Diet and Weight Control
In women, pelvic floor muscle tone weakens with significant weight gain. Weight loss can help reduce the frequency of urinary incontinence episodes in overweight women. Women should eat healthy foods in moderation and exercise regularly. Constipation can worsen urinary incontinence, so diets should be high in fiber, fruits and vegetables.
A common misconception among people with incontinence is that drinking less water will prevent accidents. In reality, limiting fluid intake has the following effects:
- The lining of the urethra and bladder becomes irritated, which may actually increase leakage.
- Concentrated urine also has a stronger pungency, so drinking plenty of fluids can help reduce odor.
People with incontinence, however, should stop drinking beverages 2-4 hours before going to bed, particularly those who experience leakage or accidents during the night.
Fluid and Food Restrictions
A number of foods and beverages may increase incontinence. People who drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages should try eliminating them to see if incontinence improves.