How to stop incontinence through lifestyle changes
Depending on the type of incontinence you are experiencing, it may be that a simple change in lifestyle can significantly improve your symptoms. Let’s take a look at the various changes you can make to your diet and activity to help treat incontinence and bladder weakness.
Consume less sugar
According to EmpowHER, eating too much sugar causes diseases such as Diabetes which can also increase the risk of bladder dysfunction. When excess sugar builds up, it can damage the nerves that control the bladder resulting in urinary incontinence:
“Although not as well-studied as caffeine and alcohol, sugary foods, including those that contain honey, corn syrup, and fructose, can also aggravate your bladder, some evidence suggests.”
We’re not suggesting that you cut away sugar completely. However, it’s important to make sure that you enjoy with caution and make it a part of a balanced diet.
Cut down the spicy foods
Spicy food - it’s not for everybody, but for those who like a little (or a lot) of spice in your lives, it’s important to be careful of how much you’re consuming, especially if you’re struggling with bladder weakness.
Health listed spicy foods as one of the ‘10 things that can make incontinence worse’ as it can be irritating for the bladder, making it more likely to cause incontinence:
“There are certain foods that are triggers for people with incontinence or overactive bladders, including spicy foods, which doctors have identified as common irritants for women,” says Kristen Burns, an adult urology nurse practitioner at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore.”
Consume fewer citrus fruits and drinks
Despite the alkalizing benefits and high dosages of Vitamin C, citrus can have a negative effect on people who are suffering from urge incontinence, as explained below by Health:
“Acidic foods and beverages, such as grapefruits, oranges, limes, lemons, and even tomatoes, can irritate your bladder and may worsen incontinence symptoms. “The bladder muscle has all kinds of nerves that can be affected by irritants, like acidic foods, which can exacerbate urgency symptoms,” says Burns.”
If this is something that affects you, don’t let citrus get on your nerves (literally)! Talk to your clinician or nutritionist about whether cutting down on citrus can benefit you.
Reduce your caffeine intake, including fizzy drinks
The Mayo Clinic explains how caffeine can cause increased bladder activity and urine production which then leads to symptoms such as a higher urgency & frequency of urination.
It’s hard to imagine our mornings without our friendly cup of Joe, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
“A can of Coke may be a double whammy for your bladder thanks to the caffeine and carbonation.” – Gladder Bladder
Increase magnesium intake
According to Better Woman, Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function; it may also help treat incontinence by reducing bladder muscle spasms and enabling the bladder to fully empty upon urination.
“In a small study at Tel Aviv University in Israel, more than half of the 40 women who took magnesium hydroxide pills twice a day had improvements in their urinary incontinence and did not wake up as many times in the night to go to the bathroom. Include magnesium-rich foods, such as corn, potatoes, and bananas in your diet, but talk to your doctor before you start taking magnesium supplements.” - Health
After speaking to many of our users we found out that having to wake up during the night to run to the toilet and not being able to get a decent night’s sleep is one of the worst parts of struggling with incontinence. This can affect your mood and quality of life as we all know how important sleep can be.
While INNOVO can help reduce the stress of constantly needing to pee during the night, magnesium-rich foods may also have an impact. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Increase vitamin D intake
A lack of vitamin D also appears on the list of ‘10 things that can make incontinence worse’ written by Health, who says:
“Vitamin D promotes calcium intake and good bone health. Research suggests that it can also reduce the risk of incontinence”, this is because it also helps with the maintenance of muscle strength including the pelvis which is needed for urinary control.
“A 2010 study found that women 20 years and older who had vitamin D levels that were in a normal range were less likely to have any type of pelvic floor disorder, including incontinence.”
So, try to add more foods containing Vitamin D to your diets, such as eggs, dairy, fortified milk, and fish, but before doing this, consult your health specialist for advice.
That’s right, you may actually need to drink more water according to Better Woman. A lot of people may deprive themselves of liquids due to the fear of leaks, but this may worsen your incontinence symptoms.
“Occasional constipation can cause bladder problems and not drinking enough fluids can be another cause of constipation. In addition, when you are dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated, which increases the risk of bladder irritation”.
If you suffer from urge incontinence, speak to your doctor about how much liquid intake is suitable for you depending on the severity of your incontinence.
One of the leading causes of incontinence is being overweight as this can lead to fatty tissue creating excess pressure on your bladder, therefore weakening your pelvic floor muscles. Some people are able to improve or even completely stop incontinence symptoms after losing any excess weight.