The bladder is part of the urinary system and has the role of storing urine until you are ready to eliminate it. A properly working urinary system and bladder can hold up to two cups of urine for five hours, notes the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. However, when body acid level is too high the result is increased bile acid production. The liver creates bile and in the process of digestion, bile acids are concentrated in the gallbladder. This complex process between the urinary and digestive systems impacts how acids are metabolized in your body. In the event of high body acidity, you can develop problems in the bladder, such as interstitial cystitis or gall stones. Depending on the severity of the condition, medical intervention and dietary changes necessitate returning your body to neutral acid-base balance.
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Get a physical exam to determine symptom origin. Acidity in the bladder can result in symptoms associated with urinary tract infections, kidney stones or interstitial cystitis. Tests commonly used to determine the cause of bladder problems and acidity include urine pH or more invasive methods involving insertion of a catheter into the urethra. Talk to your physician about symptoms and your dietary habits to determine the best course of action for healing your bladder.
Start keeping track of your food intake. Certain foods can irritate symptoms, but this is subject to the individual. Write down your daily food intake for a week and rate your symptoms after each meal. According to the National Women's Health Information Center website, Womenshealth.gov, foods that can worsen symptoms such as alcohol, caffeine and chocolate, do so by forming a highly acidic environment in your body during digestion. Recognizing the foods that cause irritation can help you avoid consumption in order to neutralize the acids.
Choose foods considered as alkaline. Acid-alkaline balance, or pH level, refers to how much acid is retained in the body. A diet that is neutral or alkaline focused keeps your kidneys healthy, which impacts the bladder and other organs involved in the urinary system. Foods that neutralize acid are rated as low, middle or high alkaline. The majority of foods that restore acid balance are fruits and vegetables. Although certain fruits and vegetables are acidic in natural form, this changes once your body metabolizes the food. For instance, eating an orange or lemon actually lowers the acidity of your body, once digested.
Limit consumption of meats and grains. For short-term acid-base balance, consider limiting the amount of meat and grains you eat in daily meals. The website Trans4mind.com notes that meats test as alkaline before digestion, however, once metabolized by your body, meat forms acids. This is also the case for certain grain and dairy products. Once you are able to neutralize your acid-base balance, incorporate meats, grains and dairy back into your diet. Maintain bladder and organ health by consuming a 60 percent alkaline to 40 percent acid-forming, daily meal ratio, states Trans4mind.com. Consult your physician before cutting these food groups out of your diet to determine safety for your condition.
Take prescribed medications. The severity of your condition determines the type of medical intervention needed. In some cases, medications are prescribed to treat the underlying cause of acidity in the bladder. A sodium bicarbonate solution, which is baking soda mixed with water, is an acute method used to neutralize acids. Stronger medications are prescribed to treat additional symptoms for pain and swelling. Do not take medications without physician consent.
Plant-based supplements can restore acid-base balance, however, consuming natural and raw vegetables also serves this purpose. Do not take supplements without physician consent. Fruit and vegetable exceptions that are acidic once digested include pickled produce, and canned fruit.
In severe cases of bladder disturbance, surgery may be required.
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Your Urinary System and How It Works
- Trans4Mind: Balancing Acid/Alkaline Foods
- Womenshealth.gov: Interstitial Cystitis Bladder Pain Syndrome
- Pubmed: "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition"; Plant-Based Dietary Supplement Increases Urinary pH; John Berardi et al; November 2008
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.