Pelvic Floor Diet: Foods to Avoid with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Did you know that there are certain foods and drinks that can affect your pelvic floor health? Well you are about to find out and some may surprise you.
We recommend that you reduce or avoid the following foods, as these can cause your pelvic floor to become inflamed and worsen dysfunction.
- Acidic Fruit and Veg
- Carbonated/Sugary Drinks
- Spicy Foods
I know! It is always the first on a list of 'No's'.
But, have you ever wondered why when drinking alcohol you need to wee A LOT more?
You probably know all too well about 'breaking the seal' when out with your friends and know that alcohol makes you want to go to the toilet a heck of a lot more.
Although the odd glass of alcohol here and there probably won't do too much harm, it is acidic, and this can irritate your bladder and urethra.
One of the worst alcohols for this is red wine. It can also trigger a bout of incontinence if you already suffer from this condition. The reason it is best avoided if you do suffer with bladder leaks is because it is a diuretic, which means your kidneys produce more urine and this irritates your bladder.
Alcohol Incontinence Issues
To be clear. Alcohol does not cause bladder leaks, it can just make any current bladder issues you have a lot worse.
If you are finding that you are wetting the bed after drinking alcohol then you really do need to consider the amount your are drinking, see a doctor and using our Secret Whispers Pelvic Floor Kegel Weights will make a difference in strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
Alcohol makes your bladder muscles relax. It also reduces a certain hormone production called the Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). This is what gives you the greater urges to go for lots of wee trips.
Now this hormone is responsible for helping your kidneys manage the amount of water in your body and stop you from dehydrating. So, when you drink alcohol this makes your body want to urinate a lot more often.
I know! How fascinating is that. So, now you know.
Acidic Fruit and Veg
Food that is high in acid is also going to trigger the same problems.
Acidic fruits are those with low pH levels.
The most acidic fruits are:
Not as high in acid:
- oranges, peaches
Other acidic foods you may want to avoid:
- processed meals
- white bread
- high protein foods and supplements with animal protein
These can all irritate the bladder and also lead to some explosive bowel movements too!
Even drinks marketed as sugar-free can cause problems and irritate the bladder.
Sugary drinks can cause bladder irritation and increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
Even fizzy or sparkling water, as they contain dissolved carbon dioxide which results in an acidic solution and may increase urinary urgency.
Did you know that even some squashes contain sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and saccharin. These can irritate the bladder also..
So, to conclude, sugary drinks can cause a lot of problems, including pelvic floor weakness, incontinence and overactive bladder.
As always, water is best.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant and diuretic. Diuretic means it can potentially cause you to go to the toilet more often, which irritates your bladder, kidneys and urethra.
The stimulant side of coffee also triggers the urge to urinate.
Finally, although you may love coffee, it can also lead to dehydration which causes constipation issues that can also weaken the pelvic floor.
Caffeine is found in:
- green tea
- hot chocolate
- energy drinks and many fizzy drinks
- caffeine is often added to painkillers. So check for the words ‘extra’ or ‘plus’ which means added caffeine.
We cover this in a lot more detail in Caffeine and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Spice can also irritate the bowel and bladder. However, we are all different, and some people tolerate spicy foods better than others.
If you find a spicy food triggers a cystitis flare or makes going to the toilet uncomfortable, you know to cut or reduce that food from your diet.
It's not that you can't eat spicy food. You may just need to experiment to find a level of spice that doesn't irritate your system.
So what's the takeaway? Well, we don't mean Chinese or pizza. Watching what you eat and ensuring you stay well hydrated can really help the progress you're making to control and reverse any bladder weakness.
It's not that you can never eat the 'bad' foods again or have to stay on a diet of only the foods that help.
It's all about striking a balance and ensuring you are eating more of the good and less of the bad.
Pelvic floor exercises remain your best friend, but you can certainly make things better or worse with the nutrition you put in your body. If you follow the advice above for a few weeks, you will almost certainly see some improvement in your symptoms.
To learn more how our Pelvic Floor Exercise Weights work, head over here. Secret Whispers Pelvic Floor Training Weights
You can also join our fabulous womens only private Facebook Group
Fancy a FREEBIE? Download our FREE guide The easy way to get a stronger pelvic floor
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