Urinary incontinence in seniors: Foods and drinks to avoid

Feb 16, 2012, 8:17 a.m.

Wetting one's pants is no party as a little kid, and it gets a lot worse with age. Urinary incontinence (UI) is an unfortunately common problem among seniors from a variety of backgrounds. The condition is marked by uncontrollable urine leakage. It can be pretty darn inconvenient when not within a few yards of a bathroom. Even worse is the constant potential for embarrassment.

An individual's specific treatment for urinary incontinence depends greatly on the underlying cause of the condition. While treatment methods vary greatly from one person to the next, all patients can benefit from avoiding the following types of food and beverages:


Knocking back beer with buddies is fun, but it also can lead to urine leakage. Even a small amount of booze is capable of causing rapid dehydration. Alcohol dehydration manifests itself in a rapidly filling bladder. Throw in the altered brain signals that accompany an alcohol buzz and there is a complete recipe for disaster.


Like alcohol, caffeinated beverages dehydrate the body while stimulating the bladder. Don't panic, not all caffeine needs to be cut out. Just think of coffee in terms of cups per day, not pots per day.


Spicy foods also tend to irritate the bladder, which is why it is best to avoid adding super hot salsa to tacos. That Tex-Mex flavor is still attaibable, just reduce the spice quotient a little bit.

Raw Onions

Onions are known for causing involuntary tears, but they can also lead to involuntary urination. Cooked onions are a preferable option, as they are much easier on the bladder.

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