Knowing what to drink (when you have a misbehaving bladder)

Okay, so I’m aware that topics like this can feel a little… preachy. But along with pelvic floor rehab, it can be hugely beneficial to consider what and how much we’re drinking when trying to tame an unruly bladder. The bladder is a highly dynamic organ helping our bodies flush out liquid waste. The natural tendency when bladder irritability or control are an issue, is to drink less in an attempt to reduce symptoms, however this can backfire badly. Under-hydrating will make our urine very concentrated, which can further irritate the bladder. This increases symptoms of urgency and can also mean that overtime our bladder is less able to hold reasonable volumes (use it or you lose it). The answer instead is to maintain a good balance for the bladder by drinking little and often. Recommended fluid intake is 24mls of fluid, per kilo of body weight, per day as a baseline. we should increase fluids in hot weather and when we exercise. Beware though, some drinks are easier for a bladder to hold than others. This is something worth considering, if you’re trying to overcome bladder irritability or if for example, you’re planning a long journey and want to minimise bladder discomfort. Drinks that are caffeinated (eg. tea, coffee, green tea and energy drinks), fizzy drinks (even fizzy water), hot chocolate/cocoa and acidic drinks (eg. undiluted fruit juices) can play havoc with the bladder. Similarly foods that are acidic such as citrus fruits and tomatoes and passatta, spicy foods containing chillis, aged cheeses and chocolate also have potential to irritate the bladder lining. So if you’re struggling to tame your unruly bladder, check through your cupboards for offending items!