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Urinary Incontinence: Think Before You Drink

November 06, 2012 1 min read

What and how much you drink matters when it comes to urinary incontinence.

Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda, and acidic drinks, like citrus juice, can irritate your bladder and cause you to produce more urine. Alcoholic beverages also act as a diuretic and can quickly stimulate your bladder. However, if you’re reluctant to give up that morning coffee or evening glass of wine, know that cutting back to just one cup or glass a day can make a big difference. Also, switching from morning coffee or an afternoon soda to decaf coffee or herbal tea can help decrease bladder contractions which lead to accidents.

While decreasing caffeinated or acidic drinks can decrease accidents, drinking less water will not. This strategy can actually leave you dehydrated and your urine more concentrated, causing your bladder to be more irritated. Drinking too little can also cause constipation and increase your risk of developing urinary tract infections or kidney stones. On the other hand, drinking too much leads to more frequent urination.

Try drinking six to eight cups of fluid daily. Keeping a water bottlehandy will lead to drinking small doses throughout the day instead of trying to play catch-up when you get home at night. Another easy way to get your six glasses is to drink water with every meal. Drinking a large glass (equal to two cups) is a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day.

So next time you reach for that cup, think before your drink to maintain healthy bladder control.


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