Urinary Tract Infection : What Foods To Eat And What To Avoid
According to a recent study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, urinary tract infections are closely linked to the food you consume. Namely, the molecules that are created during digestion along with your urine acidity significantly affect the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.
When it comes to urinary infections, the most important thing is to drink large amounts of fluids so as to flush colonies of E. coli, the major cause of urethra infections. Drinking herbal teas and natural juices, especially cranberry and blueberry juice, is highly recommended in such cases. Cranberries and blueberries contain substances that inhibit the binding of bacteria to bladder tissue. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice regularly helps lower the risk of UTIs.
However, increasing your fluid intake is not enough. Actually, your diet matters as well because certain foods can only worsen the symptoms. Such foods are coffee and chocolate, whose ingredients irritate the inflamed tissue.
Unlike coffee and chocolate, theres a wide array of foods that are extremely beneficial for relieving urinary tract infection.
Below, theres a list of foods to be avoided, as well as foods to stick to when dealing with UTI.
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Foods To Incorporate If You Have Oab
- Lean Proteins fish, chicken breast, turkey, low fat beef and pork are good options. Eggs are also a good source of protein if youre trying to avoid meat.
- Fiber Rich Foods these foods are filling and can help prevent constipation, which can put extra pressure on your bladder. Almonds, oats, pears, raspberries lentils and beans are all good options when you want to add more fiber into your diet.
- Fruits while some fruits, especially citrus, can irritate the bladder, its still important to incorporate them into your diet. Bananas, apples, grapes, coconut and watermelon are good options for those with overactive bladder.
- Vegetables Leafy greens, like kale, lettuce, cucumber, squash, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, celery and bell peppers.
- Whole grains, like oats, barley, farro, and quinoa .
You may wish to eliminate all the foods on the do not eat list, then slowly reintroduce them back into your diet one by one to determine which ones your bladder finds irritating.
Foods That Are Great For Bladder Health
Your bladder is an important part of the urinary tract system. Its an essential pear-shaped organ made out of expandable components that holds on to urine until its expelled from your body. The bladder itself is quite impressive and is able to stretch from about two inches to over six inches long, depending on the amount of liquid its holding.1 In a typical person, your bladder will reach capacity when it fills up with about 16-24 ounces of urine, but most people start to feel the urge to urinate when it is only 25% full.1 At this point, your body starts to send nerve signals to the brain indicating that its time to find a restroom. When you proceed to use the bathroom, there is a mixture of voluntary and involuntary muscles working to lead urine from the bladder, through the urethra, and out of the body.
Your bladder works hand-in-hand with your kidneys to filter fluid and wastes from the bloodstream. They are the primary parts of the urinary tract system. The . When your bladder isnt functioning properly, it can lead to a number of problems.
Nuts are a great, heart-healthy food that provides you with much needed protein and healthy fats. While most nuts are bladder friendly, certain nuts can cause irritation. For the best options, stick to almonds, cashews, and peanuts.
Lemon Enhanced Water
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Cool It On Spicy Foods
Spicy foods may taste great but as many of us have experienced, they often lead to an upset stomach. Similar to caffeine, spicy foods work to irritate the lining of the bladder causing an increased urgency to rush to the bathroom. If you love spice, you dont have to entirely eliminate it from your diet, but do your best to cut back on foods such as spicy mexican dishes, hot wings, and horseradish.While there is no direct cure for incontinence, updating your daily diet to include just some of these tips will drastically help to improve your bladder health. Weight loss, one of the best ways to positively affect your incontinence, may also be an added benefit to the food swaps listed above.
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The Overactive Bladder Diet
Over 33 million Americans live with overactive bladder, a condition where the hallmark symptoms are an urgent and frequent need to empty your bladder even if youve just done so.
And, many people with overactive bladder also experience bladder leaks, or incontinence, when theyre not able to make it to a bathroom in time.
Overactive bladder is more common in older adults, but it can occur in anyone men, women, young or old. People with overactive bladder may find the condition frustrating, and it may even lead to a reduced quality of life, since many are afraid of having an accident in public if a bathroom cannot be located in time. Many people with OAB have reported distancing themselves from family and friends, and avoid doing things they once loved.
Luckily, there are a number of treatment options for people with OAB, but a key to relieving overactive bladder symptoms may just be hiding in your kitchen. Your diet actually plays a huge role in your bladder health. Eating the right foods can help calm an overactive bladder, and eating the wrong foods may just make your symptoms worse.
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Sample Menu For A Discriminating Bladder
The above list may appear restricting at first glance, stripped as it is of the holy trio of epicurean guilty pleasureschocolate, coffee, and wine.
But, being kind to the bladder doesnt mean you have to restrict your loved one or yourself to tasteless rabbit-food. In fact, there are a variety of yummy foods that will keep the bladder calm without forcing you to give up the flavors that make eating pleasurable.
Ruth Frechman, M.A., a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, offers a few examples of meals that may be goodnot only for the urinary tract, but for the taste buds as well:
Oatmeal with fresh blueberries and all-natural maple syrup: One cup of oatmeal has about four grams of fiber in it. Consuming the right amount of fiber will alleviate constipation. Being constipated can put extra pressure on the bladder, increasing the urge to go. Putting fresh blueberries and natural maple syrup on top of the oatmeal will add sweetness to the dish. As an added bonus, research has shown that eating blueberries may reduce a persons risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Blueberries have also been linked to supporting urinary tract health.
Cottage cheese with carrots:If the cottage cheese is low-fat, and the carrots are fresh, this snack is a tasty way to stock up on beta-carotene , fiber, and vision-boosting vitamin A, says Frechman.
How Can I Manage Bladder Irritation
You can manage discomfort by avoiding foods you have identified as bladder irritants. But removing foods from your diet doesnt mean you can never have them again. You might be able to enjoy them in moderation . Drinking plenty of water will help reduce pain from any bladder-irritating foods you might ingest, in moderation or accidentally.
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Foods To Avoid With Oab
Many byproducts of what you consume are directly secreted into the urinary tract. If your diet consists of foods or drinks that are known bladder irritants, your OAB symptoms may become worse. Take precaution and avoid these foods and beverages that may irritate the bladder.
1. Coffee and tea
The caffeine in coffee and tea beverages can increase bladder activity and exacerbate OAB symptoms. One might find themselves with a higher urgency to urinate, more frequent urge to urinate, and increased incontinence after a caffeinated beverage. This is because caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic, meaning the bladder becomes more active and more urine is produced.
Reducing caffeine intake and switching to decaffeinated beverages can decrease symptoms.
Similar to coffee and tea, chocolate also contains some caffeine about 1/4 of the amount in a cup of coffee. If chocolate is your favorite treat, try switching to white chocolate as it doesnt have caffeine. Or try dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa and fewer sugars.
Alcoholic beverages are known to cause frequent bathroom breaks, but the science behind why isnt well known.
A common theory explains how alcohol stimulates your bladder, while also disrupting the signals to your brain that make you aware of bladder overflow and therefore making the bladder difficult to control. Alcohol is also dehydrating, which can irritate your bladder and exacerbate OAB, so it is best to stay away from this culprit.
Foods For A Healthy Bladder
Some people have sensitive bladders and find certain foods dont agree with them. The key is to track which foods seem to irritate your bladder and try to limit or avoid them. Not everyone will have the same irritants. Some common bladder irritants are coffee, alcohol, citrus foods, tomato-based foods, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. It may take some trial and error to see what foods are bladder friendly for you. Below are some general guidelines.
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Foods To Help Your Bladder
You might not think of food when it comes to bladder health or managing a sensitive bladder. If not, thats 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 isnt 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:
- Lean proteins, particularly when baked or broiled
Supplements For Adequate Nutrition
Developing a diet free of irritants can take some trial and error. During this time, its important to get the recommended amount of daily nutrients.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your individual nutritional needs. They can help determine the appropriate supplements for you.
You may find it beneficial to supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin or nutrition drinks. Popular nutrition drinks include shakes, such as Boost or Ensure, and formulas, such as ProNourish.
Check in with your doctor before adding a supplement or nutrition drink to your regimen. Certain ingredients may interfere with your medications or otherwise negatively impact your overall health.
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How To Know If Your Bladder Is Irritated
If your bladder isnt healthy, it’ll tell you through symptoms. Your bladder symptoms may include:
- Painful urination.
- Pain or pressure in the abdomen or bladder areas.
- Pain in the pelvic floor muscles or bladder muscles.
- General bladder pain.
Some common bladder issues that can cause these symptoms are:
Urinary tract infections . UTIs occur when bacteria enter your urethra and infect a part of your urinary tract. Symptoms are usually pain and burning while urinating, cloudy urine, and frequent urination.
Bladder infections. Bladder infections are another form of infection created by unwanted bacteria entering your urethra and spreading to your bladder. A bladder infection is usually more severe than a typical UTI. Symptoms typically include pain in your bladder or abdomen, fever, and chills.
Interstitial cystitis. Also known as painful bladder syndrome, this chronic condition has many causes and symptoms, are general pain and pressure in your bladder. Symptoms include painful and frequent urination and chronic pain in your bladder.
Overactive bladder . OAB comes with a frequent and sudden urge to pee that you may not be able to control. Damaged or weak detrusor muscles cause OAB. Symptoms of OAB often include voiding your urine more than usual and during the night.
Stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when you leak urine when laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercising, or lifting heavy objects. In addition, weak bladder muscles can cause stress incontinence.
Citric Foods And Drinks
Many fruits and certain vegetables are acidic and can cause urinary urgency and frequency. Tomatoes are among the worst offenders, as they are extremely acidic and can often be a hidden ingredient in soups and sauces.
Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapples are some of the most acidic fruits. In addition, beware of fruit juices, which usually have added sugar and preservatives, both of which may affect the bladder. Low-acid fruits include watermelons, papayas, pears, and apricots.
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Limit The Consumption Of Alcohol And Caffeine
Aerated drinks and caffeinated beverages like sodas and coffee can aggravate your bladder, so its best to avoid them. Try to avoid drinks that have artificial sweeteners like saccharin or aspartame, as these can also irritate the bladder. If you cannot avoid diuretics like coffee and alcohol altogether, limit them to one cup each day.
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What Is The Most Common Cause Of A Uti
Urinary tract infections are among the most common bacterial infections in adults and may involve the lower or upper urinary tract or both. Asymptomatic bacteriuria refers to considerable bacteria in the urine of woman without symptoms. When the infection is limited to the lower urinary tract and occurs with symptoms of dysuria and frequent and urgent urination and, occasionally, tenderness above the pubic, it is termed cystitis.
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What Foods Soothe The Bladder Here Are 9
Lets talk about happy bladders, shall we? The type of bladder that doesnt spontaneously spritz when you sneeze or have you running to the toilet like a sprinter. Without a doubt, a happy bladder can make a world of difference in your everyday life. But it can also seem so foreign when youre dealing with leaks. So, what should you do to keep your bladder happy and healthy? What foods soothe the bladder?
Foods Your Bladder Will Fall In Love With
If you have a sensitive bladder, you will not have to miss out on tasty foods this fall. The key is to know which foods are more likely to irritate your bladder and which ones are more likely to soothe. In general, you will want to avoid coffee, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomato-based products, artificial sweeteners and spicy foods. Read on to learn about 10 bladder-friendly foods.
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Artificial Sweeteners And Preservatives
The use of artificial sweeteners is somewhat controversial in nutrition literature. While these sugar substitutes may help control caloric intake, most nutritionists recommend using natural sweeteners, such as stevia, instead of artificial sweeteners.
Remember the big scare in the seventies when lab rats developed bladder cancer after being force-fed saccharin? Subsequent research on humans showed that artificial sweeteners did not result in increased incidences of bladder cancer. In fact, no studies on humans have linked the development of cancer to artificial sweeteners, but they can still irritate the bladder. This is because the body converts certain of these sweeteners to sugar alcohols during metabolism and because alcohol is a bladder irritant, this can lead to urinary urgency, frequency, and leakage.
Many food preservatives are also bladder irritants. Benzoic acid, a preservative in many fruit juices and carbonated beverages, is often combined with citric acid to improve flavor. Sulfites, or sulfur dioxide, are also acidic in nature and are used in wines, fruits, and vegetables to preserve color and flavor. When you put any form of acid in your body, the result may be an overactive bladder.
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