Bladder Weakness and Food
Dealing with incontinence is never an easy task, and this condition can affect anyone regardless of their age. While incontinence often occurs as a person advances in years, ageing is not the cause of bladder weakness or incontinence. Incontinence is a symptom of an underlying problem like weak or damaged muscles, illness, infection or genetic problem. So when faced with the onset of bladder weakness or incontinence, it is important to have a medical professional evaluate a person’s condition to make sure that the incontinence is not signaling a serious, underlying illness.
Regardless of the root cause of the bladder weakness, it still needs to be properly managed so that the person can live a full and active lifestyle. And while the doctor is treating any underlying medical conditions that may be causing incontinence, it is possible for a person to improve their overall condition by monitoring their diet and staying away from some specific food and drink items that are known to irritate the bladder. In many cases, as when weak muscles are the issue, finding the foods that aggravate the bladder may be half of the cure. While weak muscles still need to be strengthened, not aggravating the bladder may tip the incontinence scales in favor of continence.
Here are some of the most common foods that contribute to incontinence.
Since alcohol is a diuretic, it is one of the most common irritants when it comes to bladder weakness. Alcohol also dulls the senses, so it is possible that it may mask the sensation of needing to void the bladder, causing incontinence.
A much overlooked ingredient in the recipe for incontinence, artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, can cause bladder irritation in some people. Sometimes this additional aggravation is just enough to take a bladder from continent to incontinent.
Like alcohol, caffeine has strong diuretic qualities, so drinking beverages like coffee and tea may actually be contributing to episodes of incontinence. Even if a person is not incontinent, they may notice that drinking beverages containing caffeine causes them to make more frequent trips to the bathroom. Since caffeine also irritates the bladder, it can increase the feeling of urgency that a person experiences when they need to urinate as well. A simple switch to decaf might be all that is needed to quiet the bladder spasms.
While citrus fruits are so healthy for a person with all of their vitamins and antioxidants, foods like oranges and tomatoes also contain a lot of acid. The high levels of acid can be very irritating to the bladder, and this irritation can help contribute to bouts of incontinence.
Another common bladder irritant is spicy foods, which may be tough on the stomach as well as irritating to the bladder. When experiencing bladder problems, try cutting spicy foods from the diet for a short time to see if continence or problems with urgency improve.
Different foods affect people in different ways. What is highly irritating to one person’s bladder may not affect another person at all. That is why it is important for each individual to examine their own diet and assess if something that they are eating or drinking may be affecting their bladder. It is very likely when a person first reports new episodes of incontinence to their doctor that he or she will want to know what foods and drinks a person consumes. Keeping track of daily consumption in a bladder diary is a very helpful tool for both the person and the physician when diagnosing and treating incontinence. It is an easy, free, non invasive place to start managing the challenges that incontinence offers.
Filed under: Bladder Weakness