George Krucik, MD, MBA
Frequent urination is defined by the need to urinate more often than usual and can be caused by urinary tract infection, pregnancy, overactive bladder, medication, neurological conditions, diabetes and prostate issues. Diet is a major contributor to frequent urination, but when under control, a proper diet can help remedy the condition. It may be difficult at first to determine exactly which foods are causing the frequent urination; therefore, keeping a daily journal of foods and beverages will assist in identifying what foods are causing the problem. While a diet high in fiber helps in reducing frequent urination, there are certain foods to avoid.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant and diuretic that fills the bladder, and needing to void urine on a regular basis. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and soda. To reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet, limit the number of cups of coffee or cans of soda you consume daily.
Gluten is a form of protein found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. These grains each have slightly different proteins collectively known as prolamins. The promalins cause problems for people who can't tolerate gluten in their diet. A diet high in gluten can cause frequent urination. Foods high in gluten include bread, pasta, pretzels, muffins and pizza.
Highly acidic foods sometimes trigger a reaction resulting in frequent urination. Such acidic foods include salsa, sodas, teas, coffee, cranberry juice and orange juice.
Alcohol found in wine, beer, and hard liquor, interferes neurologically with the function of the bladder by affecting the muscles that control urine flow, causing frequent urination. If consumption is excessive dehydration may occur creating more complications such as a urinary tract infection.
Spicy foods irritate the bladder much in the same way that caffeine stimulates the bladder. Avoid spicy foods such as chili peppers, jalapeño peppers, horse radish, curry, salsa, Mexican foods and Chinese foods.
People who have kidney disease and frequent urination should limit the intake of phosphorus found in dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, beans and meat. Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is required by every cell in the body for normal function; however, if too much is consumed, frequent urination can result.