These 5 Things Can Worsen Incontinence Symptoms

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If you suffer from incontinence, the last thing you want to do is make symtpoms worse. Here are five things that can aggravate your symptoms.

Blood sugar levels

When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys work a lot harder to flush sugar from the system. This may cause an overproduction of urine that can trigger bladder problems. High blood sugar may also cause urinary tract infections where the bacteria feeds on sugar. Both are most prevalent in those with diabetes, so keeping blood sugar under control can help with symptoms.


Estrogen keeps the bladder and urethra healthy, and helps maintain pelvic muscle strength.  Estrogen levels drop during menopause, which has been shown to affect urination patterns. A decrease in hormones may also weaken pelvic muscles, leading to urge or stress incontinence. 


Blood pressure medications, heart medications and muscle relaxers all contain diuretic agents to increase blood flow and help organ function. But diuretics can lead to an overproduction of urine, or make it difficult for the bladder to empty completely, causing overflow incontinence. Medicines containing caffeine are also diuretic and can irritate the system.

Citrus and spicy foods

Curries, chilies and peppers are known system irritants to those with overactive bladder, especially women. Foods and drinks that contain citrus can also aggravate the nerves in the bladder, which can worsen symptoms for those with urge incontinence. 

Urinary tract infections

Frequent urination and urge incontinence are two symptoms already found with urinary tract infections. But if left untreated, UTI’s can lead to chronic incontinence, especially if you're older. Speak with a doctor at the first signs of a UTI and note if you already suffer from incontinence. A doctor may recommend more fluids or cranberry juice which can also irritate the bladder.