How to Minimize Bladder Irritation

What is bladder irritation?

Sometimes, certain foods and other factors can cause urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and discomfort or pain with urination. If you have these symptoms, it is important to see your healthcare provider to make sure you don’t have a urinary tract infection (which can have similar symptoms). If there is no sign of a urinary tract infection, you may have bladder irritation.

How is bladder irritation treated?

The most common way to treat bladder irritation is to eliminate foods that can trigger the symptoms. Usually, by eliminating bladder irritants, you will notice relief within 10 days.

What are the most common bladder irritants?

Acidic foods have been shown to irritate the bladder. The following is a list of the most common foods to avoid:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated water, soda, or other beverages (with or without caffeine)
  • Coffee or Tea (with or without caffeine)
  • Chocolate
  • Corn syrup
  • Apple juice
  • Citrus juice and fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit, etc)
  • Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based products
  • Onions
  • Vinegar
  • Chiles / Spicy food

There are other foods that are thought to be irritating to the bladder, but it can vary from person to person:

  • Spices (especially hot ones)
  • Wheat, rye, corn, oats, barley, and their derivatives
  • Grain alcohol
  • Liquid glucose
  • All vegetable fats (except olive oil)
  • Beans, including ground nuts and coca

Are there other ways I should change my daily diet?

  • Drink enough liquids, especially water. It keeps the urine from getting too strong. When urine becomes concentrated it can cause bladder urgency, can have a foul odor, and can cause urinary tract or skin infections.
  • Drink coffee that has had the acid removed. Kava and Rombauts are a couple of brands that can be found in the grocery store.
  • Drink herbal teas, provided they don’t have a lot of citrus. Drink weak tea (dunk a tea bag quickly in water four times, just to color the water instead of steeping the tea bag for a long time).
  • Drink Ovaltine instead of chocolate drinks.
  • Drink fruit juices such as apricot nectar, pear nectar, and papaya juice
  • Drink late-harvest dessert wines (they have a lower acid content than other wines)
  • Use fructose instead of NutraSweet or Saccharine
  • Substitute carob for chocolate in recipes
  • Use orange or lime peel scrapings for flavor. Do not use the white part of the rind
  • Use pine nuts in place of other nuts
  • Eat breads made with potato flour, soy flour, or rice flour
  • For vitamins:
    • Look for Vitamin C made with calcium ascorbate co-buffered with calcium carbonate
    • Take Vitamin E in powdered form instead of the oil capsules
    • The only B vitamin to use is Vitamin B6
Quick Facts
  • Avoid certain foods

  • Avoid certain drinks

  • Get relief within 10 days

OB/GYN Doctors