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Thread: Bladder incontinence from certain foods

  1. #1

    Bladder incontinence from certain foods

    I have been in a chair for 35 years T4 intermintent cath.
    The past year I have noticed that my bladder is much more sensitive from certain foods that I eat. Seems like once the incontinence starts it takes several days for it to get out of my system and to straighten out. Normally I can hold 500cc plus and would not leak but I always try to cath at 400cc. First time it happened I took a urine sample up because it feels the same way it does when I have had a UTI where it feels like you are going to piss your pants. I start leaking so I cath and find I can't hold 50cc in my bladder. My UTI results came back clean. The only way I can tell it is not a UTI is that I don't have the excruciating pain in my shoulders and in my back like I do with a UTI. I tried to double up on my oxybutynin but that does not help. I have been keeping a journal of things I eat. I noticed that I used mesquite seasoning a month ago and it happened. Used Red pepper and some Creole seasoning in a couple of dishes this past week and it happened again. Noticed one time it happened when I used a gravy packet to make some gravy. So it must be the spices I use. Not sure if something other than oxybutynin would help this or not. Seems odd that it never bothered me until this past year.
    Read about the different things that can cause incontinence. Spicy foods is one of them. Not a alcohol, coffee or soda drinker so that is not my problem.

    Anyone else have issues like this with foods that they eat?

    I also in the past have had issues inserting the catheter in my urethra. Always thought it was from something that I ate that caused the issue. Talked to my urologist and he said that could not be causing it. He almost laughed at that idea. He scoped my urethra and everything looked fine. So back to my journal and noticed when I cooked with bullion cubes different times I had issues with inserting the catheter. So I left them alone and my cathing was great for 8 months. Catheter slid in perfect with no issues.

    Then one day all of a sudden I cannot insert the catheter. I look at my food journal and the only thing I ate different was some bran flakes I purchased from PicknSave for the first time. Thought that can't be it because I have eaten bran flakes from Aldi's for years and they never bothered me. So I waited a few days so I could test it. Ate the PicknSave bran flakes again for breakfast. Later that evening I cannot get the catheter in again for the next 15 hours. I throw the bran flakes out and have not had a problem since then. Not sure what is in some of this stuff but I must be allergic to something.
    Last edited by Mike_Stan; 03-30-2019 at 12:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Difficulty inserting your catheter is most likely due to external urinary sphincter (striated muscle) spasticity. Like spasticity in other muscles in your body, it may be triggered by foods or medications. I would imagine you would have to discover which foods are triggers for you by trial-and-error. Was your other spasticity/tone worse during that same time?

    Foods that are very acidic or spicy can increase smooth muscle spasms such as in your intestines (some people get the runs with spicy foods) and for some people with SCI/D, in their bladder detrusor (muscle) too. This is also true for many people with interstitial cystitis, which is not unknown (although not common) in people with SCI/D. Here is a good resource from the Interstitial Cystitis Association:

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    I have very little spasticity in my body ever.

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