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InterView Magazine

Urinary Incontinence: A Symptom that can be Relieved

        Whether you call it an accident, bladder
leakage, urinary Incontinence, or overactive bladder, it means the same thing to those who experience a loss of bladder control. It means frequently needing to use the bathroom and not always making it in time, and perhaps being too embarrassed to admit that there is a problem.
        If you are suffering from urinary incontinence, know that you are not alone. Two-thirds of men and women between the ages of 30 and 70 have experienced urinary incontinence and have never talked about it with their doctor.
      Urinary incontinence is not a disease but a symptom, and it can be caused by everyday habits, undiagnosed medical conditions, or other physical problems.

 Bring Relief – Limit Certain Foods
Some foods and beverages may trigger urinary incontinence. Make a list of the following foods, known to be triggers, that you regularly consume and try removing them from your diet to see if a specific food or drink is affecting your bladder control.

  • Caffeinated or carbonated beverages(sodas & coffee, etc)
  • Spicy foods (jalapeños, etc.)
  • Sugary foods or beverages
  • Acidic foods (citrus fruits & juices, etc.)
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based foods (ketchup, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
  • Aged cheeses or sour cream
  • Highly processed foods that are full of chemicals (alcohol benzyl & monosodium
    glutamate (MSG) etc.)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
Once you discover which foods are triggering your urinary incontinence, you do not have to cut them out completely. Just be aware of how many of these foods and drinks you are consuming and try to enjoy them in moderation.

 Don't Be Afraid to Talk to Your Doctor
Even if cutting certain foods and drinks from your diet is helping to relieve your bladder distress, you should still see your doctor. Urinary incontinence is a common problem, but can be a symptom of a serious medical condition.
An undiagnosed illness or disease such as a bladder infection, an enlarged prostate, a tumor pressing on the bladder, or diabetes may be causing the problem. Don’t let embarrassment get in the way of your health. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing a loss of bladder control.

 What to cover in the Conversation
When talking to your doctor: 

  • Describe your symptoms clearly
  • Mention the length of time you have experiened urinary incontinence and whether it has changed or worsened over time
  • Be sure to mention any surgeries you’ve had
  • Discuss any other illnesses or conditions you may have that are affecting your health
  • Bring a list of all medications you are taking, including herbal supplements, vitamins, or minerals
It is normal to feel discomfort or embarrassment when discussing urinary incontinence, but this is a problem that affects many people. Speak frankly with your doctor. Diminishing or hiding your symptoms will only hinder your doctor’s
ability to help you.
For more information, please call our Health Services department at 800-251-8191, ext 249, to speak with one of our nurses confidentially.

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