Is soy or almond milk okay to drive with an overactive bladder?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I read that milk is a food to avoid if you have an overactive bladder; what about sdoy or almond milk?


Expert Answers

Beth Reardon, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., is Caring.com senior food and nutrition editor and the director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine. As a practitioner of integrative nutrition, Reardon takes a holistic approach to wellness, recognizing that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with a health-promoting diet. As a practitioner of integrative nutrition, Reardon takes a holistic approach to wellness, recognizing that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with a health-promoting diet.

As many as 90% of patients with an overactive bladder find that their symptoms worsen after eating certain foods and that diet modifications help. Determining what foods and beverages are problematic is a matter of trial and error, but for many people keeping a food journal for a few weeks helps to identify potential triggers. I would recommend doing this before you eliminate any one particular food. Keep in mind that everyone reacts to foods differently. Having said that there are foods that come up more often as being triggers for an overactive bladder. These include caffeine (including chocolate unfortunately) carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and other vitamin C rich foods. Alcohol, acidic and spicy foods also make the list (including tomatoes, lemon juice, and vinegar). Dairy, particularly aged cheeses, sour cream and yogurt, does happen to be a food containing proteins that are very allergenic to certain populations. If you were to do a trial run at eliminating milk, I would recommend substituting less allergenic "milks" such as rice, almond or hemp milk.
Finally, be sure to avoid getting dehydrated and drink enough water to dilute your urine. Carry a water bottle with you when you go out and take sips regularly. Most people need to drink about 2 quarts daily to assure a steady dilute stream of urine. Be well.