Overactive bladder, or OAB, is a common affliction of the bladder that can be easily influenced by what we eat and drink. Certain foods and drinks are aggravators of overactive bladders, but many are easily avoided if you understand the qualities of the foods that are irritating.
Acidic, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are among the top offenders, including coffee, strong teas and lemonades. Highly sweetened juices can also be irritating when consumed in large amounts. If certain drinks are unavoidable in your routine or if you choose to have one during a special occasion, dilute the drink before it reaches your bladder by consuming two glasses of water for every glass of the irritating beverage.
Foods can be more difficult to predict, especially if you didn’t see them being prepared. However, certain main ingredients can be more predictable than others. Acidic, spicy and overly sweet foods can be especially irritating to a sensitive bladder. Ingredients to watch out for are tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, peppers and onions. Even foods like pizza and baked goods can be troublesome because of additions like tomato sauces and sweeteners. Of course, you want to be sure and include fruit in your diet, but try less acidic fruits like apples or bananas if you notice that oranges and grapefruits worsen your symptoms.
If you’re having a hard time tracking down what specific foods are causing a problem with your OAB, you might consider keeping a food diary. Writing down the foods you eat and your symptoms each day for as little as a week can give you and your urologist insight into patterns that could help you make smarter choices.
If you still can’t find relief even after cutting out known aggravators, you might need to consult with your urologist to help you tailor your diet. In some cases, excessive reactions can be a sign of a more serious illness that needs to be treated.
If you’d like to talk more with one of our physicians about OAB, please contact us today at 1-800-255-1762.