Posts Tagged ‘bladder irritants’

Foods and Fluids That Worsen Overactive Bladder

May 4, 2015

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.

Caffeine
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
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
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
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
Pineapples
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
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
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
Cranberries are an effective remedy for urinary tract infections, however they are pretty acidic so they could reduce your control over your bladder.

Alcohol
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.

Sugar
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.

Carbonated drinks
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.

Sauces
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.

Processed foods
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!

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Treatment of Incontinence With Confidence

November 3, 2014

Incontinence is devastating problem that impacts millions of American men and women. Although diapers are acceptable in toddlers, it is not very acceptable in middle aged and older men and women. This blog will discuss the common problem of urinary incontinence and what are some of the solutions for this common urologic problem.

Do you visit the bathroom more than usual? Or worse, do you not make it on time to the bathroom because your bladder is out of control? This is nothing to be ashamed of, and can be solved if addressed properly.

Urinary incontinence is a common problem resulting in the loss of bladder control. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that is so sudden and strong you do not get to a toilet in time.

If urinary incontinence affects your daily activities, then the person must visit the doctor. The earlier rehabilitation techniques are started, the lesser the complications and the better the results.

There are different reasons for urinary incontinence but the main reason for women is pregnancy and child birth.

Pregnancy puts pressure on the bladder and the urethra and normal delivery further weakens the muscles needed for bladder control. Women who have had a C-section are less prone to face this problem but in many cases pregnancy itself can affect the muscles which causes urinary incontinence after delivering the baby.

Worldwide 25 per cent of women above 40 years and 40 per cent of women above 65 years have urinary incontinence.

A high percentage of these women are prone to urinary incontinence due to multiple pregnancies and childbirth. However, despite providing women with educational leaflets during their pregnancy and carrying other awareness activities, not everyone with the problem seeks medical assistance.

The problem is more common in women that give birth to babies that weigh 8 pounds or more and in patients that have a complicated or prolonged labor.

I recommend that all women practice pelvic exercises, which are important to tighten these muscles. Exercises such as Kegels are now getting popular and more women are aware of it.

Other reasons for incontinence include ageing and menopause, obesity, neurological causes, and diabetes. After menopause women are more prone to incontinence as there is loss of estrogen hormone which has a direct effect on the bladder and the muscles supporting it.

Treatment

One form of treatment is lifestyle modification. Certain drinks and foods act as diuretics, these include alcohol, coffee, decaffeinated tea and coffee, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, foods high in spice or sugar. We ask women to reduce the intake of these foods and drinks.

Another option is to reduce the bladder irritants. These foods and fluids cause urinary frequency, urgency, and urinary incontinence. A complete list of bladder irritants is shown at the end of this blog.

Diabetic patients are asked to keep their sugar in control, and obese patients are put on a diet. Physiotherapy is another method to manage the disease. Bladder training and pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels are taught to patients to be performed at home on a daily basis.

In some causes electrical stimulation is performed, said the doctor. Gentle electrical stimulation can be effective in some types of incontinence and one may need multiple sessions over a period of few months, in addition to exercises.

Bottom Line: You don’t have to suffer incontinence in silence. Help is available. See your doctor.

List of Common Bladder Irritants*

Citrus fruit
Coffee (including decaffeinated)
Cranberries and cranberry juice
Grapes
Guava
Milk Products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream
Peaches
Pineapple
Plums
Strawberries
Sugar especially artificial sweeteners, saccharin, aspartame, corn sweeteners, honey, fructose, sucrose, lactose Tea
Tomatoes and tomato juice
Vitamin B complex
Vinegar
*Most people are not sensitive to ALL of these products; your goal is to find the foods that make YOUR symptoms worse