If you experience occasional bladder leaks, you’re not alone. It may feel that way sometimes since nobody likes to talk about the problem. But these embarrassing slips are actually quite common.
Over 25 million American adults have had some form of urinary incontinence. And while more women than men experience stress incontinence, both men and women battle the problem of an overactive bladder at nearly the same rate.
Stress incontinence can suddenly turn a sneeze, cough or laugh into a bladder leak. And an overactive bladder can force you to plan your day around bathroom breaks. Or keep you from ever sleeping through the night.
Many folks believe there’s nothing they can do about embarrassing bladder leaks. The think it’s just a sign of getting older that they have to learn to live with.
But it turns out they’re wrong. Because according to experts what we eat can have a significant effect on bladder leaks.
Help halt bladder leaks with these diet tweaks
Following are seven foods that could be behind your bladder leaks. Most are perfectly healthy foods, but they could trigger urgency or a leak in certain sensitive folks.
1. Artificial sweeteners:
If you haven’t already ditched the artificial sweeteners, bladder leaks are yet one more reason to give them up. Researchers say they can irritate your bladder, causing urgency and even leaking.
Use fruit to sweeten foods naturally. And when fruit won’t do the trick, stick with stevia instead for the sweet flavor you crave without the bladder irritation.
2. Citrus fruits:
If your doctor has given you the all clear, but you still feel bladder irritation or burning, the acid in the citrus fruits you’re eating could be to blame. Citric acid can trigger spasms in sensitive folks.
But it’s not just those who feel irritation that need to be careful. Citrus can still contribute to urgency and bladder leaks in people who don’t feel any pain.
3. Coffee and tea:
Both coffee and tea are perfectly healthy drinks. But for folks with bladder leaks they can be a problem.
First, they’re both natural diuretics. Which simply means they increase how much you have to urinate. Plus the caffeine can complicate things.
The jolt of energy you get from caffeine effects your entire body, including your bladder. And that energy boost can trigger your need to “go” more often.
The good news is that you may not need to eliminate caffeine from your diet. Start by reducing how much you’re getting, before cutting it out completely.
4. Seltzer, club soda or sparkling water:
If you’re battling bladder leaks, or an overactive bladder, it’s a good idea to drop the seltzer, club soda and sparkling waters and find another way to get your fluids. It turns out carbonation can trigger bladder irritation in some people. And this can increase urgency.
Try swapping out sparkling for still and see if it helps stop your leaks.
5. Spicy foods:
If you’re sensitive to them, chili peppers and other spicy foods can trigger spasms and irritation in your bladder. As a result, a spicy meal could have you spending more time running to the bathroom than relaxing at the table.
To help stop bladder leaks and urgency try cutting back on the spicy foods.
6. Tomatoes and tomato products:
Tomatoes are naturally acidic. So just like with citrus, they could trigger bladder irritation and urgency in folks who are sensitive to them.
Try cutting back on the fresh tomatoes and tomato products to battle your bladder leaks.
Watermelon is a natural diuretic. Which means just like coffee and tea it can send you running to the bathroom far more frequently.
If you’ve been experiencing bladder leaks, give your bladder a break by skipping the watermelon.
Don’t just live with occasional bladder leaks. Battle them instead by avoiding these common trigger foods.
And for more help with urinary tract health click here to learn about five bladder-boosting foods.