Your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Could Irritate Your Bladder
Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us and, as you prepare, you may be looking forward to indulging in some traditional Irish fare. If you have urge incontinence, overactive bladder, or interstitial cystitis, there is a possibility that some of the popular celebratory food items you’d typically enjoy might irritate your bladder. People with either of these conditions, both of which cause a sudden urge to urinate, are often advised to keep a food diary to identify substances that may trigger their urgency. Here, we discuss a few of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day delicacies that might need to be added to the list. Keep in mind that every person is so unique that, while some of these foods may have no effect on one person, they may be highly irritating to another. These include:
- Corned Beef Corned. This beef dish is cured by soaking the meat in salt and pickling spices. It is this process of curing that creates the potential for bladder irritation. As an alternative to corned beef, a less irritating option might be meat that is not processed or canned and does not contain nitrates.
- Irish Stew. Oh, but a nice bowl of stew can taste so delicious! The potential irritant in this particular dish is the tomato product that may be used. Whether stewed fresh or added in paste form, tomatoes are among the most common bladder irritants. Additionally, the use of Worcestershire sauce may also cause bladder irritation.
- Guinness Beer. What says Irish but a good, dark Guinness beer? This traditional Dublin-brewed beverage may be a treat on St. Patrick’s Day, but it may not feel so great once the alcohol hits the bladder. As an alternative, try the new Guinness 0.0 nonalcoholic version developed by the original brewing company themselves.
- Irish Coffee. Next to Guinness, the good old Irish Coffee may be one of the cornerstones of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Here, we have two potential irritants. The first is the whiskey that is used in the concoction. The second is the primary ingredient, coffee. Even decaffeinated coffee can irritate the bladder, so it is a beverage that most people with urge incontinence or overactive bladder should avoid.
St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a fun day to celebrate and enjoy traditional foods and beverages. We’re not here to ruin your fun but to inform you of potential pitfalls. Maybe you don’t need to avoid all of the items mentioned here, but you might want to pay close attention to how they affect your bladder so you can limit them come next year’s celebration. Dr. Shridharani is a men’s health specialist and board-certified urologist serving patients in the Chattanooga area. If you are experiencing urge incontinence or signs of other forms of incontinence or bladder troubles and would like to work through them with a compassionate physician, contact us at 423-778-4MEN (4636) for an appointment.