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Following RP: tea, coffee and wine

Posted 23 Oct 2019 at 08:49

I was advised to do de-caf tea and coffee and drop the wine to help my bladder avoid irritants. I was not actually told for how long...

Following RP has reader gone de-caf and if so, for how long?

My surgery was 8 weeks ago today!




Posted 23 Oct 2019 at 09:10

I did this post op for fear of worsening incontinence.

Caffeine didn't make incontinence worse, but alcohol in any manner just made incontinence so much worse. In case I drink, I wear a pad at night.

8 weeks post op, wine is otherwise not going to impede your recovery otherwise.

My urologist was happy for me to drink in 4 weeks.


Posted 30 Oct 2019 at 20:56

It was an interesting challenge meeting the advice after surgery, though in most cases the adverse effects reduced with time.

Tea was the easiest, the main brands all do decaff versions that pretty much taste like normal. If you normally use leaf tea you will find you can only get decaff as teabags. I used Yorkshire. In practice I fairly soon found I could use regular tea without problems.

Coffee is difficult to find a solution to, at least if you use a cafetiere to make it as we do. Most supermarkets and brands only have one decaff version, and they mostly seem rather tasteless blends. Not sure whether that is a consequence of having the caffeine removed, or simply that they think that it has to be acceptable to those who prefer bland. The best I found was Lavazza, but all though it says it is ground for any type of coffee maker it included some fine particles which escaped through the cafetiere gauze and made the coffee murky. It probably works better with an expresso machine, and that might help with the taste issue too: the only decent decaff coffee I drank came from an Italian cafe (and I have no idea what brand they used, might have been their own).

I found even one cup of non-decaff coffee to provoke leaks for a good year after the operation (I occasionally tried at home, and once had an issue after a coffee out where I suspect the waitress mixed up when delivering the coffees). Eventually though a single coffee a day was well tolerated, and that was fine for me.

Fortunately alcohol was a little easier, it wasn't long before modest drinking caused little problem. An evening glass of wine was welcome after a day having always to be thinking about whether a pad needed changing. Now, several years later, I can drink moderately much as before (say, three glasses of wine) - problems only come on occasions when drinks flow freely and I lose count. There are non-alcoholic versions of some drinks; I didn't come across any acceptable wine in that category and in fact they were all so dreadful I quickly gave up trying different makes.

Beer is another matter, there are some decent tasting substitutes. I recommend those made by Adnams: a decent regular pale ale available from M&S and the widely available "Ghost Ship" which tastes credibly like a strong ale. Some of the continental breweries also do good ones, with Erdinger wheat beer being widely available. At the moment I don't have a strong suggestion for a lager-type beer, M&S used to do an excellent Czech beer (which it said was made by Staropramen) but they have replaced it with another not as good. Unfortunately "real" Staropramen no longer seems available in the UK, the brand has been licensed so rubbish British lager can be sold under its label (just as has happened with beers from Carlsberg, Kronenbourg, Becks and others that remain excellent in their native country).

You may be able to tell that I quite enjoyed doing the research ...

Posted 30 Oct 2019 at 22:35

RALP May 2019. So 5 months on now. 

Tea has never been a problem. 1st coffee of the day and I am peeing within half hour. Daytime I can now go without a pad but wear one if I am doing any manual work. Generally I only drink coffee & tea 1st thing. During the day water only.

Evenings. I like my wine. I still wear a big pad every night in case of accidents, however there have probably been less than 10 in this time. Each one required new sheets etc with a good helping of embarrassment.....

If you get a plastic measuring container you could do some experiments ( weekly/monthly) and work out your intake & expulsion levels in ml. 

Currently I reckon my bladder retention is only about 200ml before I need a Pee. Intake 3-4 litres per day. Not just wine .... obviously. I am sure I had far greater retention pre-op.. I do my Pelvic Floor exercises every day

Posted 31 Oct 2019 at 01:51
Sounds like you would benefit from some bladder retraining, Prosixty - have you asked for a referral to the incontinence service?
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 31 Oct 2019 at 21:18

I've never associated coffee, tea, caffeine or alcohol with incontinence unless I've drunk too much.

Although I've been firm on cutting right back on alcohol and only having 2 coffees a day, mainly because the caffeine makes me hyper followed by a strong come down.

I had no alcohol at all from the day I was diagnosed to 3 months after the op.  I didn't miss it and found other things to drink like teas of various types.   Although I have a few drinks a week now I sometimes wonder why.  It's a bit like stopping smoking, hard to believe you ever did it.

The bladder and sphincter must be very sensitive after the op and you want them heal up without stress.  There was a long list of bladder irritants at the hospital.  It seemed like everything was an irritant.

I regarded quantity as more important for keeping down stress on the bladder.

The above might be a load of hogwash but I'm happy with it for more reasons than my bladder.

Posted 07 Nov 2019 at 21:52

Thank you for your replies, all good information.

Now 11 weeks since op and things settling down on the IC front, down to a pad a day. Finding a cup of tea first thing 06:00 and coffee at 11's does not seem stress too much. A glass of red wine at the weekend evenings seems to be okay too.

I am a T2 diabetic, so tend to drink a lot of water and stop at 16:00 and it seems to help with bladder control.

Finding pelvic floor exercises really hard work and it is only recently that it seems to be working. My pads have a blue indicator line to show level of leakage and mostly pretty good, just getting up from sitting down seems to release a small flush...



Posted 07 Nov 2019 at 22:24
If you are finding the PFEs a bit of a bind, have you tried one of the apps that you can download onto your phone?
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

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