You might not think of food when it comes to bladder health or managing a sensitive bladder. If not, that’s completely understandable. But you might want to start.
Thinking about how food may impact your bladder may help tame a sensitive bladder and allow you to regain some control. An irritated or overactive bladder, after all, can be extremely frustrating and be a major hit to your quality of life.
Some foods can irritate your bladder, while others can help soothe it. Exactly what foods do what, however, will be dependent on your individual case.
Finding out if a particular food or substance irritates your bladder is really a process of elimination and something that you and your healthcare provider can work on. To test how your bladder responds to eliminating foods, you can:
- Keep a food diary to track which foods irritate your bladder and which do not
- Removing the irritating foods for a few days
- Adding foods back in once symptoms have subsided to see if they lead to irritation
Some foods commonly cause bladder irritation. Alcohol, coffee, citrus fruits, tomato-based foods, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods fall into this category. That isn’t the complete list, but those ones certainly can bother a sensitive bladder.
Foods that may help soothe your bladder, or at least be bladder friends, are extensive as well. Some include:
- Green beans
- Winter squash
- Lean proteins, particularly when baked or broiled
- Whole grains
Once again, individual foods will vary between people.
How do you even know if you have a sensitive bladder? Well, if you don’t drink a lot of water and find yourself having to go regularly, that is a sign. It may also present itself with strong urges to pee, needing to go frequently, and pain in the lower abdomen.