You know that you should eat healthy. A diet rich in foods like vegetables and fruit, lean protein, and whole grains does wonders for your overall health. It can help ward off diseases, maintain your body’s functioning, and provide the right amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to run smoothly.
But did you know that what you eat also has a drastic effect on how your bladder behaves? This is especially true if you have incontinence or overactive bladder.
What you put into your body has a direct effect on your bladder. Certain foods are known bladder irritants, so it’s a good idea to avoid them if you know they’re going to cause you trouble. These foods are typically anything that contains some sort of acidity, sugar, spice, or caffeine.
Foods That Irritate The Bladder And May Contribute To Bladder Leaks
Carbonated beverages, such as sodas or seltzer water or sparkling water
Coffee or tea
Sugar & artificial sweeteners
Citrus foods and juices (oranges, lemons, limes & grapefruit)
Tomatoes and tomato-based products
Milk or milk products
This is by no means a complete list, and there’s a good chance that not all of these foods will have the same effect on everyone who lives with incontinence or OAB.
The best way to determine your own known triggers is to document what you eat and drink, and the effect it has on your bladder, in a bladder diary. (Download a free one from NAFC here!) Over time, you may start to see trends that can help you know what to avoid in the future.
What about water? How much should I be drinking?
Many people with incontinence try to limit their fluid intake because they think drinking too much of anything, even water, may cause them to have an accident. While this may be somewhat true in specific instances (don’t load up just before a big workout!), in general you shouldn’t limit your water intake.
Staying hydrated is super important for your overall health – the body needs water to function properly. And limiting your intake may actually backfire on you.
When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes ultra concentrated, and is more likely to smell bad if you do have an accident, causing unwanted odors.
Additionally, concentrated urine can irritate your bladder, and may even lead to more leaks.
So always be sure to drink plenty of water to keep things running smoothly and to keep odors away.