Categorized | Bladder Health

Drinking Less to Avoid Incontinence

A study which pulled data from more than 65,000 health and lifestyle surveys of female nurses looked at women who had not yet developed incontinence, to see whether fewer beverages each day could prevent the onset of incontinence later. The survey tracked nurses for 2-4 years, asking how much they drank each day and seeing who later developed incontinence.  The researchers tallied all beverages, including alcohol, coffee, milk, water and juice.  The survey did not ask how many beverages each day the women had, but rather the total amount of fluids they drank.

Drinking ranged from a little more than a liter – about three 12 ounce cans of soda – to nearly three liters each day. The researchers grouped the women into five categories, from the smallest amount of fluid intake to the largest.

“The rate of developing incontinence was the same” said Fran Grodstein, the lead researcher of the study. About 30 percent of the women later came to have at least one leaking episode per month which is consistent with other estimates of incontinence among women.

Incontinence can be caused by poor control over a full bladder or forced leaks from sneezing or laughing.  People who experience it frequently limit how much they drink to manage the problem and reduce leaks.

“Adequate hydration especially for older women is important and they shouldn’t be restricting fluids for fear of causing incontinence” Grodstein added.

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