Diet and Overactive Bladder
November 21, 2013
Overactive bladder (OAB) can be a frustrating condition to live with. What many people don’t realize is that diet plays a significant role in symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency. This is often described as the “gotta go” feeling.
Coffee is commonly a culprit in making these symptoms worse. Caffeine acts as a bladder irritant and a diuretic. Some people consume coffee for energy, while others drink it for its taste. Either way, a recent study showed that decaffeinated coffee is actually better at preventing urinary symptoms than regular coffee. Even with decaffeinated coffee, we recommend moderate intake. If you have several cups a day, you can gradually decrease this by one cup per week.
Of course there are several other beverages and foods that are high in caffeine along with coffee. Caffeine free tea or green tea are also good alternatives. Drinking coffee or caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon or evening can cause you to get up at night to go to the restroom. Avoid drinking these beverages later in the day to help with excessive night time urination. Other bladder irritants include alcohol, spicy and greasy foods, acidic foods/beverages, and artificial sweeteners. You’ll be surprised at how altering your diet in this way can help with urinary symptoms. If you have already made these changes and are still noticing frequency and urgency with urination, contact your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
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