What to avoid to help with incontinence


Reduce caffeine
Cut down on caffeine in coffee, black tea and carbonated drinks. Reduce your sugar intake and be aware that artificial sweeteners in acidic carbonated drinks may irritate the bladder. Including green tea and hot chocolate.

Step away from the fruit juice
Cranberry juice might be great for cystitis but not for urge incontinence as it can irritate the bladder. Tomatoes, citrus fruits, grapefruit and acidic fruit juices can also make problems worse for some people.

Limit alcohol
Alcohol is another no, no. Its diuretic action, contributes to urge incontinence, leads to dehydration and makes your kidneys work hard to remove unwanted waste from your system. 

Avoid hot, fiery, overly spiced foods
Digestive irritants such as curries, hot peppers and other spicy foods can inflame your bladder - potentially making stress incontinence worse. They’re not going to help your hot flushes either! Cut out the heat and opt for mild spices or sauces that are coconut based; add yoghurt to cool those spices down.

And cigarettes too?
Yes. Nicotine can irritate the bladder adding to symptoms. As anyone who’s had a bad cough will know coughs and stress incontinence don’t make a good match. As a smoker, you may develop a cough that may add to the stress on your bladder.


Laura Llewellyn