Health – is there a link between caffeine and a weak bladder and urinary incontinence?
For most people, caffeine in moderation should not effect the function of the bladder. However, it must be stated that, for most people, studies have shown caffeine to be a mild diuretic.
What is a diuretic?
A diuretic substance causes the kidneys to release more water from the bloodstream, which causes the bladder to fill up fast. Common diuretics include alcohol, glucose and antidepressants.
Caffeine is neither hydrating or dehydrating; when it is consumed in beverages that contain a lot of water, there isn’t a dehydrating effect. If the body is in a dehydrated state, drinking a caffeinated beverage will not remedy this.
Why does coffee increase urination?
Coffee and other caffeine consumption does cause for urination to increase drastically. This is because the detrusor muscles in the bladder assist in determining capacity limits of the bladder as well as controlling bladder output into the urethra.
The primary reason why caffeine increases urination is that it increases blood pressure within capillaries in kidneys, which, in turn, increases blood filtration, resulting in an increase in urine.
Caffeine is implicated in directly causing irritation of the bladder lining, so people who do have bladder problems normally do better if they reduce their caffeine consumption.
Another reason why caffeine is a diuretic is that it prevents sodium ion resorption, which increases urination, but decreases water filtration because water filters from the blood through the kidney and into the bladder during sodium ion resorption. Given that caffeine prevents the resorption process, water filtration is likewise inhibited.
Does caffeine increase incontinence?
A survey in the United States of over 4,300 women found that daily caffeine intake of greater than 204mg was associated with a prevalence of 40% of any type of incontinence.
Indeed, stress incontinence and urge incontinence in particular are commonly associated with high caffeine intake. Caffeine can also make the muscles that contract when you void overactive causing frequent urination caused by caffeine can aggravate your bladder and cause bladder spasms, especially in people who have existing bladder problems.
Is caffeine’s acidity linked with incontinence?
Caffeine contains various complex acids, which can concentrate urine when drank in excess and cause a burning sensation and bladder spasms, which can cause a sense of urgency, giving people little time to reach the toilet, which are known as “detrusor contractions”.
Does cutting out caffeine help incontinence symptoms?
Caffeine reduction is often recommended for patients with urinary symptoms with guidance that when caffeine intake is reduced, urgency and frequency symptoms can be significantly improved. However, it’s important to note that those with urinary incontinence will need to monitor their reaction, but significantly cutting down on caffeine can be useful for managing the disorder more effectively.
IMPORTANT: This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Nothing in the content or products should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs.