Tips to Keep Your Bladder Healthy

Simple behavior modifications may improve the symptoms of overactive bladder.

  • Drink fluids when you are thirsty, but be sure to drink at least four to five glasses of fluid every day even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Sometimes the fluids you drink can irritate your bladder and/or make you empty your bladder more often. To find out if any of the fluids that you are drinking are irritating you, drink only water for three days. Then add one other fluid (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, wine) for two days. Record any changes. Then, drink only water and a second fluid and record any changes. Repeat until you have tried all your fluids. See which ones cause you to have more urgency.
  • Stop drinking fluids two hours before bedtime.
  • Elevate your legs in early afternoon if you have swelling in the ankles. Fluid can collect in your lower legs if you have been sitting or standing for a lengthy time. When you lie down, the fluid may travel back up into your body and filter through your kidneys into your bladder. Your bladder then fills while you are sleeping and wakes you up.
  • Don’t stop drinking water. Without water, your urine will become concentrated and irritating. It may make your symptoms worse. Also, you may become dehydrated.
  • Sip water from a glass or bottle every five minutes throughout the day.
  • Prevent constipation by increasing your fiber to 35 grams a day.

Fluids and Foods to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Milk and milk products
  • Coffee and teas (even decaffeinated)
  • Medicines with caffeine
  • Citrus juice and fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners