You are what you eat: the impact of diet on overactive bladder and lower urinary tract symptoms

Maturitas. 2014 Sep;79(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.06.009. Epub 2014 Jun 17.


Overactive bladder (OAB) is a clinical syndrome describing the symptom complex of urgency, with or without urgency incontinence and is usually associated with frequency and nocturia. The symptoms associated with OAB are common and whilst not life threatening are known to have a significant impact on the quality of life (QoL). There is increasing evidence that diet may have a significant role in the development of OAB symptoms. Whilst fluid in-take is known to affect lower urinary tract function the effects of caffeine, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners are less well understood. Consequently the aim of this paper is to review the evidence and investigate the effect of diet on lower urinary tract function and dysfunction.

Keywords: Diet; Incontinence; Overactive bladder; Urgency incontinence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Beverages
  • Body Weight
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Drinking
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / etiology*
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / prevention & control
  • Nocturia / etiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / etiology*
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / prevention & control
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology