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8 Diet Tips for Managing an Overactive Bladder

Posted by Bianca Padilla on Sep 29th 2016

8 Diet Tips for Managing an Overactive Bladder

Living with an overactive bladder doesn’t have to hold you back. In fact, with the right strategy – including knowing what types of food and drinks to add to or remove from your diet – you can manage the symptoms and still enjoy a normal, active life.

Urologists and other experts recommend keeping a bladder diary to track your symptoms and also altering your diet with the following tips to help keep you more in control of your bladder and reduce the chances of an accident.

Stick with H20. Drinks that are especially acidic, those containing caffeine and alcoholic beverages, are known to exacerbate an overactive bladder, making symptoms worse and causing an increased urge to go. To avoid this, stick to water as much as possible. If you’re craving a little flavor, try adding a slice of lemon.

To avoid this, stick to water as much as possible. If you’re craving a little flavor, try adding a slice of lemon.

For juice, cranberry is the best. Some juices, like orange and pineapple, as well as lemonade and anything else that is high in acid, can irritate the bladder and increase the chances of an accident. Cranberry juice, on the other hand, is a better choice because it prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder, which contributes to better overall bladder health.

Cranberry juice, on the other hand, is a better choice because it prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder, which contributes to better overall bladder health.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and veggies contain many of the vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall good health, and when you’re healthy, your urinary system – including your bladder – will function at its best. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also good for maintaining a healthier weight, something that experts believe is equally important for bladder health.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also good for maintaining a healthier weight, something that experts believe is equally important for bladder health.

Watch your dairy products. Some people who suffer from an overactive bladder may find that their symptoms worsen after they’ve consumed certain dairy products. While this may not be the case for everyone, keeping a bladder diary can help you determine if you are, in fact, one of these individuals. Tracking your diet and subsequent symptoms can also help you pinpoint whether it’s a particular dairy product (and not all of them) that you should avoid.

Tracking your diet and subsequent symptoms can also help you pinpoint whether it’s a particular dairy product (and not all of them) that you should avoid.

Fill up on whole grains. When your bowels aren’t functioning properly and you feel bloated or are constipated, it can put pressure on your bladder, causing you to have to go to the bathroom more frequently. Foods that are rich in whole grains – such as brown rice, breads, pasta and whole-grain cereals - are also high in fiber, which helps to keep your bowels healthy and functioning well, thereby indirectly reducing bladder symptoms.

Foods that are rich in whole grains – such as brown rice, bread, pasta and whole-grain cereals - are also high in fiber, which helps to keep your bowels healthy and functioning well, thereby indirectly reducing bladder symptoms.

Reduce your sugar intake. Sugar has the tendency to cause increased growth in bacteria within the body, which can lead to infections of the urinary tract and bladder. Unfortunately, substitution isn’t even an option, since artificial sweeteners are believed to be just as bad. If you’re struggling with an overactive bladder and urinary incontinence issues, try cutting out sweets and see if you notice any improvement.

If you’re struggling with an overactive bladder and urinary incontinence issues, try cutting out sweets and see if you notice any improvement.

Cut back on spices. Foods that are heavily spiced can trigger an irritation of the bladder, which can lead to an increased urge to go. It’s not fully known why spicy foods bother some people with overactive bladders and not others, but if you happen to be one of these people, the solution is as straightforward as can be: stay away.

Pass on that nightcap. Most people with an overactive bladder are careful to closely control their fluid intake during the day, but forget to do so as night falls. If you find that your condition has you waking up frequently to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, you may want to consider cutting out drinks after a certain time, such as right after dinner.

Dealing with an overactive bladder isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to control your life. By identifying which parts of your current diet may be making your condition worse and knowing what things you can eat and drink to improve symptoms, you’ll be able to regain more control and enjoy life with fewer incidents.


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