Incontinence can be a terrible hassle. If you find yourself needing to visit the toilet three or four times an hour to head off any chances of embarrassment, it might occur to you that you could drink less water so that you won’t have to excuse yourself for a toilet break as often. Unfortunately, this would be a dangerous, if not ineffective, way to get by on fewer toilet visits.
Even if you drink less water, your body will still need to get rid of the urea it makes. Your pee would become highly concentrated and this would irritate your bladder. An irritated bladder makes impulse control even more difficult.
In general, drinking less water isn’t a good idea. It can work in one way, though – when you drink less water a few hours before bedtime. This can certainly help you cut down on the number of toilet visits you need to make in the middle of the night. Since it is natural to hold it in at night, cutting down on your water at night doesn’t harm your body.
Cutting down on your alcohol isn’t a bad idea
Alcohol is a diuretic – it has the effect of dehydrating you by making you pee more often. If you already have an incontinence problem, this can be bad news. You could say much the same thing about anything with caffeine – coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and Red Bull. All of these are diuretic in nature – which means they make you produce more urine.
Including as little alcohol or caffeinated beverage in your day, then, is a good idea, when you deal with an incontinence situation.
Healthy drinks can be a problem, too
With your alcohol, coffee and cola ruled out (fizzy drinks aren’t a good idea either, because they tend to irritate your bladder), it might occur to you that you could console yourself with a glass of orange juice.
Unfortunately, many kinds of acidic fruits and fruit juices – orange, pineapple and cranberry, among others – are able to irritate your bladder. The more irritated your bladder is, the greater the chances that you could lose control.
Tomatoes present a special problem to people who struggle with incontinence. To start, tomatoes are acidic. Many vegetable juices include tomato juice and could have the effect of aggravating an incontinence problem. Tomatoes come with another problem too, though. Most foods with tomatoes have spices added for taste.
What’s wrong with spices?
For some reason, most components of a tasty meal include the use of bladder irritants. Consider spices and condiments, for instance. Salsa, chili, mustard, hot sauce, mayonnaise and pepper can make you really need to pee. You do not need to cut down all spicy food all at once, though. We all have different levels of ability to take bladder irritants. You can experiment with the amount of spices you use in your meals to find something that works for you. You could also experiment to see what kind of spice specifically affects you.
Better look at those medications
If you have incontinence-related trouble, you should have your doctor revisit your prescriptions. Many medicines – blood pressure drugs and antidepressants, for instance – can be troublesome. Your doctor could adjust your prescription to help ease your incontinence.
Our counselors and RNs at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are a senior care agency providing Elder Care in Orlando.