Managing Incontinence at Thanksgiving

Managing Incontinence at Thanksgiving

One of the most exciting times of the year is when Thanksgiving rolls around. Whether you celebrate with your close family, dear friends, or your favourite person, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

If you or a loved one is dealing with incontinence, Thanksgiving may not be the smoothest celebration to handle. All the excitement and bustling of preparations and festivities can feel overwhelming. 

Here are some things to consider to make your Thanksgiving holiday relaxing and enjoyable. . 

Eat the right things

Some traditional Thanksgiving dishes can irritate your bladder and cause symptoms of incontinence such as strong, sudden urges to urinate- even if your bladder isn’t full.

Everyone's body is different, so it's important to experiment with different foods to see which ones make your symptoms worse or better. If you have incontinence, you may watch out for some of these foods:

  • Cranberry Sauce: Berries of any kind, as well as sugar, can irritate the bladder, making cranberry sauce one of the most likely bladder irritants during the Thanksgiving season. Keep it simple with fresh turkey and a low-dairy gravy.
  • Green Bean Casserole: The use of milk products in some recipes may cause bladder irritation. Cornbread or stuffing/dressing (as long as it doesn't contain fruit) would be preferable.
  • Pecan Pie: May irritate your bladder due to its high sugar content. A homemade pumpkin pie with less sugar and no preservatives would be a better alternative.

Drink the right things

Along with foods to try substituting out, certain drinks can also negatively impact your incontinence. Here are a few drinks you may want to try avoiding this Thanksgiving. 

  • Coffee: Even decaf coffee can irritate the bladder, so avoid it entirely. A non-citrus herbal tea is a better substitute for coffee. There are lower-acid varieties of coffee available, but caffeine may still cause irritation.
  • Alcohol - Regardless of the type (beer, wine, or spirits), alcohol can cause bladder irritation, particularly if carbonation is present. The best substitute is not nearly as exciting as alcohol, but water is the most ideal alternative. Water is a much safer option, and it should be consumed in large quantities. While this may influence how frequently one needs to use the restroom, drinking too little can actually irritate the bladder.

Be extra prepared

Make sure to make the small changes to be as comfortable as possible. For starters, when seating at the grand Thanksgiving table, make sure to place an underpad below your seat. This will keep you stress-free from leaks, and allow you to enjoy your dinner. 

Another simple technique is to seat yourself closest to the restroom, so it’s easy to slip out for a bathroom break. Sit at the head of the table closest to the bathroom door so you can excuse yourself as needed.

Make sure to always have a couple of things in your purse, car, or bag. Keep zip bags for easy disposal, personal cleaning wipes, and an extra product on hand. Having this kit of things ready to go will allow you to go out for dinner without hesitations.

Know when to say no 

This last point is the most important to set personal boundaries for what you’re comfortable with. It's understandable to want to attend gatherings, but if it's not possible or too stressful, saying no is the right thing to do. Choose the holiday events you can handle and make time to enjoy the festivities, but not at the expense of overcommitting to situations that may exacerbate the situation.

We're here to help. If you have any questions or need some help, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Happy Thanksgiving!

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