Diet Guidelines for Incontinence:
7 Helpful Tips

Diet can help reduce some incontinence symptoms but Elitone can tackle the root issues.
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Urinary incontinence has become one of the biggest hassles in your life, wreaking havoc among a laugh with friends, your daily jog, or even playing with your kids. Anxiety about bladder leakage dictates nearly everything you do. You may feel powerless to stop these leaks, but did you know there are specific diet guidelines you should (and shouldn’t) follow for incontinence?

Diet guidelines for incontinence: foods to add

Being aware of certain nutrients can help you balance your diet for incontinence, assisting your body in naturally reducing leaks.

Magnesium is an important mineral that supports nerve and muscle function and is known to reduce bladder muscle spasms. Supplements ensure that you’re receiving your target daily allowance, but diet can also incorporate magnesium by eating bananas, avocados, dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, beans, and whole grains. In addition to bladder control, magnesium can also help with energy level, sleep quality, and bone and muscle health.

Fiber is important for maintaining bowel health. If you have occasional bladder leakage, constipation may be the culprit. When your bowels are full, it can put significant pressure on the bladder. Fiber helps keep things moving. Try adding fibrous foods, such as nuts, seeds, oats, beans, lentils, and vegetables. Fiber also can help with controlling blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and weight loss.

Vitamin D deficiencies can increase pelvic floor disorders, which can contribute to bladder control issues. A 2016 study at the University of Alabama Birmingham found a clear association between Vitamin D and urinary incontinence in older adults. So get some sun (don’t forget the sunscreen)! Time outside is the easiest way to get vitamin D, but recommended foods include eggs, fortified dairy, and fish. Of course, supplements also help increase Vitamin D levels.

Diet guidelines for incontinence: foods to avoid

Removing foods you love is probably more difficult than adding healthy foods, but targeting a diet for incontinence can have an impact. Check out some of the foods to avoid when suffering from incontinence.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases the production of urine and causes more frequent urination. Alcohol consumption also affects messages from the brain to the bladder that signifies when it’s time to urinate. So when you’re drinking, you have less control over your body’s natural signals, which can increase the chance of an accident for individuals who already struggle with bladder incontinence.

Caffeine comes in many forms, including sodas, teas, chocolate, and coffee. As with alcohol, caffeine triggers your body to eliminate liquids, causing more frequent urination. This increase in urination can irritate the bladder and increase the symptoms of incontinence.

Sugar also can lead to greater urine production, which can be harmful to women with urinary incontinence because it exacerbates the existing symptoms. Eliminating or significantly decreasing sugar is one of the most challenging dietary adjustments. The U.S. consumes the most sugar per capita in the world, with an average of two pounds per week! Check out these no sugar recipes for ideas on how to cut down on sugar.

High acid foods also irritate the bladder, making you feel like you have to urinate more often than normal. Common examples of acidic foods are citrus, tomatoes, and pineapples, but less obvious acidic sources include coffee, alcohol, and soda. Learn more by reading this list of foods high in acid.

Myths about diet guidelines for incontinence

“Drink less water.” A natural precaution for women with incontinence is to drink less water before going on a run or leaving the house. Logic says that drinking too much of any liquid increases the risk of having an accident. However, your water intake is not the issue. You can treat bladder incontinence without depriving yourself of proper hydration. Drinking less water will make your urine more concentrated and could cause irritation to the bladder. Staying hydrated is key to healthy living, so instead, look for other ways to treat your incontinence symptoms.

“Drink cranberry juice.” Cranberry juice is another myth surrounding bladder issues. Although unsweetened cranberry juice can improve urinary tract and kidney health, it doesn’t help with bladder incontinence. Its high acidity may actually increase incontinence symptoms.

Don't let leaks stop you from enjoying the outdoors! Try Elitone to stop those leaks.

Listen to your body

Changing your diet guidelines because of incontinence is not easy, especially when avoiding things we enjoy. Alcohol, a substance that often represents relaxation and socializing, can be difficult to eliminate, even if your pelvic floor health is at stake. Caffeine has been integrated into many of our diets from an early age and helps most of us have the energy to take on the day. Maybe you’ve relied on highly acidic foods or cannot imagine a life without sugar. We get it!

Cutting out these staples is a challenge for everyone, but even one or two changes can make a difference. Try logging your food and trips to the bathroom to see if dietary changes help your leaky bladder. And if you don’t see any improvement, it might be time to explore treatment options. Do not be discouraged! There are many solutions for incontinence.

When should you seek incontinence treatment?

Following certain diet guidelines for incontinence typically helps in the early stages, but these guidelines may not solve all your bladder leaks. Educate yourself on your urinary incontinence treatment options and even when not to treat incontinence. Fortunately, there are at-home treatment options, including an FDA-cleared option for a wearable device that tones your pelvic floor muscles to stop bladder leaks.

Beyond Your Diet – Incontinence Treatment Options

Knowing what foods to avoid to help with incontinence is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to improving symptoms.  While diet changes can be effective, they can be challenging to implement (we get it if you NEED that morning cup of coffee!  Herbal tea just isn’t the same.) and they may take time to see results.  This may leaving you wondering what other natural treatment options you can try to feel more comfortable, confident, and leak free.

For many women, the first place start is with Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor.  This may seem like a simple solution.  After all, you can do them discreetly anytime and anywhere.  However, you may find it difficult to remember to perform Kegels on a regular basis, decreasing their effectiveness.  It’s also important that they be done correctly and results can take several months.

How Can Elitone Support Diet Changes for Incontinence?

If you want to ensure that you are exercising your pelvic floor muscles correctly and consistently, you may find it beneficial to use a pelvic floor exercise device like Elitone.  Elitone is an FDA-cleared device that has been proven to reduce leaks by up to 70% in 6 weeks.  Elitone is used externally for just 20 minutes a day.  Women love Elitone for it’s ease of use: simple press, peel, and go.  You can easily carry about your normal activities while Elitone uses neuromuscular stimulation to help tone your pelvic floor.  If you’re tired of be concerned about urinary leaks when you laugh, cough, sneeze, or exercise, Elitone can help.

Incontinence treatment is not a one size fits all solution.  By combining natural treatment options like knowing what foods to avoid with incontinence with pelvic floor exercises, you may see improvement faster.

If you’ve found some diet guidelines that have been helpful with your incontinence journey, we want to hear about them! Share on social media using the hashtag #EatingForBladderHealth. We are here to support your goals of improved bladder health and leak-free living!

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