You know when you just have to ‘go’, but did you realise that perhaps something in your everyday diet could be making it worse?
Check if any these might be triggers for you so you can try cutting them out or perhaps finding a less irritating substitute instead.
1 Beware of bubbles
Carbonated drinks such as fizzy water, all types of sparkling soft drinks and soda, can irritate sensitive bladders.
So if you have overactive bladder (OAB), also called urinary “urge incontinence,” limit how much you take in.
2 Caffeine can trigger more frequent toilet visits
Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and colas can all lead to more bathroom visits. Drinks that have it also contain acid, which can bother the bladder.
Try decaf drinks, low-acid coffees, and non-citrus herbal teas instead.
Also chocolate alert: dark and milk chocolate has plenty of caffeine and can be acidic so don’t make it a late night snack if you want to avoid too many night time trips. You could try white chocolate instead, since it has little or no caffeine.
3 Citrus and acid fruits can upset your bladder
Oranges, grapefruits, clementines, lemons, and limes are all acidic and can make it harder to control the urge to pee, whether you eat them or drink their juice. Pineapple may be sweet but it too counts as an acidic citrus.
Cranberries can help some people avoid getting bladder and urinary tract infections. But because they’re acidic, these berries and juices made from them could spell trouble if you have OAB.
4 Tomatoes can make symptoms worse
They have many health benefits, but they too are acidic food so can upset your bladder and make OAB symptoms worse by triggering more frequent urination.
If you do have this sensitivity then also watch out for tomato-based foods like spaghetti sauce, baked beans and ketchup too.
5 Alcohol can increase frequency
Beer, wine, liquor — alcohol in any form makes you need to pee more. It also interferes with brain signals to the bladder about when to go.
If your taste runs to Champagne or other sparkling wines, keep in mind that both the fizz and the alcohol could trigger problems.
So limit how much you drink, or stop drinking if you have sensitivity.
6 Keep spices & condiments low
If you love your spicy food then things like curry, chilli and wasabi may do more than tingle your taste buds or make your eyes water, they can also encourage more frequent urination.
Try testing out how much heat you can handle and as everyone’s tolerance is different, you may have to experiment a bit.
Lots of condiments contain acids or other problem ingredients so if you are a frequent user of soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, mayonnaise then see if they too are a problem for you.
Spices that your bladder will thank you for are rosemary, dill, thyme, and garlic so increase those in your cooking.
7 Cut down on all types of sweetener
Artificial sweeteners, sugar, and honey may all set off your symptoms but if you must add a little then go for the more natural ones such as honey. Artificial sweeteners have enough drawbacks without them affecting your bladder too.
Take a break from them and see what happens.
8 Avoid raw onions
I really do love to add raw red onions to salads, but there is no doubt that cooking them makes them easier on your system if you have a sensitive bladder.
9 Not all fruit is equal
It’s not just citrus fruits that can trigger your bladder Other fruits like apples, bananas, and grapes could be to blame, too.
If you think a certain food has caused you extra trips to the bathroom, try a little test. Stop eating it for a while, then start again in small amounts to see if the symptoms return.
10 Skip sour cream and aged cheeses
Some people find that these two really can make your symptoms worse but we often do use them as a special treat to end a meal, especially aged cheeses.
11 Limit processed foods
We know that it is healthier to cook and eat natural meals, but processed foods can be a real boon when you are in a hurry.
Keep the amount of them down as the problem is the artificial flavours, preservatives, and additives like MSG and benzyl alcohol all of which can irritate the bladder.
Read nutrition labels carefully to avoid them.
12 Work it out for yourself
In a typical day you may have orange juice and coffee for breakfast, a fizzy drink with your lunch, then maybe a chocolate bar as a mid-afternoon snack, and spicy Thai or Indian food with a nice glass of wine for dinner.
That may sound fine, but any of those things might affect your bladder, so you need to decide which things in your diet are really affecting your bladder.
If you think a certain food might be setting off your symptoms, stop eating it for a while, then slowly add small amounts back in to your diet to see if things change.
Progesterone also plays several roles in preventing vaginal and urinary tract infection so checking that you have good hormone levels will also be helpful.