You may associate urinary incontinence with aging, but an overactive bladder can also affect younger people. Women who have just given birth are particularly at risk for loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence symptoms include leaking a small amount of urine when you are laughing or coughing and having a strong need to urinate that is difficult to control. Although no foods specifically help to strengthen the bladder, avoid certain foods that can irritate this organ.
Drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. Drinking too little can cause highly concentrated urine, which can irritate the bladder. Drinking too much over a short period can also contribute to bladder problems. Try drinking small amounts throughout the day.
Avoid foods that irritate the bladder. Acidic fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits, can contribute to the leaking of urine. Spicy foods, tomato-based products, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners also may irritate the bladder.
Steer clear of substances or beverages that may cause bladder problems. Alcohol and caffeine can act as diuretics, causing increased frequency and urgency of urination. Carbonated beverages, coffee and tea are bladder irritants as well.
Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. A high-fiber diet normalizes your bowel movements. Constipation can place added pressure on your bladder.
Lose weight if you are overweight. Having extra pounds can also add pressure on your bladder and lead to urinary incontinence. Being overweight can nearly double your chance of developing kidney stones, a cause of chronic bladder infections.
- FamilyDoctor.org: Urinary Incontinence
- MayoClinic.com: Bladder Control Problems in Women: Lifestyle Strategies for Relief
- Cleveland Clinic: Overactive Bladder Treatment
- New York Times: Reputation of a Berry Is Difficult to Confirm
- The Telegraph: Obesity Almost Doubles Chances of Developing Kidney Stones
- MayoClinic.com: Chronic Bladder Infection: Is There a Cure?
- Quit smoking to help strengthen your bladder.
- Although cranberry juice is a popular home remedy for treating and preventing bladder infections, research into cranberry juice is inconclusive.
- Consult your physician to determine the cause and treatment for your bladder problems.
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.