Top 6 Bladder Irritants
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Bladder irritants include any foods or beverages that contain ingredients which increase the acidity of your urine. These foods and beverages, including caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, and highly acidic foods, can cause further irritation in areas of the bladder and urethra that are already inflamed.
While many people may not be bothered by highly acidic urine, for those managing incontinence, catheterization, urostomies or other medical issues, an irritated bladder can be a very serious issue.
That’s why we’ve composed a list of these top acidic food and beverage culprits. Some you might have guessed; others may surprise you! Read on to see what parts of your diet may be contributing to your irritated bladder:
1. Carbonated beverages: Drinks such as sodas and carbonated water fall into this category. The Alternative: No surprise here – spring water is what your body needs! Good for everything from your skin to your kidneys, water also dilutes uric acid to soothe an irritated bladder. For a little extra flavor, try adding a slice or zest of orange or limes.
2. Processed meats: (especially those containing nitrates): Spicy, processed and smoked meats fall into this category, including hotdogs, sausages, and meats with peppery marinades or sauces. The Alternative: fresh and mild-flavored meats have a generally soothing effect on the bladder, including fresh turkey, chicken, fish, beef and lamb.
3. Aged and processed cheeses: Hard aged cheeses like Parmesan and Asiago and “stinky” cheeses like Blue and Roquefort , as well as chemicals in processed cheeses such as American Cheese slices or Cheez Whiz, can all irritate the bladder. The Alternative: Mild cheeses such as mozzarella, feta, ricotta and mild cheddar are gentle on the bladder. Cream cheese and cottage cheese also fall into this “soothing” category.
4. Acidic or spicy vegetables and fruits: Tomatoes, hot peppers, pickles, raw onions, pineapple, cranberries, and citrus fruits and juices such as orange, grapefruit and lemon are the biggest culprits. The Alternative: Tolerance to acids in fruits varies greatly, so trial-and-error may be the best way to determine which fruits you can tolerate. Blueberries, strawberries, pears and honeydew melon are especially low-acid and are a good place to start. Vegetables like avocados, asparagus, broccoli, squash, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, kale, spinach, and most salad greens can soothe an irritated bladder.
5. Nuts: Surprisingly, most nuts fall into this category, though tolerance varies from person to person. The Alternative: Almonds, cashews, pine nuts and sunflower seeds are healthy and soothing nut choices for those with sensitive bladders.
6. Coffee, Tea, Alcohol and artificial sweeteners: Unfortunately, some of our favorite indulgences are also highly acidic and irritating to the bladder. The worst culprits are coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), beer, wine, black or green teas (hot and iced), and beverages containing high amounts of artificial sweeteners. The Alternative: Low acid coffees, which are “treated” to reduce the acid. Very dark roasts are naturally low-acid as well. Rum, vodka and gin may be easier on the bladder than beer or wine, and herbal teas – particularly chamomile and peppermint – are usually ok. Natural sweeteners such as sugar, brown sugar, honey and maple syrup are best, but artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Stevia are more gentle than Nutrasweet, Aspartame or Saccharine.
For more information on bladder matters, visit our blog on totalhomecaresupplies.com! For incontinence or urological supplies, visit our online store at www.TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.