Top 5 Foods that can Trigger Leakage
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For women with incontinence, life's banquet can include a few food fights. That's because what you eat and drink can worsen your symptoms.
Doctors often advise those with incontinence to avoid certain foods and beverages. Not everyone reacts the same way to all foods, but these five food and beverage categories are most associated with bladder leakage.
1. Coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate (caffeinated foods/beverages). Caffeine consumption can be a significant bladder irritant. Because it's a diuretic, it can cause you to produce more urine. It also causes the bladder to contract, contributing to both stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans. But it's also found in soft drinks, energy drinks, and foods and candies that contain milk chocolate or cocoa.
Consider eliminating caffeine or switch to caffeine-free beverages and foods. If you are a big fan of coffee or soda and find it hard to quit altogether, try drinking no more than two cups of caffeinated drinks per day.
2. Carbonated beverages. Even when soft drinks are non-caffeinated, those bubbles can still spell trouble. Carbon dioxide in those fizzy drinks can irritate the bladder in many women. Avoid all carbonated beverages including sparkling water, seltzer water and club soda.
3. Alcohol. ‘Tis the season for celebrations. Before you lift your glass in a holiday toast, you should know that like caffeine, beer, wine, and liquor are all diuretics. They cause the bladder to fill quickly and trigger an urgency to void.
Alcohol also impairs the signal between the bladder and the brain, interfering with bladder control and increasing the likelihood of accidents. Try limiting your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether.
4. Citrus fruits and juices. For another source of bladder irritation, look no further than your breakfast table. Fruits and juices have an acidic pH and can aggravate incontinence. This includes grapefruits, pineapples, oranges, lemons, and limes.
Technically speaking, tomatoes are also fruits, though we don't often think of them as being such. And you as you might have guessed, they are another acidic food that can irritate your symptoms, and not just in raw or juice forms. Tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, and chili sauces can all cause leakage problems.
Although cranberry juice has a reputation for resolving bladder infections, don't rely on it as a remedy for bladder control. It too, is acidic and should be on the list of foods to avoid for many women.
5. Spicy foods. Have a hankering for hot Mexican, Szechuan, or Indian foods? You might want to reconsider. From cayenne pepper to curry, spicy foods can trigger the urge.
Research indicates spicier foods can irritate the lining in the bladder and exacerbate incontinence. Why not take the heat out of your favorite foods? You can still enjoy all the flavor without aggravating your condition.
Avoid and avert
Whether you forego the 5 culprit categories above or steer clear of other foods that might interfere, it's always a good idea to discuss your diet choices with your doctor. Together, you can identify which trigger foods are best to avoid in order to control the urge!