An overactive bladder (OAB) is a urological condition characterized by the following symptoms: the urgency to urinate, urinating more than eight times a day as well as waking up during the night to urinate (nocturia). It can be troublesome for many reasons, especially when you have to use the toilet at an inappropriate moment. It can also disrupt your sleep to the extent where you feel exhausted from an accumulated lack of sleep, which can severely affect the quality of your life and productivity at work. There might be multiple possible causes for an overactive bladder, but these are still not yet clearly established. OAB is more common as your age increases. Together with drugs, a lifestyle intake is required to treat OAB. This article covers different types of food that you can avoid consuming to decrease the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Bear in mind that not eating or drinking the following foods and beverages will not necessarily eliminate the overactive bladder symptoms, but should decrease the symptoms since these foods are known to worsen bladder problems in people.
Acidic fruits are one of the main foods to avoid when you have an overactive bladder. While it is essential to eat fruit in a healthy diet, citrus fruit are particularly high in acids which can irritate the bladder. Another fruit to avoid is pineapple. Healthier substitutions for citrus fruit include bananas and berries. One other highly acidic fruit that should be avoided is the tomato. While popular in pasta dishes, this can easily be substituted for another thin white sauce along with vegetables and mushrooms. When making alternative sauces, it is important to remember that milk and cheese may also affect the bladder of some people. While not all people are affected by those foods, it could be a problem for you.
Another food family to avoid is the chili family. Hot peppers, chili sauces and hot curry spices all tend to irritate the lining of the bladder. Try to tame down curries etc. using less spices and more yogurt and other herbs.
While many people love their morning cup of coffee or tea, these drinks are a big no-no for anyone with OAB. This is due to the fact that coffee is a diuretic – i.e. it makes you urinate more frequently. Aside from that, both tea and coffee contain caffeine which stimulates the bladder. Unfortunately, even “caffeine-free” versions of tea and coffee still contain small amounts of caffeine, which may still have that stimulatory effect on your bladder. Other beverages to avoid are soft drinks which frequently contain sugar and caffeine, both substances being culprits of an overactive bladder. Another caffeine-rich food to avoid is chocolate. Chocolate is rich in caffeine. A healthier alternative is cocoa-rich dark chocolate, which will satisfy your craving for chocolate in small amounts. Dark chocolate alternatives have far less sugar than milk chocolate so gives you another reason to choose dark instead of milk chocolate. If you must have sweet beverages or cereal, then opt for artificial sweeteners instead. A popular natural sweetener is Stevia. Other beverages that are rich in both caffeine and sugar are energy drinks, which should naturally be avoided for the aforementioned reasons.
Alcohol is generally forbidden or moderated in a healthy lifestyle. It is no different for people who have an overactive bladder. Alcohol dehydrates you and forces you to go to the bathroom frequently.
While it may seem difficult to live a relaxed life when you have an overactive bladder, it can likely be managed if you monitor your food and beverage intake, possibly together with any required intake of medication. Bear in mind that every person does not react in the same way to different foods. You should take note of what you are eating and drinking, and your body’s reactions to the different types of foods, so that you are able to know which foods are problematic for you.