Bladder Matters


Diet and lifestyle

Whatever type of bladder problem you have, some simple diet and lifestyle changes can help to improve the symptoms.

Diet - eat a healthy diet with five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and high-fibre foods. This will help to reduce constipation which can worsen bladder problems.

Weight - If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce the strain on your pelvic floor muscles and so help to reduce stress incontinence. Weight loss has also been shown to reduce urgency, possibly by reducing the stretch on pelvic nerves which stimulate the bladder muscle. BMI calculator

Fluid intake - drink the correct amount and type of fluid each day. Generally, drink around 1.5 litres per day of all fluids, and cut down on alcoholic drinks and drinks containing caffeine (tea, coffee, cola and some energy drinks) since alcohol and caffeine can both worsen bladder problems. Reducing caffeine intake to less than 100mg has been shown to reduce frequency, urgency and the number of incontinence episodes.

» click here for the-caffeine-database

Other fizzy drinks can also add to the problem by the effect of sweeteners and preservatives.

Smoking - since smoking can worsen cough and hence add further strain to the pelvic floor, stopping smoking can help reduce stress incontinence, but also, since nicotine is thought to stimulate contractions of the bladder muscle (detrusor), stopping smoking may also help reduce urgency.

Exercise - regular exercise can help keep weight down, help mobility and general health.