Are you rushing to the bathroom lately or waking up in the middle of the night to urinate? If so, it’s worth looking at which medications you are currently taking. That ‘gotta-go-now’ impulse is a common side effect for many medications that individuals are unaware of. This article will examine how diuretic medications can cause incontinence while offering suggestions to help you stay dry.
What are diuretics?
Diuretics are commonly known as water pills because they increase urine output by the kidneys. They are prescribed to treat many conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure, and kidney problems. Diuretics are important medications because they lower the risk of heart attack or stroke and make it easier to breathe. Some diuretics are combined with other medications in the same tablet to control blood pressure or heart function. Sometimes the side effects of diuretics can mimic those of overactive bladder like sudden, frequent urges to urinate, nighttime urination and incontinence.
How do different types of diuretics cause incontinence?
Thiazide diuretics like Microzide (Hydrochlorothiazide) and Diuril (Chlorothiazide) are very commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure. After taking a thiazide diuretic dose, you can usually expect increased urination in about 2 hours that will peak in about 4 hours. Loop diuretics are prescribed to treat serious fluid overload that is caused by heart, kidney or liver failure. Lasix (Furosemide) and Bumex (Bumetanide) are the two most common loop diuretics. After taking a loop diuretic dose, you can usually expect increased urination in about 1 hour that will peak about 1-2 hours later. Loop diuretics are the biggest culprits for incontinence because they work quickly and make large amounts of urine.
Watch your timing
If you take diuretics, make sure to follow your doctor’s prescription instructions exactly. Diuretics are usually taken first thing in the morning so they won’t interfere with sleep at night. If two doses are needed, you can check with your doctor to see if you can take it mid-afternoon. This can help minimize nighttime trips to the bathroom. Never skip doses or stop taking them without checking with your doctor first!
Other suggestions for staying dry
Even though a nightcap is a lovely treat at the end of a long day, mixing alcohol and diuretic medications is a recipe for incontinence. Alcohol not only increases urine output, it also makes people less aware that they need to use the bathroom. Other natural diuretics to avoid include coffee, tea, watermelon, hibiscus, and dandelion root. If your bladder is struggling to keep up with the extra workload from diuretic medications, some simple lifestyle changes can help. Maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking also help keep the bladder happy. Pass on the hot, spicy cuisines in favor of foods like pears, squash, and bananas that can have calming effects on the bladder. You can check out our blog for more information about food options that can help reduce the risk of incontinence.
If overnight incontinence persists despite your best efforts to stay dry, the SaniSnooze™ waterproof mattress is a good option. The fluid-resistant cover protects the supportive foam core to ensure maximum comfort and therapeutic sleep. SaniSnooze is the most convenient, cost-effective solution for incontinence, allowing users and caregivers to rest easily.
**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**