, eliminating or reducing spicy foods can cause a significant change. Spicy foods can irritate the lining of the bladder, worsening urges and making it harder to “hold it.”
Reduce Acidic Foods and Drinks
Citrus fruits are one of the biggest culprits, but anything with high acidity levels can irritate your bladder and make incontinence worse. Cranberry juice has a reputation of being recommended for bladder infections, but if you are someone who has incontinence, it can intensify the symptoms.
Eat Your Fiber
If you can reduce constipation, you will often see a reduction in incontinence as well. Eating a varied diet with plenty of fiber can help in this department.
As you can see, while you may not be able to completely eliminate your incontinence, but a few simple changes in diet can make a noticeable improvement! Talk to your doctor about other changes you can make, but remember that eating a healthy, bladder-friendly diet will help you feel your best and develop more confidence toward incontinence