Health Watch -- Bladder Woes: Overactive Bladder

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we're talking about bladder problems that we don't like to talk about but that can seriously disrupt our lives. If you find yourself having to go to the restroom more often or if the need to go feels more urgent, you may have a condition called overactive bladder.

Dr. Gary Lemack, a urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says the cure may be as simple as changing your habits. One major cause of overactive bladder is caffeine, which is found in coffee, soft drinks, tea and chocolate. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it increases the amount of fluid the body eliminates. It can also irritate the bladder, giving a sense of urgency. Cutting back on caffeine is the first step in dealing with overactive bladder. Other possible irritants include citrus fruits, spicy foods and some kinds of cheese. 

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August 2006

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