Why Would Sugar Make A Difference With Incontinence
It may sound crazy, but what you eat has a big effect on how your bladder behaves. While its different for everyone, there are many foods that can irritate the bladder. These include things like acidic foods , caffeine, and yes, even sugar. Sugar can stimulate the bladder, causing sudden urges, which may lead to leaks. Even natural sugars, like honey, or artificial sweeteners can cause this irritation.
And, lets be honest. Besides just the effect on your bladder, you probably know that sugar is not great for you anyway. It can indirectly lead to number of other conditions, which consequently, may then lead to incontinence.
Too much sugar may lead to more frequent urinary tract infections, a condition that sometimes causes short-term incontinence. The bacteria that cause UTIs love sugar. Sugar makes the acid level of your urine higher, creating a better environment for this bacteria, and causing the infection to grow more quickly.
Eating too much sugar can also lead to weight gain, which places extra strain on the pelvic floor muscles and can cause incontinence. It may also lead to diabetes, a condition where your body has a hard time processing the glucose in your body, causing potentially high blood sugar levels. These high levels of blood sugar can cause a condition called diabetic neuropathy, specifically, neurogenic bladder, which depending on the nerves affected, may cause a bladder to be under or overactive.
When You Should See A Doctor
Try the above remedies first and see if they help. If frequent urination is still interfering with your lifestyle, visit your doctor.
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Are Frequent Utis A Sign Of Diabetes Or Is A Uti A Symptom Of Diabetes
A review from 2005 found that an astounding 50% of people with diabetes have some type of dysfunction of their bladder- thats half of every man and woman with diabetes. There are quite a few theories which we have already discussed, but again, most of the newer theories and research have only been conducted on rats.
Another fact this review highlights is that women who have Type 1 diabetes have a higher risk for kidney infections , which can potentially damage the kidneys function long term. This may lead to the need for a kidney transplant as the damage becomes severe.
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Youre Using Certain Methods Of Birth Control
When it comes to UTI prevention, not all birth control methods are created equal. Luckily, only one method is associated with UTIs: a diaphragm.
Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk, says Minkin. The good news? There are plenty of other great birth control options.
The Worst Things For Utis
When it comes to trying to clear up a UTI and ease the symptoms, there are some home remedies that can be used in conjunction with antibiotics. However, prescription medication is required to truly defeat the offensive bacteria. At the same time, there are also practices at home that should be avoided, since they will harm the body or, at the least, increase pain levels.
Prune and cranberry juice may help ease the pain, but really, water is the answer. Six to eight eight-ounce glasses per day is the recommended minimum, and more may be helpful to dilute the urine and help expel the bacteria faster during a UTI. In addition, eating barley and oats can help ease the pain of a UTI, since these are soothing to the bladder. Sources rich in protein are best for the diet, as opposed to a heavy carbohydrate-based diet, until the UTI clears up.
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Are Sweeteners Any Better
If youre trying hard to limit your sugar intake, you might assume that artificial sweeteners are a suitable alternative. However, especially when it comes to consuming diet fizzy drinks whilst trying to manage cystitis, this might not be the best approach.
All types of fizzy juice should be avoided. It seems that the acidity, fizziness, added sugars, sweeteners, and in some cases caffeine, arent a good combination and can easily give rise to unwanted inflammation and irritation down below.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
Let me just start by saying, if you have ever had a urinary tract infection, you certainly know the symptoms. They are not easily forgotten even if it has been years since your last one! Here is a list of the classic symptoms some you may or may not experience:
- Burning with urination
- Strong odor to the urine
- Suprapubic pain
- In people with diabetes: High or Low blood sugars
It is very important to note here that older people or people with autonomic neuropathy may not show any of the classic symptoms. The first symptom you may notice in an older person can be confusion and maybe a low grade fever.
In my years nursing, I have cared for so many elderly women who were unable to either feel the symptoms of their urinary tract infections or had dementia and were unable to communicate the symptoms to a caregiver. The first indication the caregiver had was worsening confusion and by then, the infection was severe enough to require hospitalization. Most of these patients also had diabetes, which put them at a much higher risk as well.
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Things To Avoid: Sugar & Utis
Adjusting your diet for a UTI involves more than introducing certain foods and drinks it also means abstaining from things. Not sure where to start? Heres a simple rule of thumb to follow: Avoid sugar for a UTI. Sugar is laced in an overwhelming amount of commercial foods and drinks these days. Unfortunately, it can also aggravate an infection. To cut back on these sugary delights and boost your care plan for a UTI, avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners
Although theres no evidence that artificial sweeteners can worsen a UTI, they have been shown to exacerbate bladder symptoms for individuals with chronic interstitial cystitis, so you may want to avoid them. Other foods and beverages to avoid with a UTI include:
- Spicy foods. Certain spicy foods can irritate the bladder. Instead, try sticking to a bland dietlike the BRAT dietwhen you have a UTI.
- Citrus. Although theyre high in immunity-boosting vitamin C, highly acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits can irritate your bladder and aggravate UTI symptoms.
- Caffeinated drinks. Its important to stay hydrated when you have a UTI, but stay away from coffee and other caffeinated beverages. When in doubt, choose water!
Flush Yourself Happy With Plenty Of Water
People often assume that their water intake is perfectly adequate but water in the form of flavoured juices, teas or coffee doesnt quite count in my books.
As weve already covered, sugar and caffeine are ones for avoiding, but we also need to ensure we have an adequate water intake on top of this. Aim for at least 1.5l of plain, still water daily to help keep your urine dilute and keep you flushing through.
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Support Your Good Bacteria Instead Of The Bad
Whilst we can aim to avoid excess sugar which risks spurring on our bad bacteria, another tactic is to focus on supporting our good bacteria instead. See, we have both good and bad types of bacteria throughout our system naturally however, these operate in a delicate balance and our good bacteria need to be of adequate numbers to help keep the bad guys in check.
To help support your good bacteria, a combination of prebiotics and probiotics work particularly well. Prebiotics such as our Molkosan help to correct the internal environment and the pH in and around our digestive and urinary tracts, which helps set the scene to top up our numbers of good bacteria themselves . For urinary tract or intimate issues, I often recommend Optibac For Women.
How Can You Prevent Utis
When it comes to UTI prevention, rumors and misconceptions abound. But, for the most part, these are the typical prevention recommendations for people with recurrent UTIs :
- A new birth control: If recurrent UTIs are caused by using diaphragms or spermicide, you can talk to your healthcare provider about alternative contraceptives.
- Topical estrogen: If you’re getting UTIs because you’re postmenopausal, your healthcare provider may prescribe topical estrogen.
- Antibiotic prophylaxis: If your UTIs can be traced to sexual activity, you might be prescribed an antibiotic prophylaxis, or a proactive course of antibiotics like Keflex or Cipro, and advised to take it before or after sex.
There are a few other possible methods that could prove helpful for UTI prevention, but the clinical evidence for them is lacking:
You’ve likely also heard about behavioral modifications you can make to reduce the risk of getting a UTI. Here’s where the science stands on some of the most common ones:
What about avoiding douches and “feminine hygiene sprays”? Doctors don’t recommend using either, but the reason isn’t to prevent UTIs: Douching changes the balance of “good” bacteria that lives in your vagina, which can cause yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis and any type of spray or deodorant that goes on the vulva can irritate it.
Do Spicy Foods Irritate A Bladder Infection
Whether you top your nachos with jalapeños, sprinkle your pizza with red pepper flakes, or love your curry chicken extra hot, you’ve got to skip the spice when you have a UTI. Spicy foods are known to irritate the bladder and worsen UTI symptoms, so cool down your meals and opt for blander choices to treat a urinary tract infection.
Pathogenesis And Risk Factors
Multiple potential mechanisms unique to diabetes may contribute to the increased risk of UTI in diabetic patients. Higher glucose concentrations in urine may promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria., However, several studies did not find an association between HbA1c level, which serves as a proxy for glycosuria, and risk of UTI among diabetic patients also, sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, which increase glycosuria, were not found to increase the rate of UTI., High renal parenchymal glucose levels create a favorable environment for the growth and multiplication of microorganisms, which might be one of the precipitating factors of pyelonephritis and renal complications such as emphysematous pyelonephritis., Various impairments in the immune system, including humoral, cellular, and innate immunity may contribute in the pathogenesis of UTI in diabetic patients.,, Lower urinary interleukin-6 and -8 levels were found in patients with diabetes with ASB, compared to those without diabetes with ASB. Autonomic neuropathy involving the genitourinary tract results in dysfunctional voiding and urinary retention, decreasing physical bacterial clearance through micturition, thereby facilitating bacterial growth.,, Bladder dysfunction occurs in 26%85% of diabetic women, depending on age extent of neuropathy and duration of diabetic disease, and thus should be considered in all diabetic patients with UTI.
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Should I Avoid Sugar Completely If I Have Incontinence
You dont have to give up sugar all together, but you should definitely pay attention to the amount you consume. People are unique and what may be a big bladder irritant for one person isnt always necessarily one for someone else. The best thing to do is to keep a bladder diary and track what youre eating and drinking for a few days, as well as when you have leaks. If you start noticing certain patterns , it may be a good idea to cut back. You can also try an elimination diet by eliminating sugar all together for a period of time, then slowly introducing it back into your system to see if it makes a difference.
Of course, when it comes to sugar, moderation is key for anyone not just those experiencing leaks. Too much sugar is bad for anyone trying to stick to a healthy diet. If you can, try to stick to naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and limit foods with added sugar as much as possible.
Ways To Avoid Urinary Tract Infections
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, which increases urination, thereby flushing out bladder bacteria. How much should you drink? Enough to keep your urine looking clear.
Wipe properly. Women should wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Wiping from back to front may increase the risk of getting UTIs.
Use topical estrogen creams. These creams may help postmenopausal women who have vaginal dryness and struggle with recurrent urinary tract infections.
Don’t rely on cranberry juice. The evidence about whether it helps prevent UTIs is mixed. And the juice has lots of sugar and calories.
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You Drink Too Much Water
If you chronically drink a lot of water and still pee frequently, you may be drinking too much water. Distilled water can flush out sodium from the body, resulting in increased thirst and urination. Losing too much sodium is called hyponatremia, and its a common problem in runners who over-consume water, thinking that: More is better! If youve just started drinking additional water, it may take your kidneys a couple of weeks to modify the absorption rate, so its normal to go to the bathroom more often.
The Truth About Sugar And Incontinence
Halloween is coming. And as tempting as it may be to start raiding your kids candy bucket, if you have incontinence, its important to take a pause. Yes, those candy bars are so delicious, but what are they doing to your bladder?
Bladder leaks may be the result of weakened pelvic floor muscles from childbirth, certain medications youre taking, or even nerve damage that developed because of a different condition all together.
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Foods To Avoid When Treating A Uti
If youâre suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection , you need to make sure youâre following the proper procedures to alleviate as much pain as possible. This means that you need to watch what you put in your body, because certain elements can cause problems for you. From drinks to actual foods, weâre going to tell you about what you should avoid.
Caffeine. Itâs a single word, but it is everywhere in most diets. Coffee and soda are leading culprits when it comes to making life miserable with UTI. The reason being is that caffeine can increase the rate at which you urinate, which has two problems associated with it. If you proceed to urinate frequently, youâre bound to experience slight dehydration in your body, resulting in salts in your urine. These salts can irritate the bladder, and worsen the symptoms of UTI. On the other hand, you may find yourself holding back the desire to urinate. If you are in this category, you run the risk of increased bacteria in the bladder. Water and cranberry juice are the two most beneficial things you can drink, as they flush bacteria from your system with little to no irritation.
Sugar is a great food source for bacteria, but not good to eat when you have a UTI! You should avoid sugary foods such as cookies, soda, chips, candy, cake and foods with starch.
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Should I Just Hold It For Longer
When your bladder is stretched, there is an automatic feedback mechanism that signals to your brain to trigger the urge to urinate. Frequent urination can be cumbersome in the workplace, so many people decide to simply hold it for longer periods of time. While this may help you get more work done, the longer you hold your urine, the increased likelihood of bacterial infections which can spread to your kidneys and cause more serious problems.
Lets take a look at some of the most common causes of frequent urination.
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Diabetes And Its Impact On Your Urinary And Sexual Health
Diabetes and urological health issues are closely connected. Diabetics are prone to urinary tract infections , bladder issues and sexual dysfunction. Diabetes can often make your urologic conditions even worse because it can impact blood flow, nerves and sensory function in the body. Roughly 29.1 million people or 9.3 % of Americans have diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose levels are too high. Glucose is the body’s main source of fuel and comes from the foods you eat.
After your body breaks down food, glucose enters the bloodstream. The cells in your body need this sugar for energy, but a hormone called insulin must be present for the glucose to enter the cells. Your pancreas, a large gland that sits behind the stomach, is what makes the insulin.
In people without diabetes, the pancreas makes the right amount of insulin to move the sugar from the blood into the cells. But, in people with type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin at all. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make or use insulin the right way. This is called insulin resistance. Without enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood. Having too much of this in the bloodstream can harm your kidneys, eyes and other organs.
The A1C test is used by doctors to see how well you’re taking care of your diabetes. This blood test gives facts about a person’s blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The American Diabetes Association suggests an A1C of 7 percent or below.