There are lots of things in our everyday diet that can irritate the bladder. From alcohol to citrus fruits to cranberry juice, these seemingly healthy ingredients can lead to discomfort and bladder control problems. During the holiday period, it can be even harder to manage. Many parties and dinners revolve around foods or drinks that can trigger symptoms.
If you suffer from bladder-related issues, then the anxiety of an embarrassing situation can put a dampener on festivities. However, if you identify your triggers ahead of time, it’s possible to manage your symptoms so you can enjoy the holidays without worrying.
Here are 5 common bladder irritants to avoid during this time of year, and bladder-friendly swaps to try!
#1 – Alcohol
Wine with dinner or cocktails at parties is part and parcel of the holidays. However, drinking alcohol can irritate and strain the bladder. Its diuretic properties mean it causes the bladder to store more urine, which can make it more prone to leakage. Alcohol also directly irritates the lining and can interfere with signals between the brain and bladder about the timing of urine release.
Avoid it by: alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic alternatives. Although you may go to the bathroom more, it’ll decrease the pressure on your bladder (and the likelihood of unexpected incidents!).
#2 – Chocolate
It can sometimes feel like we’re surrounded by chocolate during the holidays. Festive buffets, selection boxes at the office, and chocolate-themed presents mean our intake of the sweet stuff sky-rockets at this time of year. However, chocolate is also a bladder irritant and contains caffeine, both of which can lead to discomfort the more we eat.
Avoid it by: choosing non-chocolate options wherever possible (yes, we know it’s hard!) such as fruit-based desserts, or opting for white chocolate which contains less caffeine.
#3 – Carbonated Drinks
Our intake of carbonated drinks often increases during the holidays. Cocktails, office drinks, and Christmas parties usually include carbonated beverages as mixers, so we drink them without even thinking. Yet these types of drinks can irritate sensitive bladders and cause unnecessary distress to our system.
Avoid it by: opting for non-carbonated alternatives but avoid orange, apple, or cranberry juice since these can also irritate the bladder.
#4 – Sugar
Sugar is another product that irritates the bladder. Whether it’s in pure form, honey, or artificial sweetener, these products all cause issues. During the holidays our sugar consumption tends to skyrocket, with cookies, desserts, and candies on offer. Combined with sugar in alcoholic cocktails, chocolate, and carbonated drinks, this can significantly irritate the bladder.
Avoid it by: skipping sweet treats and ending your meal on a savory note instead of with cheese and crackers, for example.
#5 – Water
You might be surprised to see water on this list, but either too much or too little can put stress on normal bladder function. During the holidays it’s easy to lose track of how much water we’re drinking. Our normal routine can be disrupted by festive events so our usual hydration habits go out of the window. But this can put additional pressure on our bladder, at a time when it’s already being stressed by other irritants.
Avoid it by: tracking how much water you consume to ensure you get the balance right. Try taking a water bottle with you during the day so you know exactly how much you’ve drunk, and how much (or how little) you should be having at evening events.
By being conscious of these 5 bladder irritants you’ll have one less thing to worry about this festive period. Heading out of town or to a friend’s place for a gathering? Bring CompactCath along. Discreet, pocket-sized, pre-lubricated, and ready to use right out of the pocket, it’s guaranteed to take self-cathing off your mind.