Common Bladder Irritants

  • Coffee and tea (sometimes even decaffeinated)
  • Caffeine
  • Cold remedies
  • Chocolate
  • Carbonation
  • Coke and colas
  • Citrus (whether juice or fresh)
  • Cranberry juice or pills
  • C Vitamin
  • Chardonnay or Corona (or other alcohol)
  • Crystal Light
  • Candy and other sugars
  • Chili and other tomato-based products
  • Chinese food (spicy or with MSG)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Corn syrup
  • Other foods such as honey and artificial sweeteners ~ Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)

Note: You must increase your fluid intake to 4-6 glasses of water a day. Avoid drinking large volumes; instead sip 2-3 ounces every 20-30 minutes. Avoid reducing fluids which may result in an increase in the concentration of the urine, which can further irritate the bladder and increase symptoms of urgency and frequency.

Don't Forget!
Caffeinated drinks and alcohol may further dehydrate the body.

Prelief tablets, calcium glycerophosphate, remove acid and neutralize foods and beverages. It should be taken with the offending food or drink. A tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water may also reduce acidity.

Suggested Substitutes Include

  • Grape or cherry juice
  • Apple juice
  • Herbal teas
  • Postum
  • White chocolate
  • Other fruits; such as apricots, melons, home-grown tomatoes, bananas, prunes and plums

NOTE: Not all of the above substances will cause bladder irritation in all people. Avoid the offenders on the list for a few days or up to one week. Then, slowly add back some favorites and see what your response is. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol seem to be the worst offenders.

Bladder Goals

  • Void 7 times per day
  • Each void should last 8 Mississippi’s (roughly 8 ounces)
  • Drink evenly throughout the day, but limit 2-3 hours before bed time
  • NO more than 1-2 cups of caffeine per day

Click Here to downlaod a PDF of the above information .

Provided By:
Gregory J. Bailey, MD, FACOG
Women’s Pelvic Health & Continence Center
© 10/2008 G. Bailey, MD