Many people need a large cup of coffee (or two) to get through a long day, and caffeine is the world’s most commonly used option. Not only is it in a morning cup of coffee, but it’s added to many popular soft drinks, medications and supplements. But did you know that consuming lots of caffeine can make it harder for your bladder to hold onto urine? Keep reading to learn more about how caffeine is linked to urinary incontinence.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a drug that is found naturally in the leaves and seeds of coffee, cacao, and guarana plants. It can also be made artificially and added to foods, drinks, medicines, and supplements. Caffeine works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and focused. However, it can also cause anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, and a fast heart rate. How you react to caffeine depends on your body mass, metabolism, and how much you regularly consume.
The links between caffeine and incontinence
People who consume large amounts of caffeine are more likely to have urine leakage. This is partly due to the fact that caffeine is a mild diuretic, which means it tells the kidneys to make more urine. Caffeine also irritates the smooth muscle of the bladder, which can contribute to urinary frequency and urge incontinence. Overall, people who consume more than two cups of coffee per day are more likely to experience incontinence than people who drink less or none at all.
Hidden sources of caffeine
Caffeine can be found in more than just coffee and energy drinks. Many other foods, beverages and supplements also contain significant amounts of caffeine. For instance, Awake Chocolate bars have 50 milligrams of caffeine, almost as much as a can of Mountain Dew. White chocolate is a much better option because it is made from cocoa butter and is caffeine free. Other desserts can also pack a potent amount of caffeine, with 70 mg in a cup of Ben & Jerry’s coffee toffee bar crunch ice cream. Your medicine cabinet might be hiding a substantial amount of caffeine too! Two Excedrin Migraine tablets have 130 milligrams of caffeine to provide faster, more effective relief from headaches. Many weight loss products and workout supplements are loaded with caffeine, too, to help you get a few extra reps in at the gym.
Cutting down on caffeine
In the United States, the average adult consumes an average of 135 mg of caffeine every day, roughly the amount in a 12 ounce cup of coffee. According to the FDA, healthy adults can drink up to 400 mg of caffeine per day without serious side effects. However, sensitivity and tolerance to caffeine varies widely between individuals. For people with urinary incontinence, reducing or eliminating caffeine intake can help them stay dry. Doing this gradually over a 1 to 2 week period helps prevent the headaches and fatigue that can accompany caffeine withdrawal.
While caffeine consumption doesn’t directly cause urinary incontinence, it can certainly be a contributing factor. If you’re suffering from bladder weakness, consider cutting down on coffee and other sources of caffeine. If incontinence remains a problem after going caffeine-free, protective underwear and pads might be a good idea. For chronic incontinence problems, a SaniSnooze™ mattress cover is an ideal solution for children and adults of all ages. It completely protects the mattress to ensure maximum comfort and therapeutic sleep. SaniSnooze™ is the most convenient, cost-effective solution for incontinence, allowing users and caregivers to rest easily. Additional incontinence supplies are also available, including protective underwear and pads.
**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.**