Avoid These Foods and Drinks If You Have an Overactive Bladder!

Did you know that 40 percent of women experience overactive bladders? “Take five women in a room and two of them are affected,” says Rupa Kitchens, MD, urologist at Urology Centers of Alabama. “And about 25 percent of men,” she adds. In total, about 33 million adults in the U.S. suffer from an overactive bladder.

Here’s the thing: An overactive bladder affects more than just how many times you’re running to the restroom. “It affects everything,” says Kitchens. From work productivity (how can you sit at your desk and get through a task if you’re constantly getting up to go to the bathroom?) to sexual health.

In one study, women with overactive bladders reported it hindered function, frequency, and satisfaction in the bedroom—a triple whammy. And that can take a toll on a romantic relationship. There’s a mental health component, too. “It predisposes people to depression because if someone is constantly wet, they don’t want to leave the house. So people stay home and avoid activities, they stick to the same routines like the grocery store because they know where the bathroom is,” says Kitchens. “In my opinion, the only thing worse is stool leakage.”

Turns out, some of your favorite guilty pleasures could be exacerbating the issue. In other words, what you eat and drink impacts your bladder in more ways than just filling it up. And, in fact, your habits now can impact your incontinence—or lack thereof—later in life.

Here are the five foods and drinks to avoid if you have an overactive bladder!

Citrus

This includes lemonade; orange, grapefruit, and pineapple juices; and citrus fruits such as lemons and limes. The acid in them can irritate your urinary tract lining, including your bladder. For some people, tomatoes (which are acidic) can also be problematic. The good news? You don’t have to eliminate citrus altogether. It’s about moderation—Kitchens says a glass of lemonade once a month is fine.

Caffeine

Coffee is a common offender because it can full of caffeine (and we Americans love our coffee). Not only will coffee make you urinate more often (it’s a diuretic), but caffeine also may have an “excitatory effect” on the smooth muscle that lines your bladder. Don’t drink coffee? Be mindful of the caffeine in tea, sodas, chocolate, and energy drinks.

Soft drinks

These are on the no-no list because of both their caffeine and carbonation. Why exactly carbonation is an issue isn’t fully known, but one of the largest published studies that looked at women and urinary incontinence identified drinking carbonated drinks as one of the top three diet and lifestyle factors (obesity and smoking were the other two) associated with the onset of overactive bladder symptoms.

Artificial sweeteners

Faux sugars found in “sugar-free” foods and candy, as well as diet sodas, can sometimes bother people, but, according to Kitchens, less so. That said, in one small study Diet Coke and caffeine-free Coke irritated participants more so than classic Coke and plain carbonated water. And then there’s an animal study that suggests artificial sweeteners may cause the smooth muscle that lines your bladder to contract more.

Alcohol

Not only does it make you pee more (just like caffeine, it’s a diuretic), but some doctors advise against drinking too much alcohol as they believe it can irritate the lining of your urinary tract. Though the research is still not conclusive when it comes to nixing alcohol if you have an overactive bladder, the anecdotal evidence (and MD advice) is fairly strong.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

8 Reasons Why Your Stomachache Is a Major Concern

A stomachache can knock down your Holiday plans, and, sometimes, the pain doesn’t come from what you eat. However, that doesn’t make stomachaches any less annoying and incredibly uncomfortable. Fortunately,

5 Essential Facts to Know About Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea, and occurs when the muscles in your throat become blocked (“obstructed”) while you sleep. Another type of sleep

8 Things You Should Sanitize Every Day

With the spread of coronavirus, we are all focused on cleaning our homes as often and as well as possible. So, if you want to stay safe, you have to

10 Hidden Health Dangers You Can’t Ignore

A home invasion is everyone’s worst nightmare. What’s scarier than that: A silent killer hiding inside your body. Lurking inside all of us could be something seriously wrong, a hidden

12 Shocking Things That Are Damaging Your Body

We all know chain-smoking, eating junk food, and drinking a bottle of wine each night are unhealthy habits. But there are other surprising and subtle things you do everyday that

15 Signs You’re Vitamin C Deficient

Vitamins are an important part of someone’s overall health and, without them, our bodies can’t complete essential tasks and functions. Although they are crucial, it appears that approximately 92 percent

10 Tips to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

    Fast-food burgers Moderation is the key of a healthy life, so grass-fed, high-quality beef may have some heart benefits, according to Dr. Regina Druz, associate professor of cardiology

Scroll to Top