If you are experiencing urine leaks, you might be suffering from urine incontinence. A lot of factors affect this condition and one of which is fluid intake volume. The more fluid you drink, the more you’ll have to urinate. Also, certain food and drinks can irritate the bladder or urinary tract and worsen the symptoms.
Altering your diet won’t cure urinary incontinence or frequent urge to urinate, but it may be able to manage some symptoms by restricting certain foods.
While the effects of various foods on urine icontinence may vary from person to person, it’s best for a trial and error to know which foods affect you personally. Keep a food journal so you can figure out which foods bother you, and whether you should limit or totally avoid it.
To help you with a food journal, here’s a list of food and beverages to avoid and to help control urine leaks.
Alcohol can stimulate the bladder and disrupt the signals to your brain that make you aware of bladder overflow. This includes beer, wine, and liquor.
Coffee and tea
Coffee and tea can increase bladder activity because of the caffeine in it. Reducing or switching to decaffeinated varieties can decrease symptoms, but keep in mind that even decaf contains some caffeine.
Tomatoes and tomato products
If you're searching for solutions for urine leaks, avoid acidic fruits like tomatoes as they can potentially worsen urinary incontinence and trigger the symptoms. It’s also better to reduce or eliminate tomato products in your diet such as pasta sauces, ketchup, and salsa.
Carbonated drinks and sparkling water
While the fizz gives a refreshing feeling when you gulp carbonated drinks, it’s the one that can aggravate the urge to urinate. Try to avoid these types of drinks which include soft drinks, soda water, and energy drinks.
Cut back on sweets as both natural and artificial sweeteners like corn sweeteners, honey, fructose, sucrose, and lactose can increase frequent urination. It’s best to limit the intake of sugar in your diet to avoid discomfort.
Like coffee and tea, chocolate also has caffeine in it because of its main ingredient - cocoa. The next time you crave for one, try white chocolate in small amounts instead as it usually doesn’t have caffeine.
Milk and milk products
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese can be bladder irritants. Try imitation sour cream or nut cheeses as alternatives, or you could try processed cheese that is not aged.
Chili peppers and other spicy food
Be wary of chili peppers and spicy sauces as these foods not only burn your lips but can also irritate your bladder. Cut back on consumption of spicy foods and go easy on other spices so you can still enjoy their taste.
Do you love fruits? You might opt for the non-citrusy ones as acidic fruits like pineapples, cranberries, apples, guavas, peaches, plums, and strawberries are potential bladder irritants. Pay attention to how you feel when you ingest these fruits. If they give you the urge to pee more, you may need to tick them off your diet.
Vinegar and soy sauce
Acid and other ingredients in condiments like vinegar, soy sauce, and again, ketchup, may irritate your bladder and make the symptoms worse. Swap them out for herbs and spices that are not irritating like rosemary, garlic, and thyme.
Vitamin C and Vitamin B tablets
Studies show that high-dose intakes of Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex were positively associated with urinary incontinence, giving the urge to pee frequently. Ask your doctor on the right dosage of vitamins you should take that won’t make you go to the bathroom more often.
If your urinary incontinence seems to be getting worse, the medicines you are taking might be the culprit. Heart and blood pressure medications, psychiatric drugs, sedatives, and muscle relaxants often have a side effect of frequent urination. For instance, high blood pressure drugs are often prescribed to men to help with urination problems. On the other hand, antidepressants can weaken the ability of the bladder to contract, worsening the urge to pee.
If you think your medications are worsening your urine leaks, talk to your doctor about switching to other medicine options.
You may need to cut on some foods and drinks mentioned as they could worsen urinary incontinence. Some contents in fruits and drinks may aggravate the bladder so moderation is the key.
What are incontinence-friendly alternatives to satisfy cravings and needs?
Switch to low acid fruits
There are plenty of low-acidic fruits to choose from to satisfy your sweet cravings. Stock on some apricots, papaya, bananas, green beans, winter squash, potatoes, pears, and watermelon to get the nutrients and minerals your body needs without irritating your bladder.
Munch on proteins
Food such as lean proteins, whole grains, breads, nuts, and eggs are not as bothersome for the bladder. These foods help cut cravings and are a great addition to meals.
Forget the caffeine
Break up with caffeinated drinks and go for non-citrus herbal and sun brewed teas. Green tea is highly recommended as it keeps the bladder healthy and eases frequent urination.
Some people drink less water to prevent frequent urination, but it will actually do more harm than good. Drink enough water for a day as dehydration may lead to urinary tract infection and can only worsen the condition.
Drink enough water
Some people are tempted to drink less water and other liquids in general in order to reduce the need to urinate frequently. However, it actually does more harm than good as it can worsen urinary incontinence and dehydration can negatively affect other organs. Drinking 8 glasses of water is beneficial for overall health but it’s advised not to drink more beyond that.
For a quick management of your incontinence, you can try using incontinence products like diapers.
The easiest way to manage leaks is to use adult diapers, like Caress Adult Diaper Basic. It’s great for everyday wear at home as it has a super absorbent pad with Liquid Distribution Layer (LDL) that draws the liquid away from the skin keeping you feeling dry. When going out, especially when traveling, adult pull-up pants like Hy-Pants Adult Underwear and Secure Adult Pull-up Pants are also available; they can be easily worn like underwear.
Fluid intake is a balancing act for people with overactive bladders. While you may want to drink less to avoid running to the bathroom all the time, you don’t want to become dehydrated as it can only worsen the condition. If you're consuming a lot of food and drinks every day that irritate your bladder, it might be difficult to know what's contributing to your symptoms.
Again, the effects of food to urine incontinence differ from person to person. In this situation, a food journal can help you identify which foods cause your symptoms to worsen. Note what foods you ate and any symptoms you experienced after. It’s up to you if you may eat them moderately or completely eliminate them from your diet. This will help you see any connections between the food and drinks you consume and frequent urination.