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16 Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Manage an Overactive Bladder

Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Manage Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder is a condition caused by excessive contractions of the urinary bladder muscles, which results in a sudden and regular need to urinate even when the level of urine in the bladder is low.

This medical condition can cause a lot of complications in patients' everyday lives and disturb their routines, which can lead to inconsistency in sleep (nocturia).

An OAB may occur for a variety of reasons, including: 

  • Nervous system disorders that damage the nerve cells, including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.
  • Polyuria, a symptom of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by excessive urination.
  • Diseases of the urinary tract.
  • Water tablets, also used as diuretics. Doctors prescribe diuretics to heart patients to stabilize their blood pressure, but these medications can cause excessive urination as a side effect.
  • Aging and a loss in mental ability.
  • A higher-than-average intake of alcohol or caffeine. 

What to do if your bladder is overactive

OAB can be a complicated illness, and understanding how to treat it is important. It's difficult to suppress the urge to urinate when you have this condition, because it's usually out of your control. It can get worse if you don't know how to handle it. While you may not be able to directly manage the condition, you can control other aspects of your life, such as your diet, which plays an important role in controlling OAB. Some eating patterns may help relax an overactive bladder, while others may exacerbate the issue.
Changing your diet likely won't completely heal your overactive bladder, but it can make it easier to control and live your life normally. Doctors advise that you stick to the diet you need, and that you keep track of fluid and food intake to keep your bladder health in order. You should prepare a diet chart to better control an overactive bladder after you've kept track of which foods help and which cause further problems. Stay on track by detailing your diet plan and the foods you should consume to treat your condition. Also, it can be of use to identify some incontinence products that can help you regain a sense of normalcy during this time.
The best and simplest way to keep the condition under control is to eat only certain foods and avoid those that aggravate or worsen it. Some of these foods may be favorites of yours, and you may not want to give them up, but avoiding them will help you manage this complicated condition. Here are several tried-and-true diet suggestions for dealing with an overactive bladder:

1. Stay away from spicy foods

16 Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Manage an Overactive Bladder, avoid spicy foods

Foods that are spicy can be flavorful and delicious. These foods may tempt your taste buds, but they may be harmful to your bladder. Spicy foods may absorb into the lining of your bladder, causing inflammation and, as a result, OAB. The urge to urinate not only increases, but it can also cause discomfort. Reduce the amount of spices in your food and you'll be able to enjoy them without causing any problems.

2. Limit the consumption of acidic foods

Citrus fruits and juices can be avoided by people who have an overactive bladder. Acidic foods are generally troublesome since the acid can cause urine to have a higher acid content. As more acidic urine remains in the bladder, it irritates the bladder, causing OAB symptoms to appear. You may be experiencing bladder spasms or a rise in OAB, so keep track of what you're eating to prevent pain. Citrus fruits that may cause problems for OAB patients are tangerines, lemons, grapefruit and lime juice. 

If you simply cannot bear the thought of forever giving up the occasional cup of orange juice, another option is to choose low-acid juices.

3. Reduce dairy consumption

Patients with overactive bladders often report that their condition worsens after consuming milk or dairy products. Patients with interstitial cystitis face the same problem when they eat such dairy products. However, not all people with bladder issues are affected by dairy in the same way. Keep a journal about what you eat to find out which items to avoid and whether you should completely stop eating them. If you're unsure about whether or not your body will react negatively to ingesting a specific dairy product, these Caroli Incontinence Pullup Underwear are designed with super absorbency to keep your mind at ease.

4. Limit the intake of caffeinated foods and beverages

Caffeine is often present in coffee, tea, chocolate, and sodas. A cup of coffee can provide you with the energy you need to get through the day, but it can be harmful to your bladder and make it more sensitive. It makes you feel more compelled to use the restroom than normal. Certain caffeine-containing foods, such as tea and chocolate, as well as certain medications, should be avoided if possible. Since some decaffeinated items contain some smaller amounts of caffeine, if you are caffeine-sensitive, you can avoid them as well.

5. Keep track of your beverages

16 Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Manage an Overactive Bladder, beverages

It's safer if you stay away from carbonated beverages like soda and sparkling water. These can make you feel uneasy and have an effect on your bladder. Instead of sparkling water, use plain water. Water can keep you hydrated while still causing no inflammation in your system, as drinking too little water can cause concentrated urine, which causes bladder irritation and, as a result, frequent urination.

6. Limit sugar consumption

If you have a sweet tooth, you can end up consuming too much sugar. Be cautious about the source, because this may be detrimental to your health. Sugar and other sweeteners in your diet can aggravate your symptoms.

7. Minimize your alcohol consumption

If you want to celebrate a good day, or unwind after a long day with alcoholic drinks, you should think carefully about your options. Alcoholic beverages are known to aggravate OAB by acting as a trigger. It can also make a person dehydrated, which can lead to problems like concentrated urine, irritated bladder, and infections.

8. Keep an eye out for other ingredients as well

It's possible that you're not sensitive to any of these food products. Other foods that don't appear on this list can also cause symptoms. Living with an overactive bladder can be a trial and error process when it comes to food, and everybody is different. If you're concerned about incontinence damaging your furniture or bedding at night, identifying a high quality underpad can make a huge difference in your quality of life.

9. Skip the night cap

It's important to check on your fluid intake at night, in addition to monitoring it during the day. After a certain time of day, you can need to cut the fluid consumption off, say around 6 p.m. It is important to note that you should not become dehydrated, however. Patients will also have a restful night by monitoring their liquid intake during the day, which has a positive impact on their overall wellbeing. Tabbed briefs can be an absolute gamechanger while you're in the process of finding the perfect balance to manage your incontinence.

10. Pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened by exercise

16 Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Manage an Overactive Bladder, pelvic floor exercise

The muscles that surround and protect the bladder are known as the pelvic muscles. Doctors claim that performing prescribed exercises will improve pelvic floor muscles and help manage an overactive bladder, even if different patients react differently to other treatments. However, in order to prevent negative consequences, it is often necessary to carry out activities exactly as directed.

11. Avoid smoking

Smoking is harmful to one's health and can have a major impact on the bladder. It It is one of the most common causes of OAB.

12. Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity can exacerbate the symptoms of overactive bladder in patients. The pressure of weight on the bladder is commonly recognized as a major cause of bladder irritation in the first place. Adults who are overweight should attempt to lose weight by maintaining a balanced lifestyle. You can also consume more fruits and vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates, and lean proteins such as tuna, lentils, and beans. If you're currently in the process of working towards your ideal weight, but know that it may take some time to get there, fear not - there are a wide variety of bariatric incontinence products on the market to fit waists and hips of any size.

13. Watch out for the ingredients in prescription drugs

Doctors may sometimes recommend antimuscarinics to treat an overactive bladder. To prevent repeated urination, these drugs target the bladder muscles and control unnecessary contractions. However, in addition to being practical, it may also have some negative side effects, such as dry mouth. Be sure to consult with your doctor, as we cannot provide actual medical advice, and they will know what's best for you.

14. Acupuncture

16 Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Manage an Overactive Bladder, acupuncture

Acupuncture could be an alternative for you to try if you're seeking to minimize reliance on medications. You can use it instead of or in addition to the medication to help you manage your symptoms.

15. Injections into the bladder 

Bladder injections, which control nerve impulses between the brain and the bladder, can significantly reduce the symptoms of OAB. Nerve stimulation or Botox injections may be used to do this. Always consult with your doctor before considering any kind of medical procedures.

16. Surgical procedures

Not always, but depending on the situation, surgery can be needed to treat bladder issues and alleviate overactive bladder symptoms. Once again, your doctor will know best about whether or not this is necessary for you.

Suffering from an OAB can lead to a slew of issues, especially in the elderly. A healthy diet can help treat an overactive bladder and allow you to get back to living a normal day-to-day life. While you are on your quest to treat and overcome overactive bladder issues, Norton Hurley provides a wide range of incontinence products — from pullups, to underpads, to tabbed briefs — to help you stay fresh and dry all day or night.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is purely for educational purposes and should not be used in place of the advice of your doctor or physician.