Bladder Irritants

Many foods, drinks and medications can cause irritation in the bladder lining. This irritation can lead to symptoms of urinary frequency, urgency and bladder spasms and pain. Every bladder irritant doesn’t affect every person.

The following list includes some of the most well-known bladder irritants. By eliminating or significantly decreasing them from the patient’s diet, bladder symptoms may improve.

The most common five bladder irritants are:

  • Fruit juices (such as cranberry or orange)
  • Multivitamins (especially those with Vitamin C)
  • Coffee and tea
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Tomato products

Other common bladder irritants include:

  • Caffeine (sodas, diet pills, etc)
  • Chocolate, sugar, honey and corn syrup
  • Spicy or heavily seasoned foods
  • Acidic foods (oranges, lemons, peaches, pineapple, plums, apples, cantaloupes and cranberries)
  • Chilies, peppers, and onions
  • Yogurt, aged cheese and sour cream
  • Vinegar
  • Walnuts or peanuts
  • Artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame
  • Vitamin C
  • MSG

The specialists at the CHOC Urology Center recommend eliminating the top five irritants for two weeks, noting whether or not there is a difference in bladder symptoms. If there is no difference after two weeks try cutting out some of the other common irritants listed above for another two weeks. Caregivers can gradually reintroduce the foods back into the child’s diet to see if symptoms change while doing this. Foods that appear to be causing symptoms should be reduced or removed from the patient’s diet.

Contact the CHOC Urology Center with questions or if the symptoms persist.