If you are currently living with incontinence, you are probably doing whatever you can to manage your condition to live a comfortable and active life. It’s important to be aware of what can aggravate or make symptoms worse. Here are 10 common issues that can trigger incontinence:
#1 and #2 – Too Many or Not Enough Fluids
Too many fluids is practically a no brainer when you have bladder issues. If you drink too much, you will have to urinate more often. You might think the answer is to cut back on fluids but it’s not a healthy course of action. Limiting fluids, particularly water, can lead to dehydration which can exacerbate bladder leaks. It’s important to keep your body properly hydrated so you may need to adjust how and when you consume fluids. Talk with your doctor about how to balance your fluid intake.
#3 – Caffeine
Unfortunately, you may have to give up (or cut back on) your favorite cup of coffee/tea and chocolate because they contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic (increases urine production) and a bladder irritant. Going decaf is an option but check the label as some decaf products still contain traces of caffeine.
#4 – Alcoholic Beverages
Like caffeine, alcoholic beverages are also diuretics. Limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption can greatly assist bladder control.
#5 – Sugar (and artificial sweeteners)
Limiting sugar intake is great for your overall health but can help incontinence too. Sugar is one of the more common bladder irritants. Even artificial sweeteners (acesulfame K, aspartame, sodium saccharin) seem to increase urinary frequency and urgency.
#6 – Spicy Foods
Hold the jalapeños! Spicy foods and seasonings are a strong incontinence trigger and it’s best to cut them out completely. Even moderate use can be irritating.
#7 – Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is often recommended to people with bladder issues like urinary tract infections (UTI); however, it’s not a good remedy for incontinence. While they are both bladder conditions, cranberry juice will make incontinence worse.
#8 – Carbonated Beverages
Even if you ditch the ones with caffeine, the fizziness in carbonated beverages can aggravate the bladder. It's well-documented that carbonated beverages are associated with overactive bladder.
#9 – Citrus Fruits
Yes, citrus fruits are healthy and a great source of Vitamin C. Unfortunately, the acid found in these foods can wreak havoc on your bladder.
#10 – Medications
If you are already following much of the advice above but still experiencing problems, it could be your medication. Some prescriptions for heart conditions, sedatives, muscle relaxants, and blood pressure can trigger incontinence symptoms. Check with your doctor to see if a change in dosage or medication is needed.
By limiting or avoiding these triggers you can better manage your condition. In addition, having healthy eating and sleeping habits, getting enough exercise, and following your doctor’s advice, is always recommended.
As always, we are here to help. If you find you need high-quality incontinence products and supplies to help you manage incontinence, the Product Experts at Rely Medical Supply can help! Please call, toll-free, at 1-888-529-2308. Our friendly and helpful representatives answer calls from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time. Each representative is trained to help you select the right products for your personal needs, to help you stay dry and comfortable.