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Does Coffee Make You Pee More?

I often hear from patients, “I feel the urge to pee all the time, but when I go there’s never much there.” This is a very common symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction, and can often be traced to the food and drink we ingest.

Whenever we eat and drink, our body takes what it needs and gets rid of what it doesn’t. The (mostly) solid stuff leaves as poop, and the (mostly) liquid stuff leaves as pee. Pee, or urine, is what is left over after the kidneys have finished filtering our blood. The bladder stores urine, which has been filtered and produced by the kidneys, before the urine leaves the body. Even though the urine has been filtered before reaching the bladder it may still contain irritants which cause urgency, frequency, or pain.

Common bladder irritants include:

  • Coffee and tea

  • Alcohol

  • Certain acidic fruits — oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes — and fruit juices

  • Spicy foods

  • Tomato-based products

  • Carbonated drinks

  • Chocolate

The easiest way to monitor your intake is by keeping a simple food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink and when your symptoms occur. If your symptoms include pain with urination, then write down every time you pee and note whether pain is present or not present. If your symptoms include increased frequency, make a note every time you pee. You’ll be able to look back and see if you pee more often at certain times of day or after drinking/eating certain foods.

You may find that you have pain after ingesting some or all of the things listed or even with some things that are not on the list. I once had a patient who had bladder pain every time she ate baked potatoes. Our bladders don’t read the textbooks! My recommendation is to start monitoring these foods, and you will have a better idea of how your bladder reacts to common irritants.

(Then come see a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist to efficiently resolve any remaining symptoms! 😉)

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