Fluid and Diet Management

A person’s diet and fluid intake could affect incontinence symptoms, so as a result, your doctor might recommend that you avoid certain foods and beverages or manage your portions more carefully.

There are a variety of types of foods and beverages that impact incontinence symptoms. Here are some of the steps that you can take to curtail those effects:

  • Avoid Excessive Water Intake: When you suffer from incontinence, there is a fine line to walk in terms of your water intake. After all, a lack of water could lead to dehydration, but too much water could exacerbate your symptoms. The most common recommendation is about 64 ounces of water for an average person every day. Doctors recommend limiting yourself to about half to three-quarters of that amount (32 to 48 ounces).
  • Avoid Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol both acts as a diuretic in your system and reduces the control that you have over your bladder. Naturally, this is bad news for anyone who suffers from incontinence. It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages as much as possible. This isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy the occasional cocktail or glass of wine, but doctors recommend that you cut back as much as you can.
  • Avoid Caffeine: Caffeine, like alcohol, acts as a diuretic. Additionally, it stimulates the bladder, which makes it a harmful one-two punch to people suffering from incontinence. Cut back on your coffee, soda, chocolate to avoid incontinence symptoms.
  • Avoid Spicy and Acidic Foods: Spicy foods, such as hot peppers, as well as citrus fruits and beverages can act as an irritant in your bladder lining. There are some spicy or acidic foods that may be ok for you to eat, but you will have to discover this on a trial and error basis. The only way to completely avoid having spicy and acidic foods worsen your symptoms is to avoid them.
  • Avoid Carbonated Beverages:  Even without caffeine, carbonated beverages can worsen the symptoms of incontinence. The higher amounts of carbon dioxide in the beverage can irritate the bladder, which increases your urge to urinate.

Your doctor can provide additional information about the kinds of foods and beverages that are or are not harmful to you while you treat your incontinence.