Caffeine Consumption May Not Affect Urinary Incontinence

Reviewed: May 09, 2013
By eHealthIQ

A new study suggests that women with urinary incontinence do not have to give up caffeine. For many years, caffeine has been blamed for triggering episodes of urinary incontinence, and women with leaky bladders are usually advised to limit their consumption of caffeinated soda, coffee, tea and chocolate. However, new research shows that caffeine may not actually cause women’s symptoms to become worse.Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined the responses of women who completed questionnaires about urinary incontinence. Beginning in 2002 and 2003, women with moderate incontinence were asked to record their total caffeine consumption and the number of times they experienced bladder leaks. Moderate incontinence is generally defined as having up to three episodes of bladder leakage a month. Two years later, another survey was done, and the women were asked if their incontinence had gotten worse or remained the same. They were also asked how often they usually consumed caffeine. Nearly 20 percent of the women reported that their bladder problems had gotten worse, and they were experiencing bladder leaks every week.The researchers found that there was no difference in caffeine consumption between the women whose incontinence had gotten worse and those whose incontinence had remained the same. Additionally, there was no higher incidence of urinary incontinence among women whose caffeine intake had increased during the study.[via Reuters]

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