One of the most devastating problems affecting many men and women is the problem of overactive bladder. This is the bladder that has a mind of its own. When the bladder decides to empty its liquid contents and doesn’t wait for the owner’s permission, it is called overactive bladder.
There are some foods and beverages that you should avoid, since they could worsen your condition.
Water (too much or too little)
You might think that drinking less water will make you want to pee less often, but that theory backfires in reality. Drinking too little water causes your urine to become more concentrated, which can irritate your bladder. On the other hand, drinking too much water can be a problem as well. Try to find the right balance to meet your needs and avoid drinking a lot of water after 6 pm, so that you don’t keep waking up to go to the bathroom at night.
Coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks all contain caffeine, which is a diuretic that causes your body to produce more urine. Drinking less caffeine will give you better control over your bladder.
Chocolate is another source of caffeine that can worsen your bladder control. If you don’t want to give up chocolate, try to consume it earlier in the day, or switch over to white chocolate.
Spicy foods also irritate your bladder, so try to dial down the amount of chilli you add to your meals and avoid spicy snacks and sauces.
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits and limes are all acidic. Acidic foods irritate your bladder and worsen urinary incontinence, so try to limit your intake of these fruits
Most people aren’t aware of this, but pineapples are actually acidic fruits as well. Limit your intake of pineapple and avoid drinking pineapple juice.
Tomatoes also worsen urinary incontinence, since they are also acidic. They will be pretty hard to cut out of your diet, since tomato-based foods also have the same effect, so you would have to avoid sauces, gravies, ketchup, and other tomato-based items.
Onions can also irritate your bladder, so try to cut down your onion intake and avoid eating raw onions. You can even switch to a milder vegetable like shallots instead.
Cranberries are an effective remedy for urinary tract infections, however they are pretty acidic so they could reduce your control over your bladder.
All forms of alcohol dehydrate your body, but they do so by increasing the amount of urine, which means you need to visit the bathroom much more frequently. Alcohol also interferes with the signals that the brain sends to the bladder about when to release urine, so if you suffer from urge incontinence, where you sometimes lose control of your bladder, you should avoid alcohol as much as possible.
Both sugar and artificial sweeteners affect the bladder. Try to cut sugar out of your diet for a few days and see whether it makes a difference to your bathroom habits.
Avoid carbonated drinks like soft drinks, soda, sparkling water and fizzy juices. The fizz irritates your bladder, and makes you need to pee more often.
Certain condiments like mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and chili sauce can all worsen your condition, so consume them sparingly. Switch over to healthier chutneys and spices instead.
The artificial colors, flavors, additives and preservatives in processed foods could also be adding to the problem. Try to cut them out of your diet and eat more home-cooked meals instead.
Bottom Line: By modifying your diet you cannot cure overactive bladder but you certainly can use these techniques to help control the problem. It may not be necessary to eliminate completely all of these dietary irritants but if you can use them in moderation, your bladder will thank you!