Stress incontinence can get in the way of daily life, causing anxiety and sometimes embarrassment for its sufferers. Although usually symptomatic of a larger condition, such as hormonal imbalance or a bacterial infection, this disorder can also be caused or further irritated by what is put in the body. Fortunately, food intake is easy to control, and cooking with healthier ingredients will not only be better for your bladder, but beneficial for your overall health as well. Read on to discover five foods that can help you with stress incontinence management and why they work.
Many staple fruits - particularly citruses like orange, lemon, and lime - have high levels of acidity that irritate the lining of the bladder and can worsen symptoms. Fruits with lower pH values are better alternatives for stress incontinence management. These include banana, avocado, and cherries.
Likewise, highly acidic vegetables like corn, squash, or tomatoes negatively affect bladder control, making stress incontinence management harder. Luckily, this doesn't mean you have to lose the healthy advantages of eating greens: several vegetables have low or even no acidity, including asparagus, broccoli, kale, and spinach. Adding more of these to any diet can benefit overall health, as well as specifically reducing incontinence problems.
A leading cause for stress incontinence among women going through menopause is hormonal imbalance. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which are nutrients that help to stabilize hormone levels. Soy products therefore can help neutralize menopausal side effects.
Soy milk is also great for stress incontinence management because it acts as a substitute for dairy milk, which can enable bacterial growth in the stomach and neutralize the natural acidity that might have killed an infection.
When it comes to meat, blander choices are more soothing for the bladder, so fresh turkey is a natural choice. Typical preparations of the bird don't usually require much spice, which can further irritate the system, in contrast with the sauces and rubs that often go on red meats.
Whole grains are notoriously high in dietary fiber, and thus promote healthy digestion and a reduced risk of constipation. This in itself contributes greatly toward stress incontinence management, but whole grains are also instrumental in maintaining a healthy weight - the risk of chronic incontinence increases with obesity.
Combined with regular aerobic and pelvic floor muscle exercises, these additions to a balanced diet could make all the difference toward feeling like yourself again and getting you back to a normal routine. There's no need to hide in the bathroom, when the key to your stress incontinence management might be as close as the kitchen table.
Explore the link for more information on how to handle incontinence during menopause.
- Mayo Clinic.(n.d)."Urinary Incontinence". Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.com.
- Sullivan, Dr. Nancy H. "Menopause and Incontinence". Providence Health and Services. Retreived from www.providence.org.