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Healthy Urinary Tract – Foods and Drinks that Help or Harm

Simple lifestyle changes associated with diet can help alleviate bladder problems. Bladder issues may include an overactive bladder, recurrent infections, gall bladder stones, and overall bladder irritation.

Food and Drinks that Harm the Urinary Tract 

  • Alcohol

Since alcohol acts as a diuretic and a stimulant, it produces symptoms of urination urgency by stimulating the bladder. If you already have an overactive bladder, alcohol should be limited to your diet. Also, alcohol dehydrates the body and may lead to infection and irritation of the urinary tract if over-consumed. 

  • Caffeine

Caffeine is also a diuretic. It increases the amount of urine your body makes and stimulates the bladder muscles promoting increased feelings of urgency. Research shows that caffeine should not be consumed by more than 100 milligrams a day. A typical cup of coffee can contain 180 milligrams. If you want to avoid feelings of urgency and irritation of the urinary tract, limit caffeinated colas, coffee, and chocolate. Some weight loss aids that include high doses of caffeine should also be avoided.

  • Carbonated beverages

Carbonated drinks stimulate an already overactive bladder, especially in women. Spicy foods may also do the same thing. It is best to avoid foods, such as spicy peppers and carbonated beverages that stimulate the bladder muscles and create a sense of urgency.

  • High acidic fruits

Acidic fruits and concentrated juices may irritate the urinary tract. Grapefruits, tomatoes, lemons, limes, pineapple, and oranges are among the high acidic fruits to avoid. The acid irritates the urinary tract and may result in discomfort.

Foods and Drinks that Help the Urinary Tract

  • Low salt foods

Opt for salt-free nuts or low salt snacks instead of foods that contain high amounts of sodium. Increased sodium may lead to water retention. Also, since salty foods make you thirsty, you may consume liquids that lead to increased urgency.

  • Less acidic fruits

Instead of consuming high acidic fruits, switch to those high in antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich fruits include blueberries, cranberries and pears.

  • Fresh vegetables

Vegetables are a natural source of fiber, which absorbs water and slows digestion. Among the best fresh vegetables to eat for a healthy urinary tract are peas, carrots, and cabbage.

The Importance of Water to Help the Urinary Tract

While drinking a lot of water can increase the urgency to urinate, not consuming enough may lead to constipation and increased urine concentration. Both increase the chance of bladder irritation and infection. If you do not consume water regularly, you are at risk of incontinence.

According to the Institute of Medicine, a person in good health should let their thirst be the guide in determining how much water to drink. In the past, experts reported that everyone drink eight, 8-ounce glass of water daily in order to stay healthy. This notion is a myth. Common sense should direct the individual in the amount of water to consume.

Today, doctors agree that spreading the water intake throughout the day eliminates the need to get up at night to urinate. Spreading out water intake also keeps the body nourished and hydrated. If you have trouble getting up at night due to frequently required bathroom trips, you should limit your water intake following the dinner hour.

If you would like to speak with someone regarding bladder concerns call Associated Internists of Macomb, P.C.  at 586-726-5566.