Some men trump it up to old age, but recently bladder issues like incontinence (involuntary urination) are becoming more common in the male population. Who or what is the culprit? Could it be caffeine?
Besides giving your body a rush of energy, recent research suggests that there may be a link between caffeine intake and bladder leakage in men. Now when most people think of caffeine they think of coffee, but this chemical can come from several other sources such as tea, soft drinks, candy, pastries and chocolate.
Based on those few examples, it is obvious that people (especially Americans) are consuming large amounts of caffeine. Much more than what they think they are consuming and the caffeine is finally starting to show its negative effects in men.
The research does not show a direct cause and effect relationship between caffeine intake and incontinence. Instead it shows a correlation between the two, however the research is strong. In the study, the men who consumed the largest amounts of caffeine were more likely to have bladder issues then the men who consumed lower amounts of caffeine.
Currently, there is a 5 to 21 percent estimate of incontinence among American men. Surprisingly, the study found that there was no link between water intake and incontinence.
This means that bladder issues do not arise from just fluid intake, but that caffeine has a unique effect on the bladder. Research that has been done in women shows that caffeine may actually irritate the bladder which leads to incontinence. This could be the same case for men.
So how can you still enjoy your daily dose of coffee without having to worry about accidentally urinating on yourself? Well, first recognize that this research still is not complete. Before anything can be finalized, researchers still have a lot more studying to do. Second, a cup of coffee (or any other small amounts of caffeine) is not going to cause you to have no control over your bladder. It’s all about moderation and knowledge.
Realize that caffeine has many sources including those listed above. Cutting out sodas and coffee is a good start, but understand that all those breakfast pastries are pumping you full of caffeine as well. Once you understand that, it’s all about limiting the intake. If you can grasp these two concepts then incontinence and other bladder issues shouldn’t be a major concern in your future.