Foods to Avoid When You Have an Overactive Bladder

Foods to Avoid When You Have an Overactive Bladder

If you have an overactive bladder there are specific foods уоu could try to avoid. You may be surprised to learn that it is not just what you drink, but what you eat, that can determine how serious your incontinence is. If you are the caregiver for a senior who is dealing with incontinence, it can be helpful to know that certain foods can make it worse. Making just a few dietary changes can go a long way toward reducing, or in some cases elimination, the symptoms of incontinence.  


Here are the foods to avoid when managing incontinence.


Citrus fruits – Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and even pineapples all contain bladder irritating components. While it is crucial that seniors have a well-balanced diet, they should avoid eating these fruits if they are experiencing incontinence. The problem with citrus fruits is that they are highly acidic and can irritate the bladder. This will only make the incontinence worse. Keep in mind that citrus fruits should also be avoided in juice form, as well. Rather than give up all juices and fruits, simply replace them with bananas, apples, berries, and pears for great nutritional value and fiber. Fiber can also play a key role in reducing the symptoms of incontinence because fiber reduces the risk of constipation, which may affect the incontinence.


Chocolate – This can be painful for those people who love the dark stuff. However, caffeine found in chocolate is known to be a bladder stimulant. You should not assume that hot chocolate is any better (in fact it is worse), since the chocolate arrives in liquid form. The best solution is to have 1-2 ounces of truly dark chocolate in order to help with that chocolate craving.


Hot sauce, chili peppers and wasabi – If you like it spicy and are trying to manage incontinence then the news isn’t good. All varieties of spicy foods, from nachos to curry, tend to irritate the lining of the bladder and make incontinence worse. If you simply can’t give up your favorite spicy dish then you should consider choosing a cooled down version. You can still use herbs, garlic, and other strong flavors in place of the heat carrying ingredients listed above.


Sugar and honey – You may be surprised to learn that the sweet stuff can have a major effect on the bladder. While it can be challenging to completely cut out sugar it can help with symptoms of incontinence if you can at least reduce the amount you eat. You can start by not adding those extra spoonsful to your morning cereal or coffee, and make sure that you are reading labels on everything you buy, since there is a lot of hidden sugar. In addition, it is important to know that for some people even artificial sweeteners have the same effect.


While the above approaches have been reported empirically as being helpful in reducing incontinence issues, there is no evidence to support the claim that you can eliminate your incontinence by changing your diet.


Back to blog