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The brain's control of the urinary sphincter can become disrupted leading to difficulty holding urine for people living with Parkinson's. This may result in the accidental or involuntary loss of urine control, ranging from minor leakage to complete loss of urine. There are different types of incontinence that people with Parkinson's may experience, including:

  • Urge incontinence: a frequent and urgent need to use the toilet

  • Stress incontinence: an urge that usually occurs in the presence of a physical stressor such as coughing

  • Nocturia: the need to get up multiple times at night to use the toilet

There are several strategies you can try to help manage these symptoms, including:

  • Avoid bladder irritants such as foods and fluids that irritate the lining of the bladder. This includes coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, tomatoes, artificial sweeteners, or spicy/acidic foods.

  • Minimize fluids before bed to reduce toileting frequency. It's important to consume plenty of fluids but taper off about two hours prior to bedtime.

  • Try pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels to help the urethra to prevent urine from releasing.

  • Review current medications that might be leading to urinary issues. Diuretics, alpha-blockers, antidepressants, pain, and sleep medications could all play a role.

  • Consider urodynamic testing with a urologist or urinary specialist to help determine which medications may alleviate your symptoms.


Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's. Every Victory Counts,  Your Go-To Resource of Essential Information and Inspiration for Living Well with Parkinson's. Pages 85-86. "Manual." Sixth Edition, 2021. 

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