Alcohol and Incontinence: The Hidden Danger
Incontinence may be an embarrassing problem, but it's also an extremely common problem. In fact, by the age of 65, more than half of the population will experience some kind of incontinence! There are many different factors that can contribute to urinary incontinence, and one of them is alcohol consumption. Keep reading to learn more about how drinking alcohol can affect your body and your bladder - and what you can do about it.
How Does Alcohol Contribute to Incontinence?
Alcohol doesn't cause urinary incontinence in the first place. However, if a person has an overactive bladder or a predisposition to incontinence, drinking alcohol can cause the problem to flare up. This can lead to urine leakage and bedwetting. Here are a few reasons why alcohol often contributes to urinary incontinence.
Alcohol makes your body produce more urine than usual.Do you ever feel like you have to urinate even more frequently than usual after you've had a few beers? Yes, you're drinking more liquid than usual - but that's not the only thing that's going on here. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it actually pulls extra water out of your body and eliminates it through your urine. (This, incidentally, is why alcohol can dehydrate you so badly.) In people who are already prone to incontinence, this increased urine production can compound the problem.
Alcohol relaxes the muscles around the bladder.If you suffer from incontinence, relaxing is probably the lastthing you want the muscles around your bladder to do. But alcohol is a depressant, which means it makes all the muscles throughout your body relax. This, in turn, can make it harder to hold in your urine. It's unfortunate, but it's hard to enjoy the relaxing effects of a glass of wine if you're worried about what might happen afterwards.
Alcohol can irritate the bladder.Alcohol can cause inflammation throughout numerous parts of the body, including your bladder. This extra irritation can exacerbate already-existing issues with incontinence.
What Can You Do About Incontinence?
If you suffer from urinary incontinence, one of the best things you can do is to cut out alcohol. If you currently drink on a regular basis, you might find that cutting back on alcohol dramatically improves the problem (or even gets rid of it completely. The most ideal solution is to stop drinking entirely. If you do continue to drink occasionally, limit yourself to one drink per day, and try not to drink too close to bedtime.
In addition to reducing your alcohol intake, there are some other solutions that may help you control your incontinence symptoms. Using an incontinence clamp is one such solution. An incontinence clamp works in a very straightforward way: it puts gentle pressure on the urethra, preventing urine from leaking out. This device is adjustable and comfortable to wear all day, and it won't cut off circulation. It's simple to use, fixes the problem instantly, and doesn't require you to take any pharmaceuticals that might cause side effects.