Coffee is like a hug in a mug, but is it possibly exacerbating your incontinence issues?
Bladder incontinence, also known as urinary incontinence, is a common medical condition where there is an involuntary loss of urine, affecting over 25 million people in the United States.
This condition occurs when the muscles that control the bladder become weak, or when there is damage to the nerves that control the bladder. This means there may be incidents that can result in mild to severe leakage of urine, which can be embarrassing and disruptive to daily activities.
There's good news but there's also bad news: there are habits or diet decisions you are making that may be making your incontinence symptoms worse, which means simply having a new routine omitting them can alleviate leaks! The bad news? These habits may include things you love that you have to start cutting out… like caffeine!
Caffeine: the Diuretic
Caffeine consumption can unfortunately aggravate urinary incontinence symptoms in some people, leading to bladder problems. Particularly if they already have difficulty controlling bladder output, dealing with an overactive bladder or are currently managing stress incontinence.
This happens because caffeine is a mild diuretic, which means that it can increase urine production and cause the body to expel more fluid than it would without caffeine. When you consume coffee or a caffeinated beverage, it stimulates the kidneys to produce more urine by increasing blood flow to the kidneys and inhibiting the reabsorption of water in the kidneys.
This can lead to frequent urination and cause a dehydrating effect, making the urge to urinate stronger and more frequent. It can also irritate the bladder, causing bladder spasms or contractions that may lead to urine leakage, better described as urge incontinence.
Here's some music to your ears though: not everyone with urinary incontinence or bladder problems will be affected by caffeine in the same way. Some people may be able to tolerate moderate amounts of caffeinated drinks without any problems, while others may find that even a small amount of caffeine worsens their symptoms.
So, if you're a coffee lover and the idea of caffeine reduction sounds like an absolute nightmare, worry not! Here are some alternatives that will give you that daily caffeine intake without going over the top!
Caffeine In Healthier Amounts
Although caffeine consumption is typically in the form of coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, and energy drinks, it can also be found in chocolate, certain medications, and some supplements. Many of these have a diuretic effect as a result, but some have more caffeine than others.
Here are some estimations on how much caffeine is in these options, although it's worth noting that the amount of caffeine in each product can vary widely. It always depends on factors such as the type and preparation method of the product, as well as the serving size:
80-100 mg per 8 oz cup
15-60 mg per 8 oz cup
30-40 mg per 12 oz can
80-160 mg per 8 oz can
5-20 mg per 1 oz serving
Tea and chocolate, that doesn't sound so bad, does it? Instead of the high caffeine intake of 100mg a day, a nice tea with a side of chocolate could still give you a spring in your step, without having it exacerbate your incontinence!
It should be noted that some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others, so the effects of consuming caffeine can vary from person to person, where only little amounts can trigger incontinence in some whereas large amounts do nothing to others.
PRO TIP: If you have urinary incontinence, it may be helpful to keep a diary of your symptoms and what you eat and drink to see if there are any patterns or triggers. If you find that caffeine is one of the triggers exacerbating your symptoms, you may want to try reducing your intake or eliminating it altogether to see if it helps.
There are other benefits to cutting caffeine you can reap too, such as better sleep, reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure and fewer digestive issues! Plus, you aren't dependent on it as a substance anymore!
WellBefore and You
Whether you suffer from incontinence and are deciding to cut coffee or keep it around, WellBefore has the best incontinence products for you! One of our most absorbent incontinence briefs can handle up to 34 oz of leaks, and we have so many more absorption level options, in multiple sizes, at affordable prices!
Check out WellBefore and say goodbye to unforeseen incontinence accidents from caffeine-related issues or otherwise!
Disclaimer: If you happen to be suffering from incontinence and are unsure about how caffeine may affect your management of the condition, we highly recommend consulting with a medical professional before consuming caffeine in any such matter mentioned in this post.