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Alcohol and Incontinence – How Drinking Can Affect Your Incontinence Symptoms

Alcohol and Incontinence – How Drinking Can Affect Your Incontinence Symptoms

February 19, 2015

It’s only natural for those who experience incontinence, or the unintentional leakage of urine, to want to kick their symptoms or find a way to overcome them. But often times, these incontinence issues are triggered by the way one lives more than anything else. For instance, certain foods that you eat and liquids that you drink can trigger incontinence symptoms or make existing symptoms even worse.

One such thing that can trigger incontinence is the moderate to excessive consumption of alcohol. Here’s a closer look at how and why:

Alcohol and Incontinence

Alcohol is what’s called a “diuretic.” Specifically, a diuretic is defined as a substance that increases, or helps to increase, the production of urine. This can thereby help contribute to urge incontinence, as you’ll produce more urine with the more alcohol you consume. You may have heard of the term “breaking the seal” when it comes to drinking alcohol. This refers to the fact that you’re likely to be urinating often after the initial urination when drinking.

What’s more is that regular alcohol consumption can also act as an irritant on the bladder, which can present issues for those with overactive bladders. Here’s some more information on the link between alcohol and incontinence:

  • Dehydration: Alcohol consumption can also lead to dehydration, which can also lead to bladder irritation.
  • Muscle relaxation: Although alcohol is defined as a “depressant,” most who drink in moderation just consume it more for relaxation and its stimulant effect. But this can become problematic when it comes to urinary incontinence, as alcohol can also lead to the relaxation of the bladder muscles, thereby possibly inducing unintentional leakage. Alcohol consumption can also cause the brain to send impaired signals to the rest of the body, confusing people as to when they need to go.
  • Most health professionals recommend that those who experience urinary incontinence only consume as many as one alcoholic drink per day. This can help reduce – or eliminate symptoms – of incontinence completely in some cases.
  • Other drinks: Alcoholic drinks aren’t the only thing that can encourage unintentional urine leakage – caffeinated beverages, decaf tea and coffee, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners and acidic drinks can also be problematic.

So if you’ve just started experiencing incontinence, it’s important to first analyze your lifestyle before you jump to any conclusions about your overall well being. Often times, simple lifestyle modifications can greatly reduce incontinence issues. It’s just a matter of taking a look at your habits and lifestyle to determine where modifications or changes need to be made. However, if symptoms persist following lifestyle adjustments, then the best course of action is to seek the advice of your medical professional.

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