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Are you one of those who always run to the loo at the very sight of it? Are you one of those who cannot hold on to your urine for a long time? Then this article is for you.
It is very normal for a person to pee eight times in a day if you are drinking enough water. It is also very normal to get up at night and pee once. However, if it exceeds this limit, then you should take note of it because you may have an overactive bladder (OAB).
OAB is more common in older adults; however, it can occur at any age . Overactive bladder occurs when the muscles of your bladder contract suddenly, without any warning sign. An overactive bladder can cause you to have a frequent, intense need to urinate because the bladder muscles are contracting, even if your bladder is not full .
Eating Habits And Overactive Bladder
Studies point out that your diet plays a key role in this; that is, certain foods you eat can add more stress to your bladder and increase irritation . Diet can help play a supportive role in helping with symptoms of overactive bladder such as frequent urge to urinate, frequent urination, bladder spasms and urinary incontinence .
While there is no special diet for an overactive bladder, by avoiding and limiting certain foods can help manage the condition. Take a look at the foods you should eat and food you should avoid for an overactive bladder.
Foods To Avoid For An Overactive Bladder
Some people find that certain foods or beverages seem to make their OAB symptoms worse.
1. Chocolate: The caffeine content in chocolates can trigger the need to go the loo frequently. This is because caffeine is a diuretic which means that it increases the frequency of urination . Eating chocolate can also increase the urge to urinate if consumed in excessive amounts because it is said to have a direct effect on the bladder's smooth muscle .
What to do: Try white chocolate, which usually does not have caffeine.
2. Tea and coffee: Same as that of chocolates, these beverages have high caffeine content, when consumed, can increase bladder activity and result in worsening the symptoms of OAB, such as higher urgency and frequency of urination and increased incontinence .
What to do: You can reduce or gradually give up tea and coffee and switch to decaffeinated beverages to decrease symptoms.
3. Citrus fruits: Oranges, limes, and lemons can quickly worsen the symptoms of OAB. Citrus fruits as such contain high amounts of citric acid, which can worsen bladder control . It would be best if you also avoided cranberries and grapefruit to prevent urinary tract irritation.
What to do: You should NEVER skip having fruits. A healthy diet is one that is encompassed of fruits, so for an individual with OAB, the best way is to have less acidic fruits like blueberries, bananas, apples and pears .
4. Tomato products: Studies point out that as tomatoes are rich in acidic acid, they can irritate your bladder and worsen OAB symptoms . Extremely sensitive individuals (OAB) should altogether avoid tomato products such as pasta, pizza sauce, ketchup and salsa.
What to do: Try cooking them before you eat them to reduce the effect on your bladder.
6. Soda: Any carbonated drinks, such as soft drinks, soda water and energy drinks, can aggravate OAB symptoms. It is the ‘fizz' in these fizzy drinks that can make you run to the loo a little bit too much.
What to do: Skipping on carbonated drinks can not only ease the OAB symptoms but also improve your health. Drinks with both carbonation and caffeine can stimulate the bladder and increase the risk of certain health problems. Switch to water and fruit juices.
7. Alcohol: Any alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, champagne and liquor can irritate the bladder and disrupt the signals to your brain which indicates when there is bladder overflow , causing you to pass urine.
8. Sweeteners: Not only artificial sweeteners but natural sweeteners like gave nectar, brown rice syrup, date sugar, honey, maple syrup etc. can also increase OAB symptoms . Avoid artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin entirely from your diet.
9. Spicy foods: Spicy foods such as peppers, wasabi, spicy salads and sauces can aggravate your bladder problem . Not all spicy foods can worsen the symptoms of OAB; therefore, experiment to see which ones affect you and which ones do not.
10. Salty foods: Potato chips, salted nuts, and other salty foods can worsen the symptoms of OAB because these foods when consumed, retain water, which eventually goes to the bladder . This can make one constantly thirsty, prompting you to drink more water.
What to do: Switch to low- or no-salt snacks that are easily available in supermarkets or make some at home.
11. Processed foods: Processed foods such as breakfast cereals, cheese, tinned vegetables, bread etc. contain a lot of artificial ingredients which can irritate your bladder and worsen OAB symptoms .
What to do: For an individual with OAB, doctors suggest it is best to have a healthy, balanced diet should include natural and fresh foods, such as vegetables and whole grains.
Try cutting down these foods in your diet and see if eliminating these foods have helped reduce your constant urge to go to the loo all the time.
Foods To Eat For Overactive Bladder
While some foods can trigger and worsen the symptoms of OAB, the following foods can help manage the condition.
• Bananas, rich in potassium and loaded with fibre, this fruit is good for your urinary tract .
• Cashews, almonds and peanuts are good additions to your diet when dealing with an overactive bladder .
• Rich in antioxidants, fibre and vitamin K, cucumber is a good choice for people dealing with an overactive bladder .
Note: Eating these foods will not cure or manage OAB, but they can help reduce the frequency of urine production.
On A Final Note…
Remember that foods that negatively affect one person may not affect you. Keeping a food diary where you list down the foods you eat can help you understand the triggers and can avoid or reduce the consumption of the same food in the future. If the urinary problem elevates, talk to your doctor about it because, the sooner you recognize a problem, the earlier it can be treated and managed.