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Overactive Bladder - “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!”

Here at My Women's Center, we provide a variety of services - most well known is the Gynecology/Urogynecology medical practice! Our office provides annual well care and care for complicated gynecological issues. We are lucky enough to have Dr. Hutson as a double board certified physician in gyn/urogyn. In addition to myself, a registered nurse specializing in pelvic floor health.

A very common issue we see is Overactive Bladder (OAB). An overactive bladder (OAB) creates a sudden and overwhelming "gotta go NOW" need to urinate, which can be so difficult to defer. Not only is OAB inconvienent and embarrasing, it can truly affect the way we present our selves to the world and plan our lives. 

Luckily there are some things you can do to reduce your symptoms (both lifestyle changes and medical intervention). The simpilist changes are dietary. There are certain foods and beverages that can suprisingly increase one's symptoms dramatically. The below irritants cause inflammation and irritation to the lining of the bladder, resulting in the urgency, frequency, and even pelvic pain.

These bladder irritants are:

  1. Caffeine
  2. Carbonated Drinks
  3. Apartame, diet drinks
  4. Alcohol
  5. Citric acid, lemon, vinegar
  6. Tomato based foods
  7. Spicy foods

In addition to limiting irritants, also make sure that you are drinking enough fluids - restricting fluids, by not drinking enough throughout the day, can irritate your bladder as well. Dehydration is NOT the answer. The advised fluid intake is about 64 ounces each day - one half, or more, should be water. Caffeine, alcohol, and similar beverages will actually dehydrate you. You want to drink an additional 8 oz of water for every cup of coffee, soda, or alcohol you intake.

These items are the most common irritants, but that does not mean that there isn't something else in your diet causing issues. After you have consistently monitored your intake of the above items, document your symptoms and how much/what type of fluids and food you are consuming. You will then be able to see if additional changes need to be made with other ingredients.

After all obvious irritants are eliminated, if you continue to have symptoms, there are several additional treatments available to you. More to come on this in another post!

If you have any questions regarding diet and bladder correlation, please feel free to email me at your convenience, and I'd be happy to answer them!


Paula Naughton RN, BCB-PMD

Paula Naughton, RN

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