A bladder infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. The bacteria irritate the urinary tract, which often results in painful urination and even lower abdominal pain or cramping. Though certain antibiotics can treat a bladder infection, it’s important to know the symptoms of a bladder infection to help your body heal — and to prevent further bladder irritation.
A bladder infection can be irritating and painful, but it can become a very serious health problem if the bacterial infection spreads to your kidneys.
Foods to Avoid
Take a Break From Coffee
Caffeine is known to irritate the bladder and worsen bladder infection symptoms. A study on people with interstitial cystitis (chronic inflammation of the bladder) found that people who drank coffee experienced worsened symptoms. Try a mug of noncaffeinated herbal tea to replace your morning coffee ritual until you are UTI-free.
Can Drinking Alcohol Worsen a UTI?
Though you want to get plenty of fluids when you’ve got a UTI, it’s important to avoid alcohol. So, take a hiatus from cocktails — at least while you’re trying to flush out the bacteria and recover from a urinary tract infection.
Skip Citrusy or Caffeinated Sodas Irritate the Bladder
Sodas in general have been found to irritate the bladder in people with chronic bladder inflammation, and they could aggravate symptoms in someone with a bladder infection. Citrus-flavored sodas (think your favorite lemon-lime concoction) and caffeinated sodas can worse urinary tract infection symptoms. So, stick to water or cranberry juice as your drink of choice.
Acidic Fruits Can Worsen Symptoms of a Bladder Infection
Fruit may be an essential part of a healthy diet, but fruits containing a lot of acid can irritate the bladder. So try to avoid lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes when you’re treating a UTI. Other fruits that may cause bladder irritation and worsen a urinary tract infection include apples, peaches, grapes, plums, strawberries, and pineapple. You should also steer clear of juices made from these fruits.
Avoid Spicy Peppers
Whether you top your nachos with jalapeños, sprinkle your pizza with red pepper flakes, or love your curry chicken extra hot, you’ve got to skip the spice when you have a UTI. Spicy foods are known to irritate the bladder and worsen UTI symptoms, so cool down your meals and opt for blander choices to treat a urinary tract infection.
Artificial Sweeteners May Worsen Bladder Symptoms
If you’ve got a urinary tract infection (UTI), it’s possible that your bladder infection symptoms may worsen if you use artificial sweeteners. If these fake sweeteners bother you, skip them.
Understanding your body signals is important and seeking treatment early for bladder infections will help you manage the symptoms.