How Weight Loss and Diet Can Affect Incontinence

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If you are experiencing incontinence issues or are a caregiver for someone with incontinence issues, you have probably tried to find ways to control this menacing problem. Fortunately, there are several things you can do that will help. 

Maintaining A Healthy Weight To Help Improve Incontinence

Weight loss has been proven to significantly reduce incontinence in obese men and women. Losing just 5% to 10% of your weight could result in a marked improvement in people with bladder leakage issues. Additionally, losing weight has far-reaching health benefits that will give you an improved quality of life. Losing weight should be your first line of defense when it comes to a nonsurgical solution for urinary incontinence.

What About Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises involve squeezing and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor, which connect the nerves to the bladder. Performing these exercises will help strengthen these muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones that support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Kegal exercises can help with both urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence. They are very easy to do and will only take you a few minutes per day. Therefore, it’s worth the time and effort it takes to learn how to perform Kegel exercises. And Kegels are a great way to maintain lifelong bladder control.

Foods And Drinks That Increase Your Need To Go

There is a common misconception that drinking less will reduce your bathroom visits. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Drinking less will irritate your bladder causing you to have to go more often. The only exception to this rule is at night. If you want to reduce the number of times you have to get up throughout the night to use the bathroom, you should reduce your fluid intake after 6 p.m.

There are also certain foods and drinks that will exasperate your incontinence issues, such as:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeine – coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks
  • Chocolate – except for white chocolate
  • Citrus – including citrus fruits and fruit juices, such as: oranges, pineapples, lemons, grapefruits and limes, etc.
  • Tomatoes, onions
  • Cranberries, bananas, grapes, apples, prunes
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Aged cheese, sour cream
  • Condiments – mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, salsa, ketchup, mayonnaise
  • Processed foods – due to their additives and preservatives

This list may have you feeling a little overwhelmed, because it seems as if pretty much all foods can potentially cause incontinence. However, not everyone will have bladder sensitivities to all of these foods. You will have to experiment with each to see which ones are creating a problem.

Another way to help control your bladder leakage issues is to eat more fiber-rich foods, which can help in varying degrees. Additionally, smoking and certain medications can also worsen urinary incontinence; therefore, smoking should be avoided and you should talk to your doctor if you suspect that any of your medications are contributing to the problem.

The Bottom Line

Losing weight, performing your Kegel exercises, eating a high fiber diet and avoiding the foods that add to your incontinence issues are the best ways to help keep your bladder leakage under control as much as possible.

Unfortunately, these things won’t cure incontinence completely. Incontinence briefs and incontinence panties are another great resource to help you stay dry, confident and live the life you deserve! A few little changes can add up to a significant reduction in your incontinence and give you a better quality of life.

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