Foods That Trigger Bladder Spasms

An individual has Bladder Spasms when the bladder muscles contract involuntarily. This leads to severe urinary urgency even when the bladder is not completely full. Chronic bladder spasms are a common cause for urge incontinence which is a condition which develops as a result of delayed urination or variable amount of urine output. The cause for this is variable and is different from individual to individual but neurological diseases, infections, surgery, catheter insertion, and food irritations all may have a role to play in the development of this condition. Common symptoms of bladder spasms include frequent urination, urinary urgency, and leaking or dribbling of urine. While there are various causes for such spasms, it is worth knowing how certain foods trigger up a bladder spasm.

Foods That Trigger Bladder Spasms

Foods That Trigger Bladder Spasms

People, who have been struggling with the discomfort and embarrassment of a bladder control problem, may be looking for ways to improve it. Fortunately, simple life style and dietary modifications, altering the intake of certain foods or behavior therapies to enhance their response to medication and ease this problem. For instance, certain foods can cause bladder spasms. So, by simply avoiding those foods, future flare-ups can be prevented.

Some foods that trigger bladder spasms are:


Eating foods high on sugar like sweets or beverages tend to irritate the bladder and are one of the most important foods that trigger bladder spasms. Foods which contain variants of sugar like sucrose, corn syrup, honey, and molasses can irritate the bladder in people vulnerable to bladder problems. Consuming large quantities of sugar products leads to an overgrowth of yeast in body causing infection of the bladder with resultant and bladder spasm. Hence, the consumption of pastries, doughnuts, cakes, ice-cream, cupcakes, granulated sugar, candy, maple syrup, hot chocolate, and soft drinks should be taken in moderation if you cannot completely avoid it.


People who are prone to bladder spasms should limit or avoid the intake of coffee since it can irritate the bladder. Most coffees contain some amount of the natural stimulant and diuretic called caffeine, which can cause frequent urination. According to medical experts, frequent urination can aggravate the bladder and lead to bladder spasms, especially in people suffering from bladder problems like urge incontinence. Coffee also contains acid which can concentrate urine and trigger a burning sensation while urinating. Other foods and drinks which contain high levels of caffeine are cola, black tea and chocolate. These are some of the foods that trigger bladder spasms.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods should be eaten with caution since they can aggravate the bladder and cause bladder spasms. Spicy foods are known to irritate the bladder which in turn leads to involuntary contraction of bladder muscles and worsening bladder spasms. This is more common in people having interstitial cystitis. It is a medical condition affecting the bladder which causes a burning sensation and pain in the bladder region or the pelvic area. Spicy foods which trigger bladder spasms are chili pepper, onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Citrus Fruit

Eating citrus fruits also can cause bladder spasms. Citrus fruits as the name suggest have citric acid which tends to irritate the lining of bladder and cause bladder spasms in people who are vulnerable to bladder infections. Lemons, grapefruits, limes, tangerines, cranberries, fruit punch, oranges and tomatoes are some foods with a high citric acid content. These are the foods that can trigger bladder spasms.

Excess Fluids

Just like foods, even the amount of fluid which one drinks can influence their bladder habits. Drinking excess of fluids can lead to frequent urination. Drinking excessive fluids in a short span of time can overload the bladder and create severe urinary urgency. So, when you are considering the foods that trigger bladder spasms, quantity of fluid intake must also be considered.

Even if an individual requires consumption of more fluids due to exercising or working outdoors they need not take in all the fluids in one go. Smaller amounts should be consumed all through the day, like 16 oz with meals, and around 7 oz in between meals. Ones who wake up many times at night to void should drink more of fluids during daytime instead of drinking at night. They should avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine both of which increase production of urine. It should always be remembered that beverages are not the only source of fluids but foods like soup also increase fluid consumption. Even drinking low quantity of fluids causes buildup of discarded products in the urine. Highly concentrated urine tends to have a dark yellow color with extremely strong odor. This can cause irritation of the bladder and increase urinary frequency and urgency.

These are some of the foods which trigger bladder spasms, so you can plan a healthy diet, based on your complaints.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 30, 2018

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