What are bladder irritants?

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So remember when you finish your morning
coffee that amazing last sip and you sit
down to get to that first meeting and
everyone’s around the table – your boss,
your boss’s boss, and about 20 minutes
into it you’re like oh shoot I gotta
go to the bathroom maybe I shouldn’t
have finished that coffee this morning.
Today I’m gonna teach you about bladder
irritants like coffee that can affect
the way that your bladder reacts and
makes you feel like you got to go
sometimes and for some people these
bladder irritants can be really strong
and bothersome and for others it really
doesn’t matter so we’re gonna get down
and dirty with the science behind it and
talk to you all about it. I’m Dr.
Malik I’m a female pelvic medicine and
reconstructive surgeon and I’m here to
teach you how to live your best life and
improve your pelvic health so let’s go. I
will wholeheartedly admit that I love
coffee I cannot go a day without at
least one cup of coffee. I have two boys,
I’m a full-time working mom, I’m a
surgeon and I love my coffee but you
know there’s certainly times where I’ll
drink a coffee and I gotta go to the
bathroom five times when normally I
probably only had to go once. So why does
that even happen? Well, in animal studies
they’ve looked at animals and they
looked at their chronic caffeine
consumption, those who’ve taken caffeine
or drank caffeine for a very long time
in large amounts, and they found that it
actually affects the way your bladder
functions that actually makes your
bladder contract more often and those
bladder contractions actually make you
feel the urge to go to the bathroom and
that’s why after you drink coffee
sometimes you’ll feel the urge more
strongly also caffeine is a diuretic so
when you drink a cup of coffee or any
sort of caffeinated beverage, a soda, a
tea, even some chocolate that has
caffeine in it, you’ll find that you’re
making more urine than you’re actually
putting in your body as far as fluids so
you’re gonna go to the bathroom more
often. There’s some data that shows that
actually the caffeine itself makes our
bladders more sensitive so that we
actually feel full sooner than we
actually normally
would. So that may explain why some of
you guys have that experience. So they
did a study on healthy young adults so
between the ages of eighteen to forty
five and they basically had them all
sign up and for five days they were in a
pre exposure phase which means that they
couldn’t drink any caffeine. After five
days they were randomized meaning half
of them, about twenty-eight, got a
caffeinated beverage that was measured
out for a certain amount of caffeine
which was actually four hundred and
fifty milligrams of caffeine and then
the other group was given the same
amount of coffee but it was a decaf
amount, it was about twelve or fifteen
grams of coffee and they measured the
caffeine to be four hundred and fifty
milligrams. So what exactly does that
even mean? So that is like the equivalent
of one venti Starbucks cup, two and a
half large McDonald’s coffees, one and a
half Dunkin Donuts coffees, and for those
in Canada, one and a half Tim Hortons
coffee and you know why I know about Tim
Horton’s I’m from Buffalo, New York which
is basically like Canada and I grew up
drinking Tim Hortons and it’s amazing so
if you haven’t had it make sure you try
it when you go to Canada or if you’re
ever coming to Buffalo. They also asked the
participants how much they measured how
much coffee or caffeine intake they had
daily before the study and so they just
could group them as high-frequency users
or they drank a lot of caffeine all the
time or low frequency users they drank a
little coffee all the time and so what
they found was those who drank a lot of
coffee when they went to decaf their
symptoms, their urinary urgency and
frequency symptoms went down. High users
before the study and then began drinking
in the caffeinated groups still
had an increase in their urgency and
frequency of urination and those who
were in the low frequency group when
they got exposed to caffeine they
had way worse urgency and frequency and
then when that low group stayed low
again they had no change in their
symptoms. So what does this tell us? Well
caffeine does correlate with symptoms of
urgency and frequency. If you’re a high
user already you might have developed
some tolerance to it but if you’re
regularly a low user and you go out like
“hey I want a venti Frappuccino from starbucks”
you probably will have to go to the
bathroom a little more than usual. Bottom
line is if you’re drinking coffee
it might make you go a lot especially if
you are drinking a lot of it. If you find
that it’s bothering you, that you’re
going to the bathroom a lot, well then
cut back on your caffeine. So other
things I tell my patients is if you are
drinking coffee and you know it makes it
worse but you don’t really care you can
try not to drink it before you go on a
plane or before you go to the movies so
that maybe you won’t have problems
moving forward. so that’s our first
bladder irritant and let’s move on to our
next one. So number two bladder irritant
is alcohol.
When you drink it it gets metabolized in
your body to a metabolite called
acetaldehyde and acetaldehyde actually
is a bladder irritant it goes into our
bloodstream and into our urine and it
can affect our bladder that way and make
it increase the ability to contract.
Alcohol is actually a diuretic similar
to caffeine it’s gonna make you make
more urine than you actually produce so
when you drink you might notice that
people are going to the bathroom a
little more often when they’re at the
brewery or when they’re having their
glass of wine with dinner. Alcohol also
is a bladder irritant and makes your
bladder contract more strongly and so it
also increases that urge feeling like
you’ve gotta go, gotta go, and so for some
people this is worse than others. They’ve
shown though that there is some benefit
to moderate alcohol intake – so what’s
moderate alcohol intake that’s 1 five ounce
glass of wine a 12 ounce glass of beer
and a 1 and a half ounce of shot of 80
proof alcohol. So moderate drinking
includes one drink per day for women or
two drinks per day for men. So the data
here is controversial for some people
alcohol has not panned out to be a
bladder irritant definitely in high uses
alcohol is a big no. Alcohol can also be
a bladder irritant that can also make
you go alot so if you’re bothered by it
watch what you’re drinking maybe cut
back on that drinking a little bit. Now
the third bladder irritant is actually
carbonated beverages and why because
they have preservatives like citric acid
and ascorbic acid which increases the
ability of your bladder
to contract so for some people you might
be sensitive to carbonated beverages
because of those preservatives and
carbonated beverages can contain caffeine which we
talked about earlier and artificial
sweeteners, which are our next bladder
irritants. Artificial sweeteners like
aspartame or saccharin and these things are
also considered bladder irritants and
can make the bladder contract more. So
other bladder irritants, there’s really
very little data on the rest of these
and so you guys have to pay attention
and see how your bladder reacts when it
eats the or drink some of these things.
So they can include spicy foods or
acidic foods like grapefruit. So what you
can do is just pay attention and try to
limit them in your diet. As in I would
say take one away at a time and see if
it helps if it doesn’t put it back in
your diet. Well if you want I’ve also
made a link down below where you can
download a full list of bladder
irritants that you can keep for yourself
for your reference so go on and click on
that. So if after experimenting with all
these bladder irritants are you still
having problems well make sure you go
see your doctor or your local urologist
so we can help you out take care of
yourself because you’re worth it and
don’t forget to click on the link down
below if you want a full list of bladder
irritants and subscribe to my channel if
you like what you see next week we’ll be
talking about overactive bladder and
what you can do to help it so make sure
you check it out!

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