Skip to content
This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Always Discreet.

Lifestyle changes can sometimes ease your urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control. For example, many doctors suggest cutting certain foods and drinks from your diet. But everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. The best way to find out what foods trigger your symptoms is to tackle one item at a time.

Here are six changes you can make right now.

Watch the Water

“If you don’t drink enough water, you can get dehydrated,” says Jennifer Anger, MD, MPH, assistant professor of urology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. “But if you have incontinence and drink [a lot], that could also pose difficulties.”

“Drinking the often-recommended six to eight glasses of water a day could be a problem,” Anger says. 

On the flip side, if you drink too little water, your urine can become concentrated and may irritate your bladder. This makes you feel like you have to go.

Anger says to ask your doctor what would be a safe amount for you to drink.

Go Easy on Alcohol

“Alcohol has a direct effect on the bladder,” says Amy Rosenman, MD, assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. It lowers your control over the organ and acts a bit as a diuretic -- meaning you need to go more often.

“It interferes with the neurological signals from the brain to the bladder [telling it when to hold urine and when to go]. If you have alcohol on board, there is less control over that signaling, and you are more likely to have an accident,” Rosenman says.

Most people decide to cut alcohol out completely, Rosenman says, but others can handle a small amount. It’s best to stop altogether, then add it back little by little, so you know how much is too much for you.

Cut Back on Caffeine

Caffeine is found in soft drinks, teas, chocolate, and even -- in small amounts -- decaf coffee. Not only does it make you feel like you have to go, but it also prompts your body to get rid of liquids. Your best bet: Remove caffeine from your diet if you can, and reduce it if you can’t go cold turkey.

Still crave that cup of joe? Have your coffee in the morning instead of at night. Don't drink any coffee past 7 p.m., Anger says. And limit yourself to one or two caffeinated beverages per day.

Save on New Always Discreet

Save on New
Always Discreet

When you try new Always Discreet's incredible sensitive bladder protection, we're sure you'll love it!

Connect with Others Living
with Incontinence

Millions of people experience bladder sensitivity every day. Read about their experiences, get advice, and anonymously connect with women just like you in our Discussion Forum.

Connect with Others Living with Incontinence
Find the Best Products for Your Sensitive Bladder

Find the Best Products for Your Sensitive Bladder

Whether you're at home, sleeping, out and about, or physically active, you need a product that works for you. Use this interactive tool to find the right products to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Previous Slide Next Slide
close

From Our Sponsor

Content under this heading is from or created on behalf of the named sponsor. This content is not subject to the WebMD Editorial Policy and is not reviewed by the WebMD Editorial department for accuracy, objectivity or balance.