Caffeine is a diuretic that has a way of stimulating the muscles of the bladder that can serve to excite the muscle as well as irritate it, resulting in the need to urinate more often. An overactive bladder is very common problem that many folks wrongly believe is simply a normal part of the aging process. Caffeine is a substance found in numerous products and beverages that we all consume on a regular basis. These include coffee, tea, chocolate and many so called energy drinks.
Urinary problems are widespread and new patients are diagnosed with any number of bladder related problems on a regular basis. In fact, roughly twenty million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence and of these, twenty five percent are women. The need to urinate frequently can become an embarrassing problem that many women choose to suffer in silence with instead of seeking medical treatment. If you develop this problem, do not allow fear or any other emotion to prevent you from seeing a doctor.
A urinary tract infection is not the same as urinary incontinence. When a urinary tract infection sets in, there is usually a certain degree of discomfort in either or both the abdominal area and the back near the kidneys. Some women also experience pain or a burning sensation upon urination. A simple urine test can identify a bladder infection.
What you drink and how often you drink it can serve to stimulate the bladder. Your doctor may suggest that you cut back on caffeine consumption due to your overactive bladder or you might just choose to take it upon yourself to drink less. If you are somebody who loves coffee and cannot live without it, one option is to switch from caffeinated to decaffeinated. However, you should still try to cut back on the number of cups you drink each day.
Drinking plenty of distilled water is a good way to clean out the bladder and flush out the impurities. However, it is possible to drink too much water, resulting in the need to visit the bathroom more often. Many women who regularly drink lots of water often go to their doctor mistakenly believing that they are suffering from stress incontinence when they are simply flooding their bladders with too much water. Water is important and is necessary for the body but overdoing it can look like a bladder problem when it is not.
You might want to consider adding cranberry juice to your list of beverages to drink for a healthy bladder. A link between cranberries and urinary tract infections goes back as far as the 1840s. A substance in cranberries sets up an unfriendly environment for bacteria formation.
Be aware, however, that cranberry juice for bladder problems is not recommended for women over the age of 55. As a person ages, the lining of the bladder thins and cranberry juice or pure cranberries can irritate the bladder of older women. However, for younger women it is fine. Strive to drink a few glasses every week to keep bladder infections at bay.