Overactive bladder is a condition that affects many people. Often, individuals with overactive bladder don’t talk about it with their doctor and assume that they just need to live with the problem. Though there are medical treatments for this condition, there are also diet changes that you can make which can help to alleviate the symptoms. Here are some foods that you should avoid if you are suffering from an overactive bladder:

  • MSG: Who doesn’t love Chinese takeout once in a while? But before you place your order, if you have an overactive bladder then be sure to enquire about the use of MSG, or monosodium glutamate. It is a flavor enhancer, but also a bladder irritant.
  • Spicy foods: Just as foods flavored with spicy seasoning can irritate your mouth, they can also have that effect on your bladder. If you dread a bland, flavorless meal, then try to flavor with herbs instead of spices.
  • Sugar: If you are a sweet-tooth with an overactive bladder, then you will be unhappy to hear that excess sugar can promote bladder activity. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners act in the same way. Try to cut back on sugary sweets to lessen the need to go.
  • Coffee: Caffeine is a diuretic, which causes your kidneys to produce more urine as well as a bladder irritant, which makes it a double whammy for overactive bladder. Try to limit the amount of coffee in your diet in order to control an overactive bladder.
  • Alcohol: Like caffeine, alcohol is also a diuretic and a bladder irritant. Individuals with overactive bladder should limit their alcohol intake, or expect a lot of “go” time!
  • Soda: A typical soda contains caffeine, sugar or artificial sweetener, all of which can irritate the bladder and cause you to need to go more frequently. Water is the better beverage choice when you are looking to hydrate.
  • Orange juice: Though it contains vitamin C and other nutrients that are good for you, the acidity level of orange juice can irritate your bladder. This holds true for grapefruit juice and other citrus juices as well.
  • Cranberry juice: Though cranberry juice can actually help fight a bladder infection, it is an acidic beverage that can irritate your bladder, making you go more frequently.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are in many salads, sauces and dishes, and would be a difficult food to avoid. However, tomatoes are acidic and can be a bladder irritant. If you are combating an overactive bladder then try to limit the amount of tomatoes and tomato based products in your diet. Another tip is to add a tiny bit of baking soda when you are making a tomato sauce in order to neutralize the acidity.

Though some of these bladder irritants can be cut from your diet altogether, there are many that would be difficult to avoid and should be consumed in moderation. In addition, some of these foods offer important nutrients. Talk to your urologist about your overactive bladder in order to come up with a nutrition plan that is right for your bladder and your body.