Natural Ways To Treat An Overactive Bladder

February 16, 2018  |  
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When I tell people with normal bladders that I have an overactive one, they say, “So…you pee a lot? That’s not so bad.” Well, it’s not that simple. Maybe it’s “not so bad” when I’m at home, by myself, all day, but that often isn’t the case. In fact, as someone with an overactive bladder, somehow it seems like I’m usually stuck in traffic with no off-ramp or bathroom in site, sitting on a plane in which the pilot will not turn off the damn seatbelt sign, or struggling my way through a very important meeting in which I cannot miss even one detail, when my bladder acts up. These are my bladder’s absolute favorite times to act up. Oh, and then one more major one: the middle of the night. My hyperactive bladder is the main reason I’m always a little bit sleep-deprived. I’ll wake in the middle of a deep, satisfying REM cycle because I need to pee, and then take a long time to doze back off. So, yes, it is that bad. Luckily, there are natural ways to treat an overactive bladder.

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Eliminate citrus

Citrus can irritate your bladder and make you feel the urge to go more frequently, even if little comes out. Beware of hidden citrus in your dinner meals especially, like lemon juice in salad dressing or orange juice in marinades.

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Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the frequency with which you feel you need to go to the restroom. Try having some as a late afternoon snack to get their benefits in the evening.

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Switch to soy milk

Cow milk and other animal milk can irritate the bladder. Try switching to soy or almond milk in your morning cereal or coffee, and experience fewer bathroom breaks throughout the day.

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Treat constipation

Your intestines and bladder sit close together. When you’re constipated, your intestines put pressure on the bladder. If you are backed up, get to the source of that (you could be low on fiber or needing to switch to a low FODMAP diet).

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Kohki tea

You can find it at Japanese stores, and this ancient tea reduces contractile responses in the bladder muscles. It’s entirely natural and safe.

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Avoid spicy food

Spicy food, like citrus, can irritate the bladder. Take it easy on things like peppers, paprika, and hot sauce, especially later in the day if you don’t want to wake up with an agitated bladder.

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Skip the tomatoes

Tomatoes are highly acidic and can irritate the bladder. Avoid things like bloody marys, marinara sauce, and Caprese salads if you have an overactive bladder.

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Stop smoking

Smoking irritates the bladder muscles. If you are a smoker, cigarette and bathroom breaks may be interfering with your life, but cutting out one can cut down on the other.

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Try Kegels

Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor and can keep urine from causing so much pressure that you feel a constant urge to go. If you plan on becoming pregnant, get into Kegels now because your bladder will be extra sensitive when you’re expecting.

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Shed those excess pounds

I know, I know—extra weight seems to be at the root of a lot of health issues. Bladder issues are no exception. Excess weight can put pressure on your bladder and make you have to go more often.

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Learn to hold it, gradually

It’s important you ease into this one, since holding it for too long can cause UTIs in women. But train yourself, when you feel the urge to go, to make yourself wait five minutes, then ten minutes, then 15 minutes…you get the idea. You can retrain your bladder to understand that you won’t go to the toilet the moment a little pressure builds up.

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Drink less water

This one may seem painfully obvious, but you might just be drinking too much water. If you release a lot of fluid each time you go to the bathroom, then you’re just overhydrated. The eight full glasses rule doesn’t apply to everyone. The amount of water you need is dependent on factors like your age, activity level, weight, height, medications you take, and more. Your doctor can help you determine the right amount of daily H2O for you.

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Increase vitamin D

Studies have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and bladder issues. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement to see if your problems decrease.

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Increase vitamin C

Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress, an excess of which can cause tension in the bladder. It’s never a bad idea to add vitamin C to your vitamin regiment, anyways, for its immunity boosting properties.

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Capsaicin

This chili pepper-based supplement has been found to treat an overactive bladder, and it’s 100 percent natural.

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