Caffeine and the Unstable Bladder
Caffeine is considered a no-no for many conditions, and
an unstable bladder is high on the list. One study found that women who drink
the equivalent of 4 cups of regular coffee a day are nearly 2.5 times as likely
to have an unstable bladder than those who drink less than 1 cup per day.
"Unstable bladder" is also called urge incontinence. In this condition, the
muscles in the bladder wall contract on their own, causing a sudden, uncomfortable
and often uncontrollable urge to pee. This urge has many triggers, including
caffeine, alcohol, and acidic or spicy foods.
This is a different kind of incontinence than stress incontinence, or "Baby
Bladder", which is much more common. Stress incontinence causes bladder leakage
when you cough, sneeze, exercise, dance, or do anything that causes increased
pressure on your bladder. It is often associated with childbirth. Women with
stress incontinence are not affected by caffeine or other triggers of urge incontinence.
The bad news about incontinence is the high percentage of women who suffer
with it in silence. The good news is that there are now several treatment options.
Leaking urine for any reason is not normal for adults of any age. If you have
this problem, speak with your doctor.
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Created: 6/18/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.