December is all about family party planning. Where will extended family sleep? How much will it cost to bring your sons and daughters home from college? Holiday stress may start to creep up. Of all times when bladder frustration can strike, the December rush could be the most inopportune. And unfortunately, certain foods and beverages can make your occasional bladder control issues even more frustrating! So put down your eggnog and let’s take a closer look at which holiday foods can trigger occasional bladder issues, and what you can enjoy instead!
ACIDIC FOODS ON THE BLADDER
If your holiday tradition includes making the famous Christmas lasagna with special tomato sauce, you may be affecting your bladder control if you eat the lasagna. Tomatoes are acidic and are known to irritate the lining of the bladder.1 If you’re hankering for a big plate of your favorite holiday meal, limit the amount of tomato sauce.
CHOCOLATE AND BLADDER HEALTH
Holidays and chocolate go together but did you know chocolate—especially dark—contains caffeine, which is both a diuretic and a stimulant.2 Diuretics can affect bladder control by increasing the amount of urine you make, while stimulants increase feelings of urgency. As a stimulant, caffeine speeds up your heart rate, which also leads to a rise in blood pressure. As a result, the kidneys must filter a higher volume of blood, causing a surge in the production of urine.3 This means that your occasional bladder urgency can spike! So instead of indulging in milk or dark chocolate, choose white—it has the smallest percentage of caffeine!4
ALCOHOL AND BLADDER HEALTH
We know that winter-spiced sangria is delicious, but did you know that alcohol could worsen occasional bladder control issues? It affects the signals to the brain that make you aware of how full your bladder is. Similar to chocolate, alcohol is a diuretic and acts on the renal system to make you pee out much more than you can take in.5 Paired with occasional bladder control issues, your sangria could make you step away to the bathroom! Looking for an alcohol-free holiday beverage? Make your own punch!
The holidays can be the happiest and most hectic time of the year, so take the steps necessary to lower your chances of dealing with occasional bladder control issues!
1 Bladder Diet, http://www.fibroid.com/bladder-diet/
2 Caffeine is a Stimulant and a Diuretic, http://www.livestrong.com/article/294664-diuretic-effects-of-caffeine/
3 Caffeine is a Stimulant and a Diuretic, http://www.livestrong.com/article/294664-diuretic-effects-of-caffeine/
4 White Chocolate and Caffeine, http://www.amanochocolate.com/articles/how-much-caffeine-is-in-chocolate/
5 Alcohol is a Diuretic, https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/why-does-alcohol-make-you-pee-more