Is What I’m Drinking Irritating My Bladder?


My bladder issues are taking over my life! What can I avoid eating or drinking to minimize this?

When many patients come to pelvic floor physical therapy, they will say things like:

“When I feel the urge to go to the bathroom, I have to go RIGHT NOW”

“I wake up 4x a night because I have the urge to pee”

”Every time I pull into my driveway, my urge to urinate becomes unbearable”

All of these statements point to increased urgency, even when your bladder isn’t full. Increased urgency urgency and frequency is an actual diagnosis that your urologist or general doctor can give you. But what exactly does this mean?

There can be several reasons why you feel like your bladder is working overtime. Sometimes, medication or other medical conditions can increase the need to urinate.  Oftentimes, it is not necessarily a bladder issue at all. It is actually your brain tricking you to think your bladder needs to empty!

A consultation with a urologist or pelvic floor specialist can be just the thing you need! In the meantime, here are some things you may want to stay away from because they are known bladder irritants.

Now, this is a long list… Not all things on this list will bother everyone. And there may be some things missing on this list that bother your bladder specifically. The best course of action is to start charting your symptoms through a food diary. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help guide you with this.

Top 10 drinks/additives that can irritate your bladder:

1. Coffee/tea

2. Sugar substitutes

3. Alcohol

4. Chocolate

5. Lemon or other sour foods

6. Spices

7. Seltzer or other carbonated drinks

8. Low calorie fruit juices

9. Energy drinks

10. Tomato sauce

Did you know all of these things may cause increased urgency and other bladder type issues? Do you feel like you may have some of these symptoms? Send us an email – to schedule an appointment with us today!

Contributed by Dr. Katherine Pace