Study Shows Excessive Caffeine Leads to Urinary Incontinence for Women
New research presented on Friday, October 1st aims to dispel the conflicting views about caffeine and female urinary incontinence. The findings are specific to women who consume 329 milligrams of caffeine or more per day (the equivalent of 3 cups of coffee) are 70% more likely to experience urinary incontinence.
The study, which evaluated over 1,356 women from ages 20 to 85 discovered that those with high caffeine intakes (3 cups of coffee or more) were far more likely to have incontinence issues after the age of 40.
Strangely, the study did not present connections with incontinence and BMI, vaginal childbirth or high intake of water, although obesity and childbirth have had their own studies to find these connections that bring a higher likelihood of experiencing incontinence.
Caffeine is a diuretic, which increases the amount of urine you make, and also causes contractions in the muscles responsible for bladder function. These two combined traits of caffeine are the causes of the increased incontinence episodes.
This research, however, is not entirely unique; Lilly Arya, MD, published a similar study a decade ago about caffeine and incontinence in women. It is also common advice given by doctors frequently for their patients who report incontinence issues, as caffeine's diuretic qualities are well-known.
With the level of coffee consumption throughout the world, and especially the U.S., these findings are a wake-up call; coffee cups grow in size in the market and a 12 Oz. coffee is the relative "standard" among gas stations and coffee shops. Researchers believe 5oz. is the "standard", so a high consumption level could easily be the "medium" sized coffee you're purchasing from Starbucks could be causing your over-active bladder!