Picture a faucet that either is not closed properly or is slightly broken – the water drips and leaks out. Does this image remind you of your bladder? Well, for many older adults, a leaky bladder is the reality, which can be a nuisance and even a source of embarrassment.
Roughly 25 million American adults suffer from some form of urinary incontinence, with up to 80 percent of them being women. Specifically, one in four women over the age of 18 experience involuntary bladder leaks.
If you suffer from a leaky bladder, did you know that what you eat could be making it worse? It’s true, and here are five foods that are aggravating your leaky bladder problem.
Chocolate: Unfortunately, if you have a leaky bladder you will need to curb your sweet tooth, as chocolate can make the problem worse. Chocolate, along with coffee and cola, contain bladder-stimulating caffeine, which means more leaking.
Oranges: Citrus fruits are acidic and sometimes sour, which irritates the bladder. Reducing your consumption of citrus fruits can minimize leaks.
Spicy foods: You may like it hot, but your bladder doesn’t. Just like how your lips burn and your eyes tear when you consume spice, your bladder acts similarly, causing more leaks.
Sugar: Artificial sweeteners, sugar, and even honey are all irritants to the bladder. Cutting these sweet items from your diet may reduce the leaks.
Fizzy beverages: Carbonated, fizzy beverages – sparkling water included – all irritate the bladder, and although the link is unclear, factors like caffeine, carbonation, and sweeteners may all play a role.
If you’re consuming any of these items and suffer from bladder leaks, you may want to wean yourself off and see if you begin to notice any difference in your bladder habits.