Diet and nutrition

Diet & Nutrition

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Eating right and drinking well is good for your bladder – and for your overall well-being.

Healthy food & bladder issues

Healthy food & bladder issues

Weight, infection risk, skin condition and digestion are factors that influence your bladder. Learn about the sources for a balanced diet. Find out more

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures – going well beyond survival and satisfying hunger. We share and give food, and mealtimes are often the events where family or friends come together. Meals can also be both symbolic and part of a ritual.

We can all allow ourselves to ‘sin’ occasionally as long as we eat healthy on a daily basis. When you have a medical condition it is even more relevant to look at what you put on your plate and in your glass.

Vitamins and minerals to prevent bladder issues

Here are some of the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy diet:

Protein

  • Good for:

    Muscles building, tissue repair, fighting illness and disease, carrying nutrients through the body and producing hormones to name just a few roles.

  • How much:

    Depends on your weight and how much you use your body (exercise). Ask your doctor how much is ideal for you, as too much protein is not healthy.

  • Best sources:

    Lean meat, chicken and fish, eggs, dried beans, and nuts.

Vitamins and minerals

  • Good for:

    Supporting normal body function and prevent disease. The different vitamins and minerals each have different roles; help heal wounds, bolster your immune system, convert food into energy and much more. Many effects are gained from different vitamins and minerals interacting.

  • How much:

    A minimum of 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended, which also ensures that you get enough fibre. Fibre is important to avoid constipation, which may have a negative impact on your bladder health.

Proteins and bladder issues

Fibre

  • Good for:

    The right amount of fibre is important to establish and maintain stools and avoid constipation, which can have a negative effect on your bladder.

  • How much:

    In the UK, the recommended average intake for adults is 30g per day.

  • Best sources:

    Fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice, wholemeal bread

Fluid

Drink sufficiently, normally around 1.5–2 litres per day. Base your fluid intake on water but you can count other types of beverages in your fluid intake for the day. Not drinking enough can worsen your bladder symptoms.

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Bladder issues - why drink more?

Bladder issues - why drink more?

How much should you drink? What (and what not) and why? Find out more

Fluids

When you have bladder issues, you might feel less encouraged to drink a lot of water, because you feel that this increases your problem. On the contrary not drinking enough can make your symptoms worse. Instead you should time your intake as well as your bathroom visits to gain better control.

Drinking lots of fluid can help flush out bacteria. Water is best but fruit juices can count for some of your fluid needs. Most people should try for 1.5–2 litres per day – unless your doctor says otherwise.
When you travel or do sports you might feel like drinking less, because you might be afraid of leakage or don’t want to catheterise at inappropriate times. But it is even more important then: If you travel in hot climates or sweat during physical exercise you risk dehydrating.
Not drinking adequately can also result in constipation, which affects your general health and may also affect your bladder health.

When you’ve got urinary tract infection (UTI)

Increase the amount of water you drink when you’ve got UTI. Fluids perform two jobs: they help flush out bacteria from your bladder and they thin (dilute) your urine. It is less painful to pass diluted urine than concentrated urine, which is more irritant.

Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea or fizzy drinks. Caffeine can irritate your bladder even more when you have an infection.

What about cranberry juice?

You might have heard about the wonders of cranberry. Some people may benefit from drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extract tablets, but there is no clear proof of efficacy. Ask your doctor first, as treatment with some medication is affected.

Drink water to prevent UTI

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Tips for keeping your bladder healthy

Tips for keeping your bladder healthy

How to eat and drink to ensure that your bladder is in the best possible shape. Find out more

Your general well-being may influence how you perceive your bladder issues. If you feel poorly, you might also feel that your bladder issues are unbearable. Eating healthy food, which gives you energy, makes your body strong and provides you with a positive self-image, will make you feel better.

Balance calories with bladder issues

How to drink enough

Fill one or more bottles or jugs with water containing a total of 1.5-2 litres of water and store them in the fridge. That will keep the water nice and cold and you will know that once you have emptied them you have reached your daily amount.

How to balance calories

Eat less and limit the occasions where you eat while watching television. Avoid oversized portions by using a smaller plate or bowl. Portion out foods before you eat – then you can arrange it nicely too. When dining out, choose smaller portions or share a dish. Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. They have the same amounts of calcium and vitamin D, but less calories.

Drink enough with bladder issues

How to increase the intake of healthy food

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Consider that you have all colours on your plate, red, orange, light green and dark green.

How to reduce the intake of unhealthy foods

Consider unhealthy food such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza and burgers as occasional choices and not everyday foods. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Eat less salt, which can raise blood pressure. Compare products and buy the one with less salt. Add spices and herbs instead.

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Foods to consider for wheelchair users

Foods to consider for wheelchair users

Constipation, pressure ulcers, lean body mass and weight gain. Learn how to reduce your risk. find out more

When you are in a wheelchair you need to pay extra attention to your diet to prevent constipation and keep your body healthy. With less physical activity, you burn off fewer calories and may gain weight or possibly maintain weight but replace muscle with fat.

Excess weight adds stress on your heart and may make weight shifts and transfers more difficult. This can contribute to skin breakdown or pressure ulcers. One thing that you can do to reduce some of these risks is to maintain a healthy diet.

Here is how you reduce your risk:

Constipation

Get enough fibre. Fruit, vegetables and whole grain products are best. Remember to drink sufficiently, as fibre alone can make your constipation worse.

Pressure ulcers and lean body mass (muscles)

Ensure that you get enough protein. Choose low fat ones. Beans are a good substitute for meat – and provide fibre as well.

Weight gain

Take in fewer calories by sticking to low fat food and drinks.

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