Is Your Diet Making Your Bladder Angry?
You gave up carrying a purse full of pads and extra panties when you had your hysterectomy. You cleaned out your car and removed all the extra clothes you carried around for those monthly accidents. Now that menopause has arrived, your suitcase of extras is back in the trunk and you may be carrying an enormous purse to disguise the piles of pads and panties inside. This time though, it’s your bladder causing the problems and you’re struggling to stay clean and dry.
Besides needing to urinate what feels like a hundred times a day, your bladder is like a pesky, leaky faucet, leaving you damp every time you turn around. And oh the flood if you dare laugh, cough, or sneeze. It’s downright embarrassing.
Before you pull your hair out, take a look at your diet. What you are eating and drinking may be affecting your bladder. Do yourself a favor and work to eliminate the following while creating an overall, healthy diet. Keep a food diary as well to help you figure out additional foods and drinks that are a problem for you.
Salt can be a problem for your bladder in a number of ways. When the body senses there’s too much salt, it triggers a reaction that can cause extra water to help dilute it. Since your bladder needs to get rid of that extra water, it sends you repeatedly to the bathroom. Too much salt also raises your blood pressure, so your doctor may prescribe a diuretic which creates extra urine. Salt can also be irritating to the bladder, increasing your need to urinate.
Foods with lots of spices can taste so good, but they don’t get along well with your bladder. The spices can be irritating to your bladder, making you feel the need to urinate frequently. You may also drink more when eating these foods, increasing the amount of urine your body produces.
Like spicy foods, acidic foods can be irritating to the bladder, causing frequent urination. These include tomatoes and tomato products, citrus fruits and drinks, many condiments and dressings, vinegar, some dairy products, and processed meats.
The caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda simulates the bladder, causing urgency as well as frequent urination. It also acts like a diuretic, triggering your body to produce more urine that sends you running to the bathroom frequently. Sadly, there’s caffeine in your beloved chocolate, too.
Along with the caffeine in your favorite soda, there’s carbonation. All that fizz and bubbles can be irritating to your bladder, triggering a need to urinate more frequently. The more you have to go, the more chance of a leaking accident.
Before you pop that tab or pour that glass of wine, you need to remember that alcohol is another drink that can act as a diuretic. The more of it you drink, the more urine your body will produce. That means you’ll need to find a restroom more frequently and there’s more potential for leaking. Alcohol also interferes with the signal to your brain that helps you hold urine in your bladder. If you’re already having trouble in that area, adding to it with alcohol will only make things worse.
Artificial sweeteners may lower your calories, but they can irritate your bladder and send you to the bathroom more frequently. On the bright side, you add steps to your day every time you make a trip to the bathroom!
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Is Your Diet Making Your Bladder Angry?