These Things All Make Incontinence Worse

You know what the problem is but did you realise your diet could be making it worse?


A leaky ladder is no fun, and there are a few things we can do to make it better, and avoiding these will definitely help.

Watch Out for Bubbles and Fizz

Carbonated drinks of any kind, even sparkling water may irritate sensitive bladders.

So if you have overactive bladder (OAB), also called urinary “urge incontinence,” limit how much you take in.

If your taste runs to Champagne or other sparkling wines, keep in mind that both the fizz and the alcohol could trigger problems.

Caffeine Can Make You Go Early and Often

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and colas can all lead to more bathroom visits.

Drinks that have it also contain acid, which can bother the bladder. Try decaf tea, low-acid coffees, and non-citrus herbal teas.

Choose White Chocolate Instead

Bad news for those of us who love our chocolate is that it contains both caffeine and acid.

So eat less of it and don’t snack on it late in the evening if dark chocolate is your favourite as it is mine – it has more caffeine than the milk or less cocoa content bars.

You could try white chocolate instead, since it has little or no caffeine but watch out for the sugar content.

Citrus Might Be The Problem

Oranges, grapefruits, clementines, lemons, and limes are all acidic and can make it harder to control the urge to pee, whether you eat them or drink their juice.

You may find that pineapple isn’t your friend either. That’s because it’s acidic, just like citrus. If you’re looking to add a tropical perk to a dish, use shredded coconut instead.

If you think a certain food might be setting off your symptoms, stop eating it for a while, then slowly add small amounts back in to your diet to see if things change.

Too Many Tomatoes Can Trigger The Urge

This acidic food can bother your bladder and make symptoms worse.

You may have to cut back on tomato-based foods like spaghetti sauce, chilli, and ketchup, too.

Cranberries: Friend and Foe to the Bladder

They help some people avoid getting bladder and urinary tract infections.

But because they’re acidic, these berries and juices made from them could spell trouble if you have an over active bladder.

Another perk of eating less acidic foods? It may help tame heartburn

Less Alcohol Equals More Control

Beer, wine or spirits – in fact alcohol in any form makes you need to pee more.

It also interferes with brain signals to the bladder about when to go. So limit how much you drink, or stop drinking if you have sensitivity.

Know Your Spice Limits

Hot spicy foods such as curry, chilli, salsa or wasabi may do more than tingle your taste buds or make your eyes water.

Just test out how much heat you can handle without affecting your bathroom habits. It may take some trial and error as everyone’s tolerance is different.

Curb Your Sweet Tooth

Artificial sweeteners, sugar, and honey may set off your symptoms.

Again sensitivity will be different for everyone so take a break from them and see what happens.

Avoid Raw Onions

Cook them to make them easier on your system. You could also switch to the milder, onion-like shallots, red onions or spring onions too.

Choose Your Fruit Carefully

It’s not just citrus fruits that can trigger the need to pee. Other fruit like apples, bananas, and grapes could be to blame, too.

If you think a certain food has caused you extra trips to the bathroom, try a little test. Stop eating it for a while, then start again in small amounts to see if the symptoms return.

Skip the Rich and Creamy On The Cheese Board

Some people find that these treats make symptoms worse, especially aged cheeses and sour cream.

As someone who only like Brie when it is walking across the plate to me, this one is hard but try cutting out for a while to see if it has any effect. If your bladder can’t handle the real things, switch to imitation sour cream or processed, non-aged cheese.

Good for Digestion, but Not Always Your Bladder

If you’re taking medication for an overactive bladder, prunes can help you manage the constipation that may go along with it.

But these sweet, dried fruits can bug your bladder. One way to help handle constipation is to get more fibre so eat plenty of fibre-rich items like peas and carrots.

Go Light on Condiments

Soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, mayonnaise… lots of condiments contain acids or other problem ingredients.

Give your meals flavour with bladder-friendly spices like rosemary, dill, thyme, and garlic instead.

Ditch Processed Foods for a Home-Cooked Meal

Artificial flavours, preservatives, and additives like MSG and benzyl alcohol may irritate the bladder so read nutrition labels carefully to avoid them.

Another good way to control what’s in your food is to cook at home more often. Use fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that you know won’t bother you.

Do Some Detective Work

Let’s say you have coffee and an orange with breakfast, a fizzy drink with lunch, a chocolate bar as a mid-afternoon snack, and spicy Thai food with a nice glass of wine for dinner.

That may sound yummy, but any of those things might affect your bladder. Best to take a break from certain foods one at a time to see if it makes a difference.

If it does then cut them out and if not then add them back one at a time slowly in small quantities.

Helpful information:

Wow, it seems like a lot doesn’t it, but remember you are very unlikely to be sensitive to all of these.

Find the ones that most affect you and eliminate them and remember stress too makes an impact on all your bodily functions so check if that might also be an issue for you.

Progesterone cream applied at bedtime may help reduce the need to urinate and allow for more uninterrupted sleep and oestrogen used vaginally has been shown to improve bladder and urinary tract tissue.

Depending on your other symptoms, this could mean an oestrogen cream from your doctor together with a progesterone cream such as Wellsprings Serenity, or a combined progesterone and oestrogen cream such as Wellsprings 20-1.