Which diet/drinks on the days before 12 hour flight to prevent urinary retention on the plane

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi everyone

I am 71, I had two episodes of urinary retention in the past three years, the last one 24 months ago. On both occasions I was taken to A&E to have bladder emptied through catheters. Painful experiences! These were removed after 7 and four days respectively.

I am due to fly long haul in a week, and am terrified of the possibility of urinary retention on the plane.

My question is what should I drink and eat, and what should I avoid (including during the flight) during the next seven days to reduce the risk of urinary retention

on the plane.

I am taking catheters and cream with me but I have

never used these myself.

Thanks for any advice,

Jeremy

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  • Posted

    Avoid alcohol and caffeine. But best to learn how to self cath - you'll never need the ER again or. Foley catheter. If you go into retention, you can solve your problem in less than a minute - whether on a plane or at home.

    It sounds as though you should consider getting evaluated too. Some causes of retention can be treated, others not. Either way, being comfortable with self cathing can transform retention from a major fear and pain in the bitter to a minor inconvenience

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice buzzard. Will definitely stop alcohol until I fly. The coffee too, although giving up my daily Americano (with a drop of milk) in the morning and double espresso mid pm will not be easy!

      In two minds though whether I should try Caths before my flight.

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    • Posted

      I would stop the alcohol but I think it's OK with the Americano and expresso, because you're used to it and why rock the boat. Also, because caffeine is a diuretic, it can speed up urination. So especially, for instance, if you have a night flight, drinking caffeine in the morning and mid day might be beneficial in that you may void earlier in the day than without it. 

      Jim

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  • Posted

    Do you remember what triggered the past episodes? 

    In general, you want to drink as little fluid as possible, without being dehydrated. Nothing scientific, but I would avoid alchol and soft drinks, diet or otherwise. Caffeine could work either way, but maybe avoid that as well. 

    I don't know when your flight is, but the other possiblity is to try self catherization (CIC) well before the flight, so you will have some confidence that you can do it. The only problem here is that a small percentage of people (I include myself here) have a rough couple of weeks in the beginning and/or get a UTI. So, not sure you want to risk that close to flight time. 

    You said, "cream" -- are you talking about a sterile lube like "surgilube"? What kind of catheters did you get? If you have an obstructed prostate, I would suggest a catheter with a coude (bent) tip for starters. The tip has to be oriented properly, that is important. 

    Jim

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    • Posted

      Lastly, maybe walk around in the plane every hour or so, if you can. I've found that inactivity can sometimes trigger retention. Also, check your medications (as well as OTC meds) to see if any of them have retention as a side effect. If so, ask your doctor if you can avoid them near and during flight time.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Hi Jim, thanks. First episode of retention was caused three years ago by UTI - when prescribed antibiotics didn't work and my symptoms got worse. The second episode, some 9.5 months after the first may have been the result of bulging discs interfering negatively with the prostate (so my neurosurgeon thought). One month after the second episode (some two years ago now) I had L4/L5 fusion, which was successful. No more retentions since. That may have also resolved the likely negative impact of the nerves on the prostate.

      Also in the last 24 months I have changed my diet significantly based on the advice I have received in here: I have adopted a 'prostate and PSA friendly' diet. The proof if the pudding though will be in the result of my next PSA test due in August: will my PSA have come down from its 5.77 level of October 2016? I'll report back; also with the details of my diet.

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    • Posted

      Hello again Jim, Buzzard. I take daily 6 multivitamins, a turnmeric tablet and a 75mg aspirin. I will stop them three days before my flight.

      Walking every hour up and down the plane is a good idea, I will do that.

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    • Posted

      In addtion to walking around, get up and try to void at least every couple of hours even if you don't feel the urge. If nothing comes out, that's OK, but if it does, you will be keeping the bladder volume lower which should make voiding easier.

      Jim 

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    • Posted

      I like Jim's suggestion here. I also think that your problem way well have been due to those discs. They can cause bowel and bladder problems, depending on where they bulge. I recommend covering yourself with some caths you can use if needed, but unless you have had other symptoms since the surgery, you're probably good to go (pun intended).

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    • Posted

      My neighbour is a GP. He's been saying exactly what you said for 25 years. But I keep taking them. Is it because may be I am thinking they may have something to do with the reasonably good health I have enjoyed so far - maybe thanks to the vitamins?

      Incidentally these are the vitamins/tablets I take daily: 75 mg aspirin, odourless garlic with vitamin b1 , multibiotic 50+, omega 3 fish oil, cranberry tablet, vitamin d tablet, turnmeric tablet, prostassan, tamsulosin and 3 tablespoonful of organic milled flaxseeds. I am sure some overlap.

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    • Posted

      Well, did a little research and turns out that the study findings were controversial. Apparently, "high intake of omega 3 fats" was bad reporting, or bad wording, as the study didn't investigate intake of omega 3 (supplements or natural) but rather measured the omega 3 levels in the blood. It's a bit more complicated than that, but in my family heart disease trumps prostate cancer, so I probably will keep the Walmart order smile

      Jim

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    • Posted

      At least eating fish serves other purposes, hunger and protein, at least. But taking fish oil sup is futile, in my book. Also, you may want to go with tuna instead of sardines, for less Omega 3. I still have my case of tuna from Walmart. But I dumped all my fish oil. smile Hank
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    • Posted

      Well, I got the sardines BECAUSE of the Omega 3's smile That said, lately been eating less fish and protein and going more plant based. Made a batch of home made Whole Wheat Roti the other day which is pretty filling and has no fat, salt or sugar. 

      Jim

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    • Posted

      You are good. I only know how to make rice (with a rice cooker) or boil spaghetti and vegetables. Maybe you can open a new thread on how to make healthy foods from scratch ? I'll be the first to sign up. smile Hank

      BTW, what is roti ? rotini ? I had to look up chaputi already. smile

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    • Posted

      So you got me reading some more, and very reputable sources like Mayo suggest the study may be flawed, and that the benefits of fish oil outweigh any unproven harm. They also point out that high fish consuming populations like the Japanese and Intuit's have a very low incidence of prostate cancer. Now I will sit down for an early dinner of sardines, salad and baked potato, thank you.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Jim, I don't think you looked into it well enough while thinking about consuming the sardines. smile Actually, there are several reputed studies confirming each others on this issue. The Mayo clinic dispute only referenced Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute which mentioned only one, the Brasky study. I am sure if you want your sardines, you can always find reasons. smile Hank

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