Having that constant and sudden urge to urinate? Well, blame it on an overactive bladder. People who suffer from such a symptom tend to wake up more often than usual during the night. This, in turn, can disrupt your sleeping pattern. Having an overactive bladder may not be life-threatening but it definitely disrupts your daily routine. To counter the problem, you can start by changing your diet by avoiding or minimising the intake of certain foods and drinks. That said, here are the 10 Foods & Drinks To Avoid For An Overactive Bladder.
1) Caffeinated Beverages
One word: diuretic. That’s the side effect that commonly occurs if you drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and anything fizzy (e.g. cola). They contain this very ingredient called caffeine, which can irritate and increase bladder activity. And if you happen to suffer from an overactive bladder, be prepared to make multiple trips to the bathroom. So, you might want to think twice if you want to slurp on a tall cup of iced cola while watching a movie in the freezing-cold cinema hall.
No doubt these red, plump and juicy round tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins, potassium and lycopene — an antioxidant that promotes heart health. And yet, there’s a major downside for consuming tomatoes due to its acidity, which tends to irritate your bladder. Which means you might want to cut down your tomato intake – not just the whole fruit itself but also other related products such as pasta/pizza sauce and ketchup.
3) Citrus Juices
Well, bad news for those who suffer from an overactive bladder. Drinking a glass of citrus juice made from oranges, lemons or grapefruits can irritate your bladder and worsen the overactive bladder symptom. You can choose to avoid them altogether or at least minimise regular consumption of citrus juices.
4) Alcoholic Drinks
Just like caffeinated beverages, alcoholic drinks such as beer tends to irritate your bladder. And the more bottles/cans/glasses of beer you consume, the more it increases urine production. So, don’t be surprised to find yourself constantly going to the bathroom, especially if you have an overactive bladder. Your best solution? Try to avoid drinking alcohol (it’s bad for health anyway) or at least cut back!
5) Spicy Food
Love those spicy chicken wings? Well, they may taste good with the sensationally hot and savoury aftertaste. But they can be a nuisance to the lining of your bladder. Those with an overactive bladder might want to rethink having them. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should avoid spicy food altogether. Even if you have overactive bladder, you can take some trial-and-error tests to determine your level of tolerance for spicy food.
Onions are no doubt one of the most common ingredients in many cuisines regardless of local or international dishes. Unfortunately, these bulbs aren’t particularly bladder-friendly and more so if you have an overactive bladder. Can’t live without onions? The next time you decide to incorporate onions into your dishes, try cooking them instead of having them raw.
7) Instant Noodles
Sure, instant noodles are appetising and easy to make. So easy that you don’t need any advanced cooking skills to whip up a bowl. All you need to do is simply add a noodle block and seasoning powder into a pot of boiling water and cook them accordingly for around 2 minutes. However, these instant noodles can cause discomfort and trigger bladder symptoms. The culprit? MSG or short for monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer responsible for making instant noodles such an addictive meal. Avoid them if possible or at least not have them on a regular basis.
Chocolate… undoubtedly one of life’s greatest pleasures. They are tempting and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. But do watch out if you have an overactive bladder. Chocolate contains caffeine as well as histamine, which can trigger bladder symptoms. Avoid or reduce consumption of chocolate. Keep in mind chocolate-based products such as hot chocolate, milkshake and mocha can cause similar reactions as well.
9) Processed Food
Convenient as they may be, processed food actually do more harm in the long run. And for those who have an overactive bladder, these processed foods’ common ingredients such as artificial flavours and preservatives can irritate your bladder. Try not to consume processed food on a regular basis and adopt a healthier lifestyle by incorporating a balanced diet filled with fresh food instead.
10) Fluid Intake
Just when you thought that drinking plain water is 100% safe. Well, that turns out not entirely true. This is especially true if you have an overactive bladder. If you drink too much, you will (obviously) need to go to the bathroom more often. And yet, if you drink too little, it can cause your urine to become concentrated and irritate your bladder. A general rule of thumb: keep it around 6 to 8 glasses of water a day and of course, try not to consume liquid at least a few hours before bedtime.