11 Things that Make your Incontinence Worse (Pun Intended)
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
Any accidental or involuntary loss of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowels, feces or wind from the bowel (bowel incontinence) is referred to as incontinence.
It’s a wide-spread condition and the severity of incontinence ranges from ‘just a small leak’ to a complete loss of bladder or bowel control. Incontinence can be treated and managed and in many cases, cured as well.
This condition of incontinence affects children as well. Many children aged 5-17 have a daytime wetting problem. About 30% of these children also experience bedwetting problems. Girls experience day wetting more while bedwetting is more common in boys. These problems tend to improve with age.
11 Things that can make your incontinence worse:
• Alcohol – Alcohol can cause an urgent need to urinate because it acts as a bladder stimulant and a diuretic. It can irritate the bladder and cause problems for those with an overactive bladder.
• Over-hydration – Drinking a lot of fluids like water, milk, or other beverages in a short period of time can increase the amount of urine in your bladder and your bladder might find it difficult to hold on to that excess amount of urine. Use caution to not reduce your fluid intake by much as it can worsen the situation and lead to other problems. It’s important to strike the right balance.
• Coffee and tea – These beverages contain caffeine which can cause irritation to your bladder lining and make your incontinence worse. In order to cope with headaches that you may have from giving up tea and coffee, you can try to cut back slowly instead of giving it up at once.
• Fizzy Drinks – Due to caffeine and carbonation, fizzy drinks can be a double whammy for your bladder. Your incontinence symptoms can be worsened by carbonated drinks.
• Frozen foods – Frozen and packaged foods should be a big NO as they tend to irritate the bladder. Artificial foods and colorings, chemicals, and excess caffeine should be avoided, try to stick to a natural diet in order to ensure that the incontinence symptoms are not worsened.
• Sugar – Your bladder can often be controlled by controlling your sugar intake. Your bladder can be aggravated by over-consumption of sugary foods like corn syrup, fructose, and honey. Artificial sweeteners are no better. This does not mean that you have to completely give up sugar but to enjoy in moderation.
• Chocolate – This delicious treat contains caffeine as well as sugar so is doubly dangerous for your bladder, especially for those suffering from incontinence.
• Food loaded with spices – Very spicy food is again a strict NO for those who suffer from incontinence. Various studies have shown that spices like chili pepper, curry, and cayenne pepper tend to aggravate incontinence symptoms.
• Medication – Incontinence can be worsened by intake of certain heart medications, muscle relaxants, blood pressure lowering drugs, sedatives, and others. Your doctor should be aware of your incontinence before he prescribes any medicine for any other problem.
• Cranberry juice – It’s often used to control urinary tract and bladder infections, however when it comes to incontinence it can make it worse.
• Citrus fruits – Although they are a good source of Vitamin C they are not a good option for people with urge incontinence as it can irritate your bladder due to its acidic nature.