If you are a senior with incontinence or the caregiver for an elderly loved one with incontinence, you may believe that how much a person drinks is what causes incontinence. This mistaken belief often leads to seniors(and their caregivers) reducing the amount of liquid the person drinks, resulting in serious medical consequences. Many seniors are at increased risk of dehydration due to other medical conditions and should never have their liquid intake severely reduced. Instead, the beverage type being consumed should be considered, and perhaps some dietary changes should be made.
Here are some beverages that make incontinence worse.
Alcohol – Drinking alcohol poses a dual problem for people struggling with incontinence. Alcohol is both a stimulant for the bladder and a diuretic, so it causes the body to flush out water. This means that it can exacerbate incontinence for many people. To avoid dealing with the effects of alcohol, it is best to choose water-based mixed drinks. Remember that you should never mix alcohol with any other bladder irritant, like caffeinated drinks. In addition, consider cutting back. Keep in mind that you can still have a good time with just one drink. Finally, no matter what you drink, consider flushing it out with plenty of water.
Soda pop: Everyone loves soda, pop, or whatever it may be called in your area. However, soda can contain a lot of bladder triggers, such as caffeine, carbonation, and cocoa-based flavorings. Many people believe that diet soda is better for their health; however, if you have incontinence, the artificial sweetener can make it worse. Drinks like lemonade, herbal tea, or sparkling water can be a refreshing alternative to soda.
Coffee and tea – The problem with these drinks is their caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it stimulates the bladder and can make the person with incontinence feel that they have to go even more. If you are used to drinking coffee and tea, this should not be a major problem provided that the amounts concerned are not enormous and the intake is combined with other beverages.
In general, you can drink whatever you like when dealing with incontinence, as long as you combine different beverages and make sure you do not overhydrate or underhydrate.