10 Foods to Avoid if You Have an Overactive Bladder
It's not necessarily how much you drink and eat, but what.
Decreasing fluids is often the first thing tried by someone seeking to control an overactive bladder. After all, if you drink less overall, you reduce the need to use the bathroom often or the chance of having an accident before you can get there. Right?
Yes -- but if you drink too little (fewer than about six cups a day), urine becomes concentrated, which can cause even more bladder irritation. That's why equally important to managing bladder problems is what you're drinking and eating.
Whether you're plagued by the frequent need to pee, actual leaking of urine, or some other form of overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome, eliminating some foods and beverages may provide some relief of your symptoms.
Know that clinical research hasn't proven that avoiding all of these foods improvides overactive bladder symptoms. Every bladder is individual. You'll learn the most about what works for you if you:
- Keep a diary of symptoms before and after you eliminate a possible trigger, so you can see whether it has had an impact.
- Only eliminate one item at a time. Doctors often recommend eliminating a given food for at least 3 to 7 days.
Still, all of the following foods and beverages are known to exacerbate bladder problems in some people, so it's worth seeing if they have a direct effect on you.