Study Links Drug With Urinary Problems
A new study in the Journal of Urology links caffeine intake to bladder problems in men. The report, authored by Dr. Alayne Markland from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, examined 4,000 men between 2005 and 2008. "Those who drank at least two cups of coffee or more a day, that was associated with more severe symptoms of urinary incontinence, or bladder leakage," says Dr. Markland. In fact, the research revealed that men who consumed 234 milligrams or more of caffeine per day (about two cups of coffee worth), were 72% more likely to have incontinence problems.
The study does not prove that caffeine causes a leaky bladder, but suggests it could be a factor. Dr. Markland says the results are consistent with what is already known about caffeine. "Caffeine, like alcohol, can have a natural diuretic effect, meaning you actually make more urine," she explains. "It can also irritate the bladder, and give you those feelings of urgency." Previous studies have shown a similar link between caffeine and incontinence in women.
While most people think of caffeine intake as coffee only, Dr. Markland notes that there are many other sources. "Energy drinks have high caffeine…and also teas, sodas, and other forms of caffeine all count into your daily consumption." Caffeine is also in candy, pastries and chocolate. For those concerned about the link between caffeine and bladder issues, Dr. Markland recommends gradually reducing your intake. "I'm not saying completely stop, but if you are a person with bladder problems, you might want to consider really cutting down to see if there's any positive effects."
Check out the full study on caffeine and men's bladder problems here.