Caffeine seems to affect urge incontinence

In a paper published in the Journal of Urology last month, Dr. Yin Jura and his associates reported a study that set out to prove whether caffeine really is a bladder stimulant and if it is involved in worsening incontinence. Conversely they wondered if reducing caffeine would improve incontinence complaints. His group looked at statistics based on tens of thousands of women who at the beginning of the study time had incontinence less often than once a month, and followed up with them two and four years later, when some of them had developed incontinence, and some of those had changed their caffeine habits. Participants were 37 to 79 years old. The caffeine was drunk via coffee 76%, soda 11% and tea 11% of the time. Of all the participants included, 9% of the women consumed 450 mg or more of coffee a day, and this group was also more likely to be cigarette smokers and have higher daily fluid intake. In this group of high caffeine consumers, daily frequent incontinence and urgency incontinence were reduced 16% and 25% respectively by lowering caffeine intake to less than 149 mg daily. There is a handy chart showing caffeine content of food and drugs that shows that this is about one Starbucks espresso or a few glasses of tea. But they also found that if you take in less than 450 mg per day, cutting back doesn’t seem to improve the incontinence much…. The bladder is certainly stimulated by caffeine, but perhaps it isn’t a factor unless you take in too much. Of course, if you suffer from incontinence, this might be an easy step to try.

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