The Best Food for Incontinence and Bladder
Our bladder health can greatly impact our overall health and wellness, especially as we grow older. That’s why it’s important to watch for signs of urinary tract infections (UTIs), an overactive bladder (OAB), bladder irritation, bladder pain, and urinary incontinence.
These conditions' symptoms may indicate a larger health need, but they may also be treatable. Simply tweaking your lifestyle may go a long way in reducing discomfort and making it easy to enjoy your favorite activities and events.
While we often hear that our diet can have a big effect on the health of our body, it’s a little more complicated than simply making a few swaps regarding bladder problems and symptoms.
Male Drip Protection (MDP) is here to help. You can rely on MDP throughout the day, and we’ll share everything you need to know about taking care of your overall bladder health.
Urinary Incontinence Explained
One of the most commonly experienced bladder health conditions is urinary incontinence. Simply put, urinary incontinence is the loss of some or all of your bladder control. This may mean urgent needs, bladder leaks, or spotting throughout the day.
Some urinary incontinence which involves significant loss of bladder control may require using a catheter, but lighter levels of urinary incontinence may occur when sneezing or coughing.
There are many potential causes behind incontinence, but here at MDP, we’re dedicated to providing the resources you need to coexist with your urinary incontinence without shame or isolation, but rather with confidence and security to engage in any activity you want.
We’re also the resource you can rely on for information about pelvic floor exercises, bladder control, and the best ways to keep your bladder healthy.
Best Foods for Incontinence and Bladder
It might be tempting to say that a diet switch or lifestyle changes can make all the difference in your bladder’s health, but it isn’t quite that simple. You always want to work with a healthcare professional, like a urologist, to get to the root cause of conditions like bladder incontinence.
Eating a healthy diet is important, but there’s not likely to be some silver bullet dish that can reduce bladder incontinence symptoms or provide full relief. However, a few foods are generally recommended to help support bladder health.
Some bladder-friendly foods include:
- Fiber-rich foods like whole grains, legumes, lentils, quinoa, and veggies
- Antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and cranberries (or unsweetened cranberry juice)
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lean proteins, like cashews and fatty fish
If you’re thinking about adding one of these foods to your diet, make sure you run it past a healthcare professional before you go to the grocery store. Your doctor may have other suggestions based on your medical history.
That said, certain foods can increase the amount of urinary incontinence you experience. By reducing the amount of those foods you consume, you may reduce the amount of leaking or spotting. Here are a few of the foods and drinks you’ll want to look out for.
Anyone who regularly reaches for their morning cup of coffee knows that caffeine can act as both a bladder and bowel stimulant. If you notice that you have a particularly overactive bladder around the times when you drink caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, or energy drinks, it may be the result of excessive bladder stimulation.
Consider reducing caffeine intake to see if it affects symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Alcohol is another known bladder stimulant that can trigger a sense of urgency in the bladder and may have you visiting the bathroom more often than you otherwise would. As with caffeine, it can be useful to reduce or remove alcohol from your diet and see if that impacts how often you visit the bathroom or experience symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Spicy foods are often associated with an urgent need to visit the bathroom, which has to do with how capsaicin, the ingredient that makes your food spicy, interacts with your lower intestine.
Citrus fruits can also negatively impact your continence. Acidic foods like lemons, limes, and grapefruits might be rich in vitamin C, but their high acid content can upset your stomach and increase your symptoms.
Because conditions related to bowel movements, like constipation and diarrhea, are often related to or interact with bladder behaviors, it’s also important to pay attention to foods that affect your bowel movements when addressing bladder health.
Pair Your Diet With
Changes to diet and healthy eating aren’t typically enough to entirely reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence, as such changes may have some beneficial effect. But don’t worry…
You can take simple steps at home and with the support of your healthcare professional to address those symptoms and help you get the relief you deserve.
When we think of Kegel exercises, we often think of women. But the truth is that Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor exercises, can hugely influence your bladder's health. That’s because many causes of urinary incontinence have to do with weak muscles, which can be strengthened with Kegel exercises.
Before beginning pelvic floor exercises, consult your doctor for medical advice. They can determine if this will be a safe practice in your current routine.
If you’re just beginning your Kegel exercise practice, it’s a good idea to start on your back, which can help reduce the impact of gravity and ensure that you’re using the best muscles for the job.
Essentially, you want to squeeze the muscles that you would associate with preventing gas passage without squeezing the abdomen, thigh, or buttock muscles.
Once you feel comfortable with Kegel exercises in that position, you can also try them during the urination process. Again, without squeezing the buttock, thigh, or abdominal muscles, you’ll try to reduce or even stop the urine stream.
It’s recommended that you follow regular practice with Kegel exercises to ensure your muscles are getting the exercise they need to impact your bladder health. A few practices a few times a day will do the trick when you're just starting.
As you progress, try to tighten and relax the muscles to slow counts of five, repeating the process ten times. Throughout the day, you’ll want to do at least three sets of Kegel exercises.
This can help to make your bladder healthy and should ideally reduce the prevalence of symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Use Urinary Incontinence Pads
One of the best ways to navigate the effects of urinary incontinence is by adding urinary incontinence pads to your daily routine. Urinary incontinence pads are designed to capture any leakage before getting to the underwear and help provide support and comfort throughout the day.
One of the biggest issues regarding urinary incontinence pads is that men often reach for alternatives that aren’t designed for such use, like menstrual products for women. Here at MDP, we’ve created a product that is specifically designed for male leakage, so the modern man can continue to travel, create, make memories, and spend time with loved ones without worry.
There are many reasons that MDP’s approach to managing urinary incontinence stands out. First, we eliminate the consequences of “misfires,” where the male anotomy might be pointed in a direction outside the pad, by placing the pad directly onto and around the male anatomy, making misfires almost impossible.
We also created MDP with a loved one in mind to help him avoid feelings of embarrassment and isolation associated with urinary incontinence. We hope to share these benefits with the millions of men around the country who are also managing the same symptoms and feelings.
It all starts with the dual-strap design, which allows MDP to conform and be adjusted to your specific body and shape. This way, you always know that your protection is in place and that it won’t move around.
It can be used with any undergarment, even boxer shorts, and the moisture-wicking technology will allow you to move throughout your day without worrying about sweat or urine. It’s easy to remove and put back on when you visit the facilities. With this discrete and comfortable product, concerns about urinary incontinence will be a thing of the past.
Urinary incontinence affects many men for many reasons. At its worst, it can lead to embarrassment, isolation, and frustration.
However, incontinence can tell us a lot about the health of our bladder and our body as a whole, which is why it’s important to pay attention to symptoms of urinary incontinence and to schedule a meeting with a healthcare professional to get to the root cause.
In the meantime, you can make some simple changes and adjustments to your daily life that can help improve bladder strength and give you greater control over your body. Some include changes to the diet, like reducing the number of bladder stimulants you consume, including caffeine and alcohol.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re practicing pelvic floor exercises at the advice of your urologist, which can help you strengthen the bladder muscles over time. One of the simplest and most helpful options you can try is using MDP to manage your light urinary incontinence.
Male Drip Protection is effective, discrete, and designed for the busy man on the go who experiences light levels of leakage. Don’t let urinary incontinence hold you back from the things you love. Let MDP help you on your journey of getting back to living life without limits.
15 Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy | National Institute on Aging
Why do I have to pee all the time? | Edward-Elmhurst Health
Kegel exercises for men: Understand the benefits | Mayo Clinic