Health Watch -- Fluids and Elimination: Irritants

 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 fluid intake and elimination. Previously, we learned that most people have to go to the bathroom about six to eight times a day. But what if you have to go more often?

Dr. Gary Lemack, a urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says it might not be how much you drink but what you're drinking. Caffeine can be a bladder irritant for some people. It's also a diuretic, so it increases urine production while the irritation it causes can create a sensation of urgency. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate. Other possible bladder irritants include citrus fruits and spicy foods.

If you find yourself having to go more urgently and frequently, take a look at your diet and see if there's something that may be contributing to your problem.

Next: Can you make it through the night?


May 2006

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.