How Diet Affects Incontinence

Incontinence affects the lives of many seniors and their caregivers. 

This can be a difficult and emotion-filled problem to deal with. Seniors who are suffering, from incontinence can be filled with guilt, shame, and resentment over the loss of control, while caregivers face the daily task of helping to care for a loved one, who has this problem. While there are no easy solutions for incontinence, there are things that can be done to help lesson the problem. One of the things that have been found to affect incontinence is diet.
Dignity surrounding incontinence is the most important consideration
There are steps that caregivers can take in modifying the diet of the senior in their care that can help with incontinence. Here is what you need to know about how diet affects incontinence:

There is no 'diet' to cure incontinence
Some people have the mistaken assumption that if they eat certain things, the incontinence will go away. This is simply not true. However, there are certain dietary matters you should know about. Researchers have found that there are some foods, and beverages that seem to contribute to bladder leakage. While, their effect on the bladder is not always understood, you may want to see if eliminating one or all of the items, listed improves bladder control. These items are-
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated beverages (with or without caffeine)
  • Milk or milk products
  • Coffee or Tea (even decaffeinated)
  • Medicines with caffeine
  • Citrus juice & fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato-based products
  • Highly spiced foods
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Chocolate
  • Corn Syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners
                            Watch the video:  How to choose the right incontinence product

It can be helpful to eliminate one item at a time, to see if there is improvement. This is because not all of the items on this list contribute toward incontinence, to the same degree, for every person. Identifying particular triggers for your elderly loved one is key in helping to control incontinence.

Drinking less will not solve the problem.
Many people have the mistaken assumption that if their elderly loved one just drinks less then incontinency will not be a problem. In addition, seniors who have bladder control problems may try to reduce the amount of liquids they drink, in the hope that they will need to urinate less often. The reality is that less liquid through the mouth, does result in less liquid in the form of urine, however, the smaller amount of urine may be more highly concentrated and then become irritating, to the bladder surface.

Worse yet the plan actually backfires since highly concentrated (dark yellow, strong smelling), urine may cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently. This also encourages the growth of bacteria, and when bacteria begin to grow, infection sets in, and more severe incontinence may be the result. You should never restrict fluids to control incontinence, without the advice of your physician. It is crucial to always follow your doctor’s instructions.

Take a look at the medications
Many seniors take several medications. Many medications alone, can contribute to incontinence, and drug interaction can also bring on incontinence. It is important to address this issue with the senior’s physician, to determine if medications are contributing to incontinence, and if they are, determining if changes need to be made.

Even with dietary changes, incontinence may still continue to be a major issue in the care of your senior. It can be frustrating, and overwhelming, trying to determine what products and information you need.  There is a new tool called The Incontinence Product Finder which helps you sort through over 500 choices to find the best choice for you.
The Incontinence Product Finder tool - allows you to sort through over 500 choices, easily and quickly

Here is a another tool which explains the various product types and when they are best used.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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