Asking the Painful Question: Can Tea Irritate Your Bladder?
If you are suffering from bladder issues, then your first instinct will be to take a closer look at your diet. And, if you are a habitual tea drinker, you will naturally ponder the question, can tea irritate your bladder?
Well, there isn't a straightforward answer here, unfortunately. This is because there are many different factors at play here. Let’s take a look at all the different angles to arrive at a clear answer…
What are the Symptoms of Bladder Irritation?
What you typically think of as bladder irritation is actually non-infectious cystitis. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this type of cystitis. However, it is more common in women than in men.
Some of the symptoms that you may associate with this condition are:
- Pain or discomfort in the bladder
- Pressure in the bladder, making it feel full
- Increased urgency to urinate
- Urinating more frequently
- Possible discomfort or issues with urination
Can Tea Cause Irritation?
The thing to bear in mind here is that tea isn't automatically a bladder irritant. After all, millions of people around the world drink tea every day without experiencing any side effects. However, for some people, tea may be an irritant.
And, if you have ever wondered is tea bad for cystitis, then you should know that your daily brew can exacerbate the symptoms associated with this condition. Thus, if you have been diagnosed with any kind of cystitis, it is best to limit your intake of tea.
Why Does Tea Irritate the Bladder?
As you are aware, most trues can be slightly acidic. The exact pH can depend on the type of tea and how it is brewed. If your bladder is sensitive to this acid, then the acid can act as an irritant. The acid may irritate the lining of the bladder or have a negative impact on the nervous system that controls your bladder.
As for the caffeine, it is known to increase bladder activity. Now, if you are already experiencing symptoms like an increased need to urinate, then caffeine is going to make this problem worse. You may even find yourself dealing with incontinence.
How to Identify Tea as the Cause of Bladder Irritation
As mentioned, tea isn't always to blame for bladder irritation. So, how can you be certain that it is tea that is responsible for your current state? Well, the best way to do this is through the process of elimination.
If you feel like tea is to blame, remove it from your diet completely. Don’t switch to decaf options as these may still have acidity levels that can irritate your bladder. Not to mention, decaf teas still contain a small amount of caffeine.
You may not experience relief right away. In some instances, you may need to discontinue tea for up to 2 weeks. If your symptoms have cleared up by then, tea may have been the cause of your health problems. If the issue continues, then there is another source to consider.
What Tea is Good For Your Bladder?
There are some teas that are good for your bladder and can actually help to overcome bladder irritation. Your two best options are chamomile and peppermint tea. They can work to reduce inflammation and hopefully help with discomfort in the bladder.
Honey has also been found to be rather soothing. Thus, you can always add some honey to these teas to help increase the effectiveness of the brews.
How Do You Calm an Irritated Bladder?
If you do have bladder irritation, it is important to go see a doctor. Bear in mind, it is possible that you are suffering from an infection. As such, you will need a course of antibiotics to get rid of the problem. The doctor may also need to run additional tests to determine if there is another issue at work.
Apart from this, you can take steps to promote a healthy bladder. This includes drinking plenty of water. This can help to flush both irritants and bacteria out at a faster rate. Avoid spices, caffeinated beverages, acid fruits, and anything else that could potentially irritate your bladder further.
Make sure to urinate as necessary – don’t hold it in as this can exacerbate the issue. Also, make sure to empty your bladder completely every time that you go to the bathroom.
This is what you should be aware of regarding whether or not tea can irritate your bladder. Now that you have all the facts, you will now what action to take.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.