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Q&A: What dietary changes would you recommend for someone with OAB?

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[i][b]We're fortunate to have gotten Anne Baker, a certified holistic nutritionist, lecturer and blogger, to provide information about nutrition and how it affects incontinence. This is the first in a series of questions she's going to respond to for us. [/b][/i]

First I’d be sure to check with your doctor to rule out either a chronic bladder infection or a condition called interstitial cystitis. If it’s an infection you’ll want to help your bladder out by eating more foods with Proanthocyanidins, which help prevent bacteria from attaching to the wall of the bladder. These are found in blueberries and cranberries.

Interstitial cystitis can be calmed by avoiding specific foods that are too acidic, such as; tomatoes, cranberries, all citrus fruits, peaches, apricots, and in some cases, grapes, nectarines, tropical fruits, pineapple, and vinegars.

Most urinary conditions benefit from a more alkalizing diet. This means eating more green vegetables such as swiss chard, kale, spinach, lettuces, zucchini, green beans and fresh fruits . Be sure to eat the whole fruit and avoid just drinking the juices, as juice contains too much fructose which can increase risks of insulin resistance. Add fiber with beans and legumes in soups and stews.

Eating a bladder-friendly diet also means strictly limiting or avoiding sugar, and white flour products. (Cconsider a gluten free diet for even better results.) You should also avoid packaged and processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and lunch meats.

Check for hidden food intolerances, too. The most common are to gluten in all forms, specifically dairy, corn, soy and eggs. This type of testing has to be done through specialized labs that most physicians don’t use.

Increase friendly bacteria in your gut by eating naturally-fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir and cultured vegetables.

Be sure to use healthy fats such as extra virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil, and flax seed oil, as well as eating avocados and their oil. Don’t consume soybean oil, canola oil, or corn oil as these do not provide the appropriate fatty acids for proper cell signaling. Adding a good quality fish oil supplement will ensure you’re getting the right fatty acids your body needs.

And finally, do sip water throughout the day tapering off an hour or so before bed.

[i]Anne Baker is a certified holistic nutritionist, lecturer and blogger with a passion for helping people improve their health and minimize the need prescription medications using food as therapy and making lifestyle changes. You can learn more about her methods by visiting her website and signing up for her free eBook here: [url http://www.nourishholisticnutrition.com]www.nourishholisticnutrition.com[/url] [/i]

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