Nutrition plays a huge role in overall wellbeing, and that includes your bladder. What you eat (and how much of it) could be affecting your urinary health.
Caffeine, alcohol, spicy or acidic foods and foods containing artificial sweeteners are all known bladder irritants, so if possible, it’s recommended to reduce your intake of them.
A 2016 study published in Current Urology found that nearly 50% of people over 60 who drink more than a cup of coffee (300mg) suffer from overactive bladder symptoms. This percentage was significantly higher when compared to people who consume less caffeine.
You don’t necessarily need to avoid caffeine or spicy food completely. But if you suffer from symptoms of an overactive bladder – such as a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate, involuntary leaks, and increased frequency – you may want to try cutting back. Everyone responds differently to trigger foods, so you may find it useful to keep a food journal to help you identify what could be causing you urinary distress.
Another easy change you can make is eating a diet rich in fibre. Fibre is beneficial in many ways, and it can contribute to optimal bladder health by fighting constipation. Your bowels and bladder are very close to each other, so when your colon is full it can put pressure on your bladder and cause incontinence. Avoiding constipation not only helps your bowel health but your bladder health too.
A helpful first step if you want to add more fibre to your diet, is to make sure you eat regular balanced meals. You should also make sure your diet includes plenty of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables, such as:
ApricotsGrapesPeachesPearsPlumsBerriesLeafy greensBeans, legumes and pulses