Why Nutrition Matters With Incontinence

Dianna Malkowski 

My name is Dianna Malkowski.  I am a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained Nutritional.  I serve on the board of the professional advisory panel of The CareGiver Partnership.

Incontinence is a common problem among the elderly but it can happen to anyone. When you are dealing with incontinence you need to consider the cause and type that you are dealing with in order to know what you are having to manage so you can purchase the right incontinence products. Nutrition is one of the things that you need to focus on when you are dealing with incontinence as it can limit the frequency of your incontinence episodes.  Here are some tips that will help you to understand the impact of nutrition and incontinence.

Tip # 1 – Maintain a healthy weight
When you are eating right you will be able to manage incontinence easier as you don’t have as much weight pressing down on the bladder. Pregnant women often see incontinence arise as they start to gain more weight and it can press on the bladder, which forces the urine to escape. After giving birth you may still deal with some incontinence concerns because the pelvic floor muscles will be stretched out and weaker. Getting your weight back to a manageable and healthy state will give you the best option in managing your troubles with incontinence.

Tip # 2 – Drink water
There are a lot of drinks out there that can irritate the bladder and will increase your concerns with incontinence. You need to focus your efforts on drinking lots of water over soda and caffeine. Caffeine and sugars will increase the frequency of urination and this causes the bladder to be stimulated to release urine too much. Always drink plenty of water as it helps to prevent dehydration and prevents constipation as well. Having plenty of water in the body is a great way to manage incontinence. Just know when you are going out and limit how much water you drink about an hour before you leave so you don’t have too many issues with incontinence.

Tip # 3 – Watch your foods
Like the caffeine in soda you can also see problems with certain foods like citrus fruits. Citrus foods often stimulate the bladder to release urine frequently. Then you also have to be concerned about other foods like spicy foods. Spicy foods do the same thing to the bladder and can cause you to have issues with incontinence. When you reduce your intake of these foods you will be able to see a decrease in the number of incontinent episodes that you have.

                              Watch this video to learn how to select the right incontinence product

When you are focused on healthier eating to manage incontinence one of the foods that you want to increase in your diet is high fiber foods like vegetables (broccoli) and whole grains. These foods help the body to properly move fecal matter from the body and prevent incontinence episodes. When you are constipated and not staying regular, it pushes on the bladder and causes you to strain when you are using the restroom. This can cause you to have issues with incontinence.

Since individuals with incontinence often struggle with certain issues like bladder infections, you must focus your efforts on eating foods that can help to keep bacteria at bay. Foods that are high in Vitamin C will be able to help to reduce bacterial issues. Some foods that are great at helping to manage your bladder infection problems are cranberries, blueberries, lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnip greens, etc. All of these foods have a lot of beta-carotene and Vitamin C and they are highly beneficial in managing infections in the bladder.

Herbs are also great at helping with incontinence. Certain teas that in horsetail will help with incontinence as they promote urine flow, preventing an infection. Drinking it in the morning is a great option so you know when you will have a lot of urination and then you can manage incontinence with the right type of adult diapers and other incontinence supplies throughout the day.


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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 http://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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