At a later point in our lifetime, urinary incontinence can affect anyone, although it’s a condition that occurs more among women than men. Basically, it’s manifested by uncontrolled, low quantity urinary leaking.
The good news is that certain treatments and lifestyle changes can significantly improve this condition. It’s mainly about being aware of the factors that can worsen it and avoiding them as much as possible. So, which are the biggest enemies that prevent you from fighting against urinary incontinence?
1. The Amount of Fluid Consumed Per Day
It’s natural to beware of the amount of liquids you consume (whether it’s water, milk or other beverages) on a daily basis. However, you mustn’t give up liquids: this leads to dehydration, constipation and kidney stones – conditions that can irritate the bladder and worsen the initial symptoms. It’s important to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.
Alcohol has a diuretic effect, increasing the amount of urine – this can contribute to the incontinence’s imminence. It can irritate the bladder and is a real problem for those with an overactive bladder. Alcohol consumption should be limited.
3. Tea and Coffee
Tea and coffee, once your best friends, may now be your biggest enemies. Caffeine is directly involved in the bladder’s irritation – therefore, you have to reduce the cups of coffee and tea you drink on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can substitute them with tea that contains small amounts of caffeine and decaffeinated coffee.
Unfortunately, chocolate lovers who have an overactive bladder should give up or significantly decrease its consumption. No matter if it’s dark, milk, or hot chocolate. When it comes to urinary incontinence, any kind of chocolate could be a problem.
Although its effects on the bladder weren’t studied as intensely as those of caffeine and alcohol, some evidence suggests that sugary products, including those containing honey, corn syrup and fructose, may worsen the symptoms. Not even artificial sweeteners are your best friends – some research has found that they actually stimulate urinary incontinence. However, there is no need to completely give up sugar, just have a balanced diet.
6. Fizzy Drinks
It has been shown that carbonated drinks worsen some symptoms of urinary incontinence. A person suffering from urinary incontinence shouldn’t consume foods that contain dyes, chemicals and caffeine. It would be preferable to adopt a more natural diet with a high content of natural antioxidants and vitamins, including fruits and vegetables. To all of these, you should add eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Eliminate acidic drinks and avoid spicy foods. Studies have shown that staying away from spicy food (curry, chili, pepper etc.) reduces the symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Citrus fruits may provide an important content of vitamin C to the body, but their use can be a problem for those with urinary incontinence. Grapefruits, lemons, oranges, and tomatoes can irritate your bladder. Bladder muscles have a series of nerves that may be affected by such foods and can exacerbate symptoms of incontinence.
8. Cranberry Juice
Often used as an adjunct in treating urinary tract and other lower bladder infections, many people think it can be helpful in the case of an overactive bladder. Unfortunately, cranberry juice may actually worsen the situation due to its acidity. Therefore, its consumption is not such a good choice.
Certain drugs for heart disease, blood pressure medication, muscle relaxers, and sedatives, may aggravate urinary incontinence. They have a diuretic effect, removing the excess fluid from your body, so that your heart and other organs can function effectively. As such, your bladder may be affected.
If you’re suffering with urinary incontinence, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Although lifestyle changes can help improve the condition, it’s always best to consult your doctor first.