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Aging In Place

8 Foods That Contribute to an Overactive Bladder

by DanaLarsen Resource: www.caregivers.com

Overactive bladder plagues Americans; especially those over the age of 65. Learn how managing your diet, instead of decreasing fluid intake may be the smartest move to less-active bladder.

If you find yourself constantly running to the bathroom with no relief in sight, your diet may be partially to blame. Most people assume that drinking too much is the culprit, but if fluid intake is decreased, you may actually be at risk for even more bladder irritation. It’s all about finding the delicate balance of appropriate fluid intake and a balanced, non-bladder-aggravating diet.

According to the Department of Health, overactive bladder is a problem affecting more than 20 million Americans. In fact, one in 10 men and women over age 65 suffer from overactive bladder. And for those over 80 years old, three in 10 may be affected. About half of the elderly who are housebound or in nursing homes also experience incontinence.

Do you have Overactive Bladder? If so, Avoid These Foods…

Whether you’re affected by stress incontinence, prostate issues, urge incontinence or some other form of overactive bladder syndrome (OBS), try eliminating some of the following foods and beverages. All of the following are known to exacerbate bladder problems in some people. Promoting healthy living that doesn’t irritate the bladder can help reduce your daily bathroom trips.

Here are 8 foods to avoid to help ease your bladder’s over-activity:

  1. Citrus — While it’s important to get a balanced diet, including fruits, stay away from the citrus fruits (or at least eat them in moderation). The acidity in oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruit are not the overactive bladder sufferers’ friend.
  2. Chocolate — Chocolate may be good for the soul, but it’s not good for incontinence. Chocolate has caffeine which stimulates the bladder (especially in hot chocolate form!).
  3. Coffee and Black tea — Coffee is a diuretic which promotes urination. Surprisingly, even decaf coffees and teas are not caffeine-free and still instigate the bladder. Herbal tea has no caffeine and can be a good alternative.
  4. Hot or spicy foods — Just as our eyes water or lips burn from jalapenos, salsa, curries or hot peppers, the bladder lining tends to get irritated by a little (or a lot) of spice.
  5. Alcohol — Alcohol interferes with your brain signals telling your bladder when to go to the bathroom. It also dehydrates you, making you need to go more.
  6. Tomatoes — Tomatoes are acidic, thus irritating the bladder. Minimizing your tomato intake, whether it’s in salsa, juice or pasta sauce will help with your frequent bathroom trips.
  7. Dairy Products — Dairy products can aggravate people differently. From cottage cheese to yogurt to sour cream, figuring our which dairy stimulates your bladder will help you discover which ones you need to remove from your diet.
  8. Sugar or honey — Sugars have a tendency to irritate the bladder, tempting as they may be. Limiting sugar intake is recommended if you suffer from overactive bladder.

Another tip? Every body is different, so keep a food journal! This way you can keep track of which foods irritate you and better determine your healthy, daily diet.

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