Life can be stressful at times, especially if you are dealing with the frustrations and hassles of incontinence. Many people enjoy nothing better than a nice glass of wine at the end of a long and stressful day, to relax before going to bed. But could even moderate consumption of alcohol be contributing to your incontinence issues?
The good news is unlike many other medical issues there are a lot of decisions and lifestyle choices that anyone dealing with incontinence can make that have been shown to have a positive effect on their symptoms. Reducing your alcohol intake or abstaining is a perfect example of one of the strategies you could employ to reduce the symptoms of incontinence; let’s examine why
Why Alcohol Causes Problems For Incontinence Sufferers
The biggest issue with alcohol for anyone dealing with incontinence is that it is a diuretic. Amongst other things, a diuretic increases, or at least contributes towards the production of urine. This is the polar opposite of what anyone who is dealing with incontinence needs and is only ever likely to exacerbate the problem.
The vast majority of people even those who do not suffer from incontinence will have experienced the effects of excess alcohol on an evening out. Essentially you can consume quite a significant quantity of alcohol, without needing to visit the toilet. However, once you make that first trip, then it seems like you have to go to the toilet every five minutes. For anyone who is incontinent this problem is magnified ten fold.
Another side effect of consuming alcohol is that it acts as a muscle relaxant, which causes further issues. If and when the bladder muscles relax then the seal that stops urine leaking, is broken. This, in turn, causes leakages over which the patient has no control.
One of the other side effects of alcohol is that it can leave you dehydrated, normally the solution to this problem is to consume sufficient quantities of water to prevent the dehydration, and the subsequent hangover in the morning. However, this is only likely to cause more incontinence issues as clearly whatever liquids you put into your body; they have to come out again, so the higher the volume of liquid the higher the risk that you will suffer some form of incontinence.
Could Reducing My Alcohol Intake Help Me To Tackle My Incontinence?
If you are reading this article to try and complete some sort of diagnosis or to try and deal with the issue in the privacy of your own home, please understand that this article cannot and should not be treated as medical advice. If you have suddenly started to experience incontinence issues, book an appointment with your GP and get yourself checked out properly.
However, from an informational standpoint, consuming significant volumes of alcohol on a daily basis, is certainly not going to help, and it has the potential to be a contributing factor to your incontinence. Take a close look at your lifestyle, and start to evaluate and analyse how much alcohol you are consuming on a daily basis. Most doctors advise anyone suffering from incontinence, to restrict themselves to one alcoholic drink per day. This is a maximum recommended intake, not permission to have one drink every day.
The good news is that in most occurrences of incontinence, it can be treated successfully, simply by applying some lifestyle changes and engaging in certain forms of exercise. For people who have only recently been diagnosed with incontinence, whose symptoms are mild and who still consume large quantities of alcohol, drastically reducing their intake of alcohol, or stopping drinking entirely may be sufficient to stop the symptoms of incontinence from occurring.
Equally, incontinence could be a symptom of more serious issues, which is why it is critically important that you seek medical advice. Furthermore, until the root cause of the problems has been diagnosed, it might be a good idea not to drink any alcohol at all. Although this might sound like an extreme measure to take, dealing with incontinence can be both frustrating and embarrassing, and in some instances life changing. Having spoken to many incontinence sufferers, the frustrations of giving up social drinking are far outweighed by not having to deal with the pressures, hassle, and inconvenience of incontinence.
Although not the solitary contributing factor to incontinence, there is no doubt that alcohol can and does play a part, so if you are concerned about incontinence, eliminate your alcohol intake for at least a couple of weeks and see if the symptoms fade. You might be pleasantly surprised, but don’t just leave it there, make sure you visit your local GP for a proper examination, in case there are other underlying factors.