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Overactive Bladder? 5 Foods to Avoid for Better Bladder Control

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If you’re one of the many who wishes you could better control your overactive bladder then you can relate: Out of nowhere — even if you just went — you feel the urgent need to go, and you need to go right now.

It’s one of the more frustrating reoccurring scenarios in life — and one we become even more familiar with as we get older, when we’re more prone to developing an overactive bladder.

Overactive bladder (OAB) isn’t a disease, but rather a group of urinary symptoms that can include incontinence (leaking urine) and having to frequently visit the bathroom. This happens because with OAB bladder muscles can contract, even if the bladder isn’t full yet.

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And believe it or not, this affects 33 million Americans every day. Although, let’s be realistic, the actual number is probably higher since people may not ask for help because they’re embarrassed or don’t know how to discuss it with their doctor.

Worse, many don’t address this problem because they don’t think there are any effective treatments.

But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. For example bladder training and bladder floor exercises (Kegels) can help relax bladder muscles and reduce frequent urges to “go.” And avoiding certain foods can help curb the overactive bladder contractions that trigger the need to run to the restroom.

5 Foods to Avoid for Better Bladder Control

1. Avoid acidic fruits & vegetables

Citrus fruits like oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits make OAB worse. As for veggies – tomatoes are also acidic, so whether pizza, pasta or salsa, it can spell trouble for bladder control later.

2. Ditch beverages that containing caffeine

Coffee, tea, and diet sodas or eat chocolate, which contains a quarter of the amount of caffeine that’s in a cup of Joe. The evidence is mixed, but for some people avoiding caffeine, a diuretic which increases the amount of urine the body produces, helps ease OAB symptoms. Aim for less than 100 milligrams a day or the amount in one cup of drip coffee but reduce your intake gradually. Try making a cup of one-half regular coffee and one-half decaf.

3. Minimize Alcohol Intake

Alcohol is both a diuretic and stimulant, which explains why you hear people joke about the need to use the restroom more frequently after a coupe alcoholic beverages.

4. Curb Use of Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin are known to increase urinary frequency and urgency. Instead, try natural sweeteners like Stevia.

5. Steer Clear of Spicy Foods

Spicy foods don’t just trigger acid reflux — if a food makes your eyes water and burns your lips, it will also wreak havoc on your bladder. And careful, many spicy foods are coupled with acidic ones like tomatoes. Salsa, for example contains tomatoes and hot peppers and spices, a big no-no for anyone looking to control overactive bladder.

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