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Managing Incontinence through Diet: Top Tips

There is no ‘BEST’ diet for incontinence. However, diet plays an undeniably huge role in one’s voiding patterns. In other words, it could affect your symptoms. Couple that with a disciplined bladder diary keeping, you stand to gain better understanding of how certain food or drinks impacts on your urination frequency.

#1: Monitor your water intake

Water is a necessity of life, and is probably one of the best beverages around. Despite the common notion that reducing water intake can reduce urination, this action is actually counterproductive. The reality is the lesser you drink, the more concentrated your urine becomes and this results in bacterial growth and subsequently irritation in the bladder. What ensues is frequent urination.

  • Generally, it is recommended that you drink 6-8 glasses of water (approximately 1.5L – 2L) per day.
  • Do not drink anything 2-4 hours before going to bed
  • Empty your bladder before going to bed to prevent urine leakage

#2: Cut down on caffeine

Found in coffee, tea, chocolate and soda, caffeine is a powerful diuretic substance. It works by increasing bladder activity thus urine output.
If you suffer from incontinence, it is advisable that you eliminate caffeine from your diet. If you are a coffee addict, a gradual decrease to 1-2 cups of coffee a day can ease you into abstinence. This can spare you withdrawal headaches and the risk of disrupting your daily lifestyle.

#3: Cut down on spicy food

Spicy food irritates the lining of the bladder, contributing to incontinence. If possible, stay away from irritants such as chili, spicy cuisines and paprika.

#4: Know the common culprits

Apart from caffeine and spicy food, this is a list of food that can make your urine leakage episodes worse:

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Citrus fruits and juices (lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit)
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based foods and sauces
  • Chocolate
  • Sugars and honey
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Milk and milk products

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Urinary Incontinence, diet, frequent urination, water, caffeine, voiding pattern, bladder diary, bladder irritation, involuntary urine loss, urine leakage, diuretic

About The Author
Lee Jo Ee
Jo Ee holds a (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics from International Medical University, Malaysia. A clinical dietitian in a private hospital, she has vast experience in managing various cases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, nutrition support, kidney disease and so on in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Jo Ee regularly speaks at health talks and is active in different sports. She is amongst the finishers of Olympic Distance Triathlon.

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