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7 Foods to Tame an Overactive Bladder at Work

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition that makes it difficult to control your bladder. Symptoms can be tricky to manage and embarrassing to deal with, especially when you’re at work.

If you have OAB, some foods and drinks can significantly affect your symptoms by irritating your bladder and increasing your discomfort at work. Others may help you find a little relief from symptoms and allow you to improve your comfort, focus and productivity.

Continue reading to learn more about the seven types of food that can help with an overactive bladder!

1. Low-Acidic Fruits

Acidic foods like oranges, grapefruits and tomatoes can irritate your bladder and increase the need to urinate. Citrus juices, tomato sauces, salsas, chilis and other related acidic foods can also worsen your OAB symptoms.

Instead of acidic foods and drinks, opt for low-acidic fruits, such as:

  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Coconuts
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries

These fruits will help you get the fluids you need while avoiding the irritation that often comes with more acidic foods. They also offer several other health benefits, like immune- and energy-boosting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. 

2. Fiber-Rich Foods

High-fiber foods are some of the best overactive bladder foods to eat because they can help prevent constipation. Constipation can strain your pelvic floor and put extra pressure on your bladder, increasing discomfort and making your OAB symptoms worse. 

You can eat more fiber by incorporating certain foods into your diet, such as:

  • Almonds
  • Oats
  • Pears
  • Raspberries

High-protein, high-fiber foods like edamame, lentils, beans and various vegetables can also help you stay full longer, which enables you to reduce your fluid intake and ease some OAB symptoms.

3. Whole Grains

Another way to alleviate OAB symptoms is to incorporate plenty of whole grains in your diet. Consider adding foods such as:

  • Oats
  • Farro
  • Bran
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barely

The fiber and nutrients in these whole grain foods will help promote healthy digestion, greater satisfaction and better overall health.

4. Vegetables

Vegetables can offer a wealth of benefits, especially for OAB symptoms. They are natural, mild foods rich in vitamins and fiber, which makes them great options for easing discomfort and promoting general health. 

There is a wide variety of vegetables that can assist with OAB symptoms, including:

  • Asparagus
  • Leafy greens like kale and lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Bell peppers

5. Lean Proteins

Protein can benefit your health in several ways, from increasing your energy to promoting a higher metabolic rate. This type of food also has many advantages when it comes to managing OAB symptoms. Consider incorporating lean proteins into your diet such as:

  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Low-fat beef
  • Low-fat pork

Baking, steaming and broiling these proteins will help you avoid oils that could cause discomfort. These proteins will help you feel full and satisfied for longer, helping you reduce food and fluid intake that could affect your OAB symptoms. If you prefer vegetarian options, eggs and quinoa are a couple of other beneficial sources of protein too.

6. Low- or No-Salt Snacks

Salty foods like potato chips, corn chips and pretzels are overactive bladder foods to avoid. They can make you more thirsty, which increases your water intake and the need to urinate. Salt also causes your body to retain water, which can worsen OAB symptoms. These snack types are usually unfulfilling as well, which can lead to increased snacking that further irritates your bladder.

Opt for low- or no-salt snacks that are more filling and beneficial to your body. Some healthier snack ideas include:

  • Chickpeas
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Veggies and dips like hummus
  • Air-popped and unsalted popcorn

7. Water

Balancing your beverages is key to bladder health and comfort. You’ll want to cut down on drinks such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Citrus or acidic juices
  • Beverages with artificial sweeteners

These types of drinks can aggravate an overactive bladder, increase the need to urinate and make you more thirsty, ultimately exacerbating OAB symptoms. 

Water should be your main source of liquid, though you should also supplement it with fluids from foods such as vegetables, fruits and soups. You’ll want to drink enough water to stay hydrated, avoid constipation and ease bladder irritation at work. Spread your fluid consumption throughout the day and drink only when you’re thirsty to help with OAB symptoms.

Try These Foods to Help Overactive Bladder

If you are among the nearly 42 million people in the U.S. with one or more symptoms of OAB, try out these tips to find your path to relief. Consider keeping a food and drink diary to log what you eat and drink daily and what types of symptoms you experience. This process will help you find the foods and drinks that help you feel your best.

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