You and your elderly family member might both be surprised to realize that some of the foods and drinks that she loves might be contributing to incontinence problems. Figuring out which ones are the problem can help your elderly family member to manage her incontinence more effectively.
Your senior might love carbonated beverages, but her bladder may have a different idea on that. Carbonation can be irritating to your senior’s urinary tract, causing her bladder to spasm and experience leaks. The other big problem is that most carbonated beverages tend to be high in sugars, which can also be irritating. That gives her urinary tract a double whammy. It can be tough to give up carbonated drinks cold turkey, though, so cutting back is the first step.
Highly Acidic or Spicy Ingredients
Foods that are acidic, like vinegar-based foods or citrusy foods, can be as irritating to the urinary system as carbonation can be. Spices, particularly peppers and other spices containing powerful ingredients like capsaicin, can have a similar effect. There are other parts of her digestive system that can be irritated by these ingredients, too.
Alcohol, Tea, and Coffee
Tea, alcohol, and coffee are all diuretics. That means they pull water and liquids through your senior’s system a little more quickly. That can be a problem if her bladder gets a little overwhelmed by the influx of liquids. Your senior can also experience issues with alcohol temporarily weakening her bladder muscles, which can be a huge problem when it comes to maintaining continence. Limiting the intake of these types of beverages can help.
Sweetened Foods and Drinks
Sweet foods and drinks may never have been a problem for your senior in the past, but as she grows older, they can irritate her digestive system and her urinary tract. Your elderly family member may be fine to a certain point, but just a little too much sugar can set her system off. Tracking can help you to determine those limits, but it might be a good idea to reduce sugar intake overall.
Something that can help if your elderly family member doesn’t know what is causing her incontinence to be better and worse at different times is keeping track in a food diary. Elderly care providers can help her to keep track of what she’s eating and drinking throughout the day, which can give both of you a lot of insight.