During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond, BostonUrogyn is Determined To Be There for You. We are now offering HIPAA-compliant Telemedicine Consultations, as well as Office Visits.

Your Diet Could Be Causing Your Urinary Incontinence

If you have trouble with urinary incontinence — a loss of bladder control — there’s something you may not know: Your diet can contribute to it. Some dietary habits that can affect urination are obvious, such as how much water you drink. But there are other habits that can also have a big impact. In this blog, Neeraj Kohli, MD, of Boston Urogyn, explains how changing your diet may be able to help relieve urinary incontinence.

The cause matters

Urinary incontinence can be caused by several underlying factors. For example, incontinence can be a side effect of certain medications. In that case, changing your diet won’t make much of a difference.

However, if you’re overweight, have chronic constipation, or have an irritated bladder, nutrition could be an important part of treating your urinary incontinence. 

Beverages to reconsider

Beverages are one of the first elements of your diet to consider when you have urinary incontinence. Talk to Dr. Kohli about how much water you should be drinking. Dehydration can irritate your bladder, and of course, drinking too much can be problematic as well.

You may want to measure the amount of fluids you consume for a few days. A fluid diary can help you detect patterns and identify problems.

Research has produced mixed results about whether or not caffeine has an impact on urinary urgency. Cutting caffeine does help some people, and there’s certainly no harm in finding out if you might be one of them.

Carbonated beverages, whether they contain caffeine or not, can irritate your bladder. Removing them from your diet could improve your symptoms.

Much like caffeine, the evidence regarding alcohol and a link to urinary incontinence is unclear. But, there are many well-documented risks associated with alcohol, so again, there’s no harm in eliminating it. It may help with your urinary symptoms, and you may find there are other benefits.

Foods to avoid

Certain foods have been linked to urinary incontinence, according to the National Association for Continence. For example, acidic foods, such as oranges, limes, and other citrus fruits, may irritate your bladder. Others include: 

It’s important to note that not all foods that have been associated with bladder irritation are problematic for everyone. You may find that you tolerate milk fine, but you need to avoid citrus. Everyone is different.

Just as keeping a diary of the fluids you consume can be helpful in pinpointing issues, you may find that keeping a food journal can also be helpful in figuring out which, if any, foods irritate your body.

A healthy diet 

One of the most important ways to positively impact your overall health is to consume a healthy diet that is rich in leafy greens, lean protein, vegetables, and fruit in appropriate portions. If you need to lose weight, a nutritious and well-balanced diet is critical.

A healthy diet can also improve symptoms of constipation, which can also be a factor in urinary incontinence. Increasing the number of servings of vegetables and fruits you eat can have a positive impact on the amount of fiber you consume, and a diet rich in fiber is usually healthy.

If you have questions about your specific situation and whether it’s possible your diet is contributing to your urinary incontinence, book an appointment online or over the phone with Boston Urogyn today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Treatable Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Your pelvis is the lowest part of your abdomen and is responsible for numerous bodily functions. Pain there can happen for a variety of reasons, but you don’t need to live with it. Let's look at some causes of pelvic pain and how we treat them.

Axonics for Your Bladder and Bowel: What to Expect

The sudden urge to urinate associated with an overactive bladder can be embarrassing and disruptive to your quality of life. Many patients also experience fecal urgency and accidental bowel leakage. Read on to find out how Axonics® Therapy can help.

Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence can dramatically affect your quality of life, so treating it is important to allow you to do the things you enjoy. The food you eat can play a role in managing or even preventing this condition. Read on to find out more.

It Shouldn’t Hurt When You Have Sex

Sex is a fundamental part of our lives, but experiencing pain while having sex shouldn’t be. If you’re a woman, read on to find out how you can avoid or treat painful intercourse.

6 Telltale Signs of a UTI

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, and you can get them for a variety of reasons. Getting a UTI treated quickly means knowing the signs, so let’s find out what to look for.

What the Pressure in Your Rectum Could Mean

Proper digestion is vital to your health. Any problems you have with getting food through your body could be trouble. Rectal problems in particular can indicate serious issues, and you should know what they could mean.