Avoiding Bladder Irritants Helpful?

newt

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I recently went to a new urologist and this one gave me a list of things that cause bladder irritation. The problem? Literally everything on the list is things that I enjoy.

  • Coffee? Yep.
  • Red Wine? You bet.
  • Sparkling water? Of course.
  • Spicy foods? Why not.
  • Citrus? Sure thing.
  • Tomatoes? Try to ketchup, guys.
The list even had the audacity to specifically single out some of my favorite cuisines: Mexican food, Thai food, and Indian food.

My question is, has anyone actually tried to eliminate ALL of these things? And if so, did it make ANY difference?

Because all I know is my morning espresso makes mornings bearable. Sparkling water is fun water. A glass of Spanish wine from Rioja is peak human craftsmanship. With the exception of sushi and Cuban food (I am in Miami after all), the the best cuisines are spicy. The thought non spicy burrito makes me sad. Non spicy Thai food is an oxymoron. And that's not even mentioning the need for citrus in both food and drinks. And then, no tomatoes makes most Italian food problematic.

What I am getting at is this. I have reached a point in my incontinence journey that I am comfortable with diapers. BUT if avoiding these could actually mean I could get out of them it might be worth the old college try. But if all I could hope for was an improvement, but still need diapers, it is not worth giving up the best parts of life. So, if anyone has had any success, experience, or failures trying this let me know!
 
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sbmccue

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Well, I don't drink coffee, red wine or sparkling water. I avoid spicy food due to reflux issues.

Unless I'm on a work trip or vacation, I seldom eat citrus fruit. I do have ketchup once or twice a week, and I enjoy certain varieties of Mexican food - which, contrary to popular belief, doesn't have to be spicy.

Italian is my Achilles' Heel, I'm afraid. I try to avoid tomato sauce, but loving Italian makes that difficult.
 
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CheshireCat

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Sounds like you now know why food is so bland in assisted living facilities... to help with the clean up!
 
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slimjiminy

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newt said:
I recently went to a new urologist and this one gave me a list of things that cause bladder irritation. The problem? Literally everything on the list is things that I enjoy.
  • Coffee? Yep.
  • Red Wine? You bet.
  • Sparkling water? Of course.
  • Spicy foods? Why not.
  • Citrus? Sure thing.
  • Tomatoes? Try to ketchup, guys
  • Yep: Coffee
  • Not sure: Red Wine
  • Sometimes: Carbonated drinks (Sparkling water)
  • Yep: Spicy foods
  • Sometimes: Citrus
  • Somewhat: Tomatoes
To reduce my IBS-d, I found that I had to quit:
  • Spicy foods
  • Oily foods (fast foods, especially hash browns!)
  • Microwaved popcorn (oils used in the bag)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (Cabbage, Cauliflower, Asparagus etc.)
  • Apples/sauce/drinks (high in fructose)
  • Pears (high in fructose)
  • And coffee is dangerous for me (so I indulge only when close to a toilet)
As a diabetic, there is already so much I can't have. It can sure suck the life out of you.
 
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munkey

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I’m aware of all those things… however, drinking coffee, got a thick diaper on, I don’t care, I like my coffee, 😂
 
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newt

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slimjiminy said:
As a diabetic, there is already so much I can't have. It can sure suck the life out of you.
It definitely can. I'm glad you pointed out other conditions, I didn't even think about that. It definitely put my problems into perspective because at least in my situation, eating/drinking from that list will not cause me any health problems (alcohol aside) like it will for those with diabetes and IBS and other conditions. Here I'm complaining about a choice to give something up when others don't even get a choice but to avoid them.

And I know IBS is very different from bladder problems, but how much did changing/avoiding certain foods help? Growing up my mom had bad IBS problems and it seemed incredibly difficult to deal with. Even if it doesn't cause incontinence issues, there is plenty of pain and other symptoms that seem incredibly frustrating to deal with.
 
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Kellycares

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I was referred to an urologist a couple of years ago after mentioning to my GP I was worried about my frequent urination and how painful it soon became when trying to hold it. Surprisingly he told me holding it too much could cause UTIs. And, since everything checked out fine, I could consider wearing “protection” when needed.

The only irritants we discussed were coffee ( a definite) and cigarettes ( a maybe). I promised to cut down on both and make a new appointment if I felt my condition getting worse.

After much thought on this, I made the mature adult decision that I would rather have to wear diapers than completely giving up my two favorite and most needed habits.
 
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slimjiminy

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newt said:
It definitely can. I'm glad you pointed out other conditions, I didn't even think about that. It definitely put my problems into perspective because at least in my situation, eating/drinking from that list will not cause me any health problems (alcohol aside) like it will for those with diabetes and IBS and other conditions. Here I'm complaining about a choice to give something up when others don't even get a choice but to avoid them.
I forgot to mention alcohol 🤫 I have to be very careful with even one (Canadian) beer. Recently one beer with dinner caused me several hours of intense pain due to gastroparesis. This happens because of the alcohol's effect on the vagus nerve, causing the stomach being unable to empty itself into the intestines. That results in throwing up and hours of gut wrenching back pains. If I have a beer now, I have to do it well after eating (or well before).
newt said:
And I know IBS is very different from bladder problems, but how much did changing/avoiding certain foods help? Growing up my mom had bad IBS problems and it seemed incredibly difficult to deal with. Even if it doesn't cause incontinence issues, there is plenty of pain and other symptoms that seem incredibly frustrating to deal with.
I had diarrhea almost daily. And it started to get difficult to control (which is the main worry of course!) I liked apple sauce & juice, cole slaw, pears, microwave popcorn, fast foods -- almost everything on the list except cauliflower and brussel sprouts! So after quitting that list and having a little medium cheddar cheese at lunch most days, I've become mostly regular now. The exception is that I still will have ONE coffee on days when I stay home for the morning (and close to the toilet). If I go out, then no coffee, for safety's sake!
 
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EcoIncon

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newt said:
My question is, has anyone actually tried to eliminate ALL of these things? And if so, did it make ANY difference?
So, if anyone has had any success, experience, or failures trying this let me know!
@newt I am totally with you on the love of every food and drink on the forbidden for your bladder list. I have no other major dietary considerations.

I did actually try giving every one of those things up for 4 months. It made a tremendous difference. Instead of multiple pads a day, I got down to only an accident every few days.

But ya know what? I still had to wear a pull-up outside the house, still had to wear a diaper to bed, and I really missed a lot of those things (surprisingly coffee and carbonated water more than beer,wine and spicy food.) So I guess as the saying goes, I decided to "pad up and play". I don't love changing more often but overall my life is happier with all those things in it (pads/diapers included).

If you can handle it though, you may want to give it a shot... I think I'd feel differently about this if it had gotten me away from wetting completely...
 
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newt

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EcoIncon said:
But ya know what? I still had to wear a pull-up outside the house, still had to wear a diaper to bed, and I really missed a lot of those things (surprisingly coffee and carbonated water more than beer,wine and spicy food.) So I guess as the saying goes, I decided to "pad up and play". I don't love changing more often but overall my life is happier with all those things in it (pads/diapers included).
This is exactly where I’ll probably end up too. But it is pretty encouraging that it did work. After my last urology appointment we basically agreed that Botox and interstim are out for too many side effects (don’t get me started on medications) but I am going to see a pelvic floor therapist.

Based on what you said I may try to go along with the exercises and try to avoid all my favorite foods at least for a bit. If I can actually make it down to the mythical no diaper level, I’ll see if it’s worth it. But if it ends where you went, will absolutely just resolve myself to diapers with the comforts of my favorite food and drinks.

One question I do have though is how long did it take to see those good results? If it can help quickly I may try to avoid those things temporarily for big events I’d prefer not to need thicker diapers.
 
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FudgedInLuvs

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newt said:
  • Coffee? Yep.
  • Red Wine? You bet.
  • Sparkling water? Of course.
  • Spicy foods? Why not.
  • Citrus? Sure thing.
  • Tomatoes? Try to ketchup guys
OMG, are you me? Nah, I wish I was in Miami. I have the same issue, coffee a good friend is a small scale roaster. Tea is also an excellent drink. Wine and spirits, I'm all down for, even IPAs] red or porters/stouts for beer. I love mineral water as well, and I'll drink diet tonic neat. Spicy foods, I'm that type who'll order bun bo hue and add in ghost pepper or scorpion flakes, citrus and tropical fruits are my absolute favorites, tomatoes hello salsa and pasta sauces! Let's not forget dark chocolate, the savory awesomeness of garlic and onions, or condiments like mustard and ponzu.

My issues happen mostly at night, but I also have phases of OAB. I tried to eliminate a lot of those items and it worked a bit, and for the most part I hate it, I hated living blandly and gave up. Need some inspiration to see what might work for you, read my avatar, it's what I did.
 
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newt

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FudgedInLuvs said:
OMG, are you me? Nah, I wish I was in Miami. I have the same issue, coffee a good friend is a small scale roaster. Tea is also an excellent drink. Wine and spirits, I'm all down for, even IPAs] red or porters/stouts for beer. I love mineral water as well, and I'll drink diet tonic neat. Spicy foods, I'm that type who'll order bun bo hue and add in ghost pepper or scorpion flakes, citrus and tropical fruits are my absolute favorites, tomatoes hello salsa and pasta sauces! Let's not forget dark chocolate, the savory awesomeness of garlic and onions, or condiments like mustard and ponzu.
I think we would get along great. You might even like spicy more than me. I also cannot get enough of bun bo hue, but those peppers you add are only for the strongest palettes. I would struggle to keep up with you

But definitely still need the spice. I lived in Chengdu China for almost 2 years, which is known for the spiciest food in China. It was heaven. Nothing beats sichuanese hot pot with a group of friends and endless beer. Though now that I think about it, my problems did actually start not long after I got back. But if that’s the cost of eating my favorite food, I’m happy to pay it.
 
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ltaluv

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newt said:
I recently went to a new urologist and this one gave me a list of things that cause bladder irritation. The problem? Literally everything on the list is things that I enjoy.

  • Coffee? Yep.
  • Red Wine? You bet.
  • Sparkling water? Of course.
  • Spicy foods? Why not.
  • Citrus? Sure thing.
  • Tomatoes? Try to ketchup, guys.
The list even had the audacity to specifically single out some of my favorite cuisines: Mexican food, Thai food, and Indian food.

My question is, has anyone actually tried to eliminate ALL of these things? And if so, did it make ANY difference?
My urologist recommended this for controlling interstitial cystitis pain, and it helped a lot. I've been able to slowly add back in moderate quantities of some of those without having the pain and urgency spike again. I can handle a couple of cups of coffee without trouble, or some tomatoes (though I try not to do both). I've completely given up the other things on the list with the exceptions of sparkling water and spicy foods (primarily green chile), both of which don't seem to be particular bladder irritants for me.

If it's just about having accidents, then decide what's important to you and go with it. My IC pain was unbearable at times, so I had a lot more incentive to give up the things on the list.
 
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hbic60

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newt said:
This is exactly where I’ll probably end up too. But it is pretty encouraging that it did work. After my last urology appointment we basically agreed that Botox and interstim are out for too many side effects (don’t get me started on medications) but I am going to see a pelvic floor therapist.

Based on what you said I may try to go along with the exercises and try to avoid all my favorite foods at least for a bit. If I can actually make it down to the mythical no diaper level, I’ll see if it’s worth it. But if it ends where you went, will absolutely just resolve myself to diapers with the comforts of my favorite food and drinks.

One question I do have though is how long did it take to see those good results? If it can help quickly I may try to avoid those things temporarily for big events I’d prefer not to need thicker diapers.
I feel with you! At the beginning of my urge IC (and of course involving my doctor, following examinations etc.) I tried to use pull-up as thin as possible, sprint to the toilet, trying to use my protection as less as possible, playing with less fluid intake (no good idea). I came to the result that I was focussing more on handling my (in)continence that living my life. I finally accepted being IC, switching to more adequate protection and started living my life as I used to do before.
This enhanced my quality of life significantly. I have no kind of pain, no cramps, only quite often the urge coming, and I made my peace with my condition; If I have a toilet available nearby when the urge comes up, I use it (if applicable), if not, I simply use my diaper. My wife also encouraged me to do whatever I'm comfortable with. She's happy that we can still do all our activities like traveling, bike tours, hiking and anything else and that I have no discomfort with it. At least diapers are only a different kind of underwear which nobody else is aware of if our clothing is appropriate and you behave as always...
 
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EcoIncon

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newt said:
... but I am going to see a pelvic floor therapist...


One question I do have though is how long did it take to see those good results?
Pelvic floor therapy was also helpful for me at first. Found I was fighting so hard for continence that I was losing the elasticity in my pelvic floor.

I would say that I started seeing results from the change in diet in a matter of days. It took several weeks to see the maximum benefit.

Like @hbic60 said, I was measuring my self-worth at the time in the number of diapers I didn't use. For me the ultimate acceptance of protection was liberating, however, I think it is really important to be able to tell yourself you gave it your best shot. To this day, I don't just use a diaper because I'm too lazy to get up and go. If I can make it to the toilet I do. For some reason that's important to me but I don't fret when I have accidents anymore.
 
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newt

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hbic60 said:
I feel with you! At the beginning of my urge IC (and of course involving my doctor, following examinations etc.) I tried to use pull-up as thin as possible, sprint to the toilet, trying to use my protection as less as possible, playing with less fluid intake (no good idea). I came to the result that I was focussing more on handling my (in)continence that living my life. I finally accepted being IC, switching to more adequate protection and started living my life as I used to do before.

This is exactly what I experienced! If I had gotten this advice earlier it would have saved me so much anxiety. I know everyone's IC is different, but it does seem universal we try the smallest, thinnest diapers in perhaps naïve hope that it is all we need. Now I rely on Megamax which, at the beginning, would have absolutely terrified me thinking it is so thick everyone would immediately see it. But now I know that even if it might be slightly more than needed, I can relax knowing I absolutely trust it to not leak or cause problems, which to me is the key in overcoming anxiety and letting you be confident in the world. And, a loving, supportive partner is possibly the most valuable resource. And to those who do not have one, or think it is impossible to find it because of the condition, never let yourself believe this condition prevents those from loving you.
 
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FudgedInLuvs

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newt said:
I think we would get along great. You might even like spicy more than me. I also cannot get enough of bun bo hue, but those peppers you add are only for the strongest palettes. I would struggle to keep up with you

But definitely still need the spice. I lived in Chengdu China for almost 2 years, which is known for the spiciest food in China. It was heaven. Nothing beats sichuanese hot pot with a group of friends and endless beer. Though now that I think about it, my problems did actually start not long after I got back. But if that’s the cost of eating my favorite food, I’m happy to pay it.
I bet we would! BBH is my favorite, though I do need to try Lanzhou and more Sichuan style! Those pepper flakes are incredible, and it only takes a few lol. I have always been a spice lover, and with my OAB/Urge issus, or night issues, it's a catch 22. I was really ill for a long time and have a fair amount of liver damage from the medications I was on, and hot peppers (and garlic and onions) are pretty good at maintaining liver health. Compared to the misery I was in for the longest time, I'll take having to change out of a pair of Goodnites that revert back, that was not a fun time.
 
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Raven801

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With my IBS and oab and painful bladder I had a list of things I avoided like the plague and my synopsis is this I changed my diet to something that was miserable for months trying to satisfy my hope of not needing diapers. And I still ended out embarrassed quite frequently and honestly once I got over the stigma of diapers and started wearing acceptable protection I realized that the diet wasn't fixing anything... More manageable maybe by 15% or so but I still had surprises and good days and bad days. I'm a foodie I love food and I LOVE coffee and after not enjoying food or coffee for months I caved. I will say the first real meals and cups of coffee unleashed hell on my poor diapers but after about a week thing calmed down. And to be honest I really don't notice a big difference... except the coffee. But I don't care I'm in diapers 247 so I'll choose to enjoy life and food as I'm over it and a messy or wet diaper is just not a big deal as I'd rather enjoy life just as diapers gave me the confidence to live my life again they have also given me a choice to enjoy mealtime again as well ... I do still struggle with the whole accepting wearing and the mental games of it all but less each day I'm getting pretty comfortable in daily life. Have had a few situations that weren't ideal but ... Just as I'm laying in the hospital right now thanks to a distracted driver...guess her phone was more important.... But being a fall risk with severe IBS in the hospital not exactly a pleasant experience..... But even the hospital food is setting things off and I don't think it could be more bland if you tried ..
 
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EcoIncon

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Raven801 said:
Just as I'm laying in the hospital right now thanks to a distracted driver...guess her phone was more important....
Hope you are OK!
 
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Raven801

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EcoIncon said:
Hope you are OK!
Little banged up with a concussion but nothing too serious... thankfully thanks for asking🤙
 
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