The overactive bladder diet is designed to avoid potential irritants that could increase urinary frequency and to give our body everything it needs to function optimally.
A good diet has to be the foundation of every healing protocol. Why? Because our bodies are designed to use different nutrients to carry out metabolic functions (i.e. all chemical reactions taking place in the body) and to build and repair cells. All these nutrients are found in the natural foods that we have evolved with but are lacking in the typical Western diet.
In order to help our body to work efficiently it is wise to consume a diet high in fresh, nutrient-dense foods and low in nutrient-poor, calorie rich foods that deplete nutrients and weaken the immune system. This can help build strong pelvic muscle and avoid irritation that may affect the bladder.
Gut health is important for optimal nutrient absorption. Moreover, issues like constipation and bloating can put added pressure on an overactive bladder. Nutrient-dense foods, bone broth and fermented foods all support gut health and a healthy bladder wall.
I recommend a paleo/ancestral type of diet – consider what foods humans consumed before factory food existed.
Buy the best quality you can afford – organic, grass-fed, free-range and local is always best as they have a higher nutrient profile and a lower toxic load.
Foods to focus on
- Fresh vegetables and fruits: eat the rainbow, focus more on vegetables and more on non-starchy varieties (e.g. green-leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, carrots, squash).
- Clean carbohydrates (in moderation): Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, plantain, cassava, squash, carrots, beets, swede, parsnip and soaked white rice or other gluten-free grains, sourdough or sprouted grains and bread made from them, soaked beans and legumes.
- Fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, kvass etc.
- Protein: Grass-fed beef and lamb, game, free-range chicken, goose, duck and pork, organ meats, wild-caught fish, organic free-range eggs and raw and/or fermented dairy.
- Healthy fats: coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and their cold-pressed oils, oily-fish, olive oil, ghee and butter.
- Bone broth
Foods to avoid generally
- processed foods – especially refined white flour products
- refined sugars
- artificial sweeteners
- vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, margarine (trans-fats)
- Food additives and colourings
- Soy, unless fermented
On top of the aforementioned foods to avoid certain foods have the potential to trigger overactive bladder in people that suffer from sensory urgency. Always consider personal food intolerances as well. Possible trigger foods are:
- Tomato-based foods
- Spicy foods
- Fruits and fruit juices
- Fizzy drinks
- Caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate)
- Diuretics (caffeine, dandelion, nettle etc.)
Urine is one of the major eliminatory channels of the body, which means that many waste products and toxins are flushed out of the body via urine. The more concentrated our urine is, the more toxic and irritating it can become, thus potentially increasing the urge to urinate. Being dehydrated can cause other problems as well, including constipation (which can increase pressure on the bladder).
On the other hand, being too hydrated increases urination. The blood carries electrically charged ions such as sodium and potassium. If they become too diluted we may experience symptoms such as dizziness, mood swings, cold extremities and increased urination as the body tries to re-establish electrolyte balance.
- Official recommendations are to drink 1.2-2 liters a day, ideally water or (non-diuretic) herbal teas.
- Normal urination is around 4-6 times per day.
- Pay attention to urine color. It should be straw colored.
- Listen to your thirst mechanism. Don’t force yourself to drink just because X has told you so.
- Fluid intake may have to be adjusted depending on activity levels.
- I found that cold water increases my bladder activity, therefore warm water may be preferable.
- It may be better to spread the intake of fluids over the day rather than drinking a lot at once.
- To reduce nocturia (the need to urinate often at night) it may be wise to limit liquid intake after 6pm.
Pin ‘Overactive Bladder Diet’ for later:
COB OAB Diet 2016 http://www.cobfoundation.org/bladder-conditions/overactive-bladder/oab-diet