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Healthy Bladder and Bowel

Factors that affect your bladder health

​​​​​​​​What you eat and drink can affect your bladder. Foods and drinks can irritate the bladder lining and cause the bladder muscle to contract. This creates a strong urge to empty your bladder (urgency).

If you think you might have this problem, limit how much of these foods you eat regularly for a few days to see if your symptoms improve. Even if you don’t have problems now, check that you don’t eat or drink too much of the items below.

Acidic Juices and Fruits

  • Apple
  • Cranberry
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Pineapple

Spicy Foods

  • Cajun
  • Indian
  • Mexican
  • Thai

Tomato Products

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Juices
  • Sauces
​​ ​

As well as being an irritant some foods and drinks can act as a diuretic. This causes your body to make large amounts of urine and can fill your bladder quickly.

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine – coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate (limit or cut down your caffeine slowly)

If used regularly these can irritate your bladder:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey

​Why fibre​ is good for your bladder health

Straining to have a bowel movement puts pressure on your pelvic floor and weakens the muscles and tissues that support for your bladder. When you prevent constipation you help our bladder stay healthy.

Eating 25 to 30 grams each day plus drinking extra water prevents constipation and straining with bowel movements.​

Good sources of fibre are:

  • bran
  • fresh vegetables and fruits
  • grains and whole-wheat products​​

Current as of: April 30, 2020

Author: Women’s Health, Alberta Health Services