An overactive bladder (OAB) is a nuisance that can keep you up at night and disrupt your work and social life. That is why it is important to minimize your consumption of foods that can irritate your bladder and trigger sudden urge to urinate.
Here are 10 foods to avoid if you have an overactive bladder:
- Spicy foods
Hot sauce, wasabi and other spicy foods can affect the lining of the bladder, which aggravates OAB symptoms. Replace hot spices with flavorful herbs.
- Cranberry juice
Even though cranberries can prevent infections, they can worsen the effects of OAB. The juice is rather acidic, which irritates the bladder; it is also a diuretic.
Caffeine, another diuretic, increases your kidneys’ production of urine and makes your bladder more sensitive. Stick to one cup of coffee or tea per day. Remember that chocolate also has caffeine.
Stick to a single alcoholic drink per day if you have OAB. Beer especially exacerbates OAB symptoms, since it floods the kidneys with water and forces them to empty frequently.
Carbonated drinks stimulate your bladder. Moreover, most sodas contain caffeine, sugars and artificial sweeteners: these are all bladder-irritants.
- Orange Juice
Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, are highly acidic and can annoy the bladder. Eat other fruits like apples, blueberries and pears, which are great sources of fiber and can protect you from constipation. (Ironically, constipation commonly afflicts OAB patients.)
Tomatoes are also acidic. There are several folk remedies for reducing their bite. Some claim sprinkling baking soda or heavy cream into pasta sauce can help; chefs say adding a tad of sugar neutralizes the acid, but that may just cover the sharp taste.
- Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Both real sugar and artificial sugars irritate the bladder. Try to cut them out as much as possible.
Monosodium glutamate is a flavor additive, most commonly associated with some Chinese restaurants. Luckily, many restaurants are now MSG-free; read nutrition information carefully.
10. Too Much or Too Little Liquid
Drinking too much liquid fills up your kidneys faster, triggering the urge to urinate. However, too little liquid concentrates urine, which irritates the bladder. Find a hydration routine that works for you, and make sure to drink when you’re thirsty.
Do you have an overactive bladder? See if you qualify for Segal Institute’s clinical research study on OAB today!