Is what I’m eating irritating my bladder?

By: Anna Myers, MSN, WHNP-BC, FNP-BC, CUNP, RN

Well possibly!  Yes, we have many patients that are sensitive to certain foods that are bladder irritants.  Most people recognize the more obvious ones such as alcohol, sodas, coffee & tea, and spicy foods.  But there may be a few that surprise you.

  • Avoid citrus foods such as lemons, oranges, pineapple, and even cranberries can be irritating.  
  • Vegetables such as raw onions, chili peppers, sauerkraut, pickles and especially tomato products like spaghetti sauce can be challenging.  
  • Carbohydrates present challenges with everything being so heavily processed and fortified, sweetened and flavored.  Stick with your basic pastas of wheat, rice, quinoa, oats, etc.
  • Avoid yogurt, processed cheeses, and chocolate ice cream 🙁  No aged, canned or cured, processed and deli meats.
  • And lastly, consider things you use to dress up your food such as ketchup, spicy mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper, horseradish.  Garlic should be ok and other spices.

Ok, so what’s a girl to do?  Start with just paying attention.  Keep a food diary and look for patterns that occur with symptoms.  Eliminating everything at once can be overwhelming and likely not easy to follow.  If something does bother you, see if you can reintroduce it into your diet but maybe only in small amounts or not combined with other bladder irritants.  I hope we gave you something to think about in regards to bladder irritants. If you have any further questions or want to discuss your urological concerns, please contact our office at (440) 202-1515.

Anna Myers is a women’s health, urology and family board certified nurse practitioner working in our office here in Richfield, Ohio.