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Written by

Kate Dyson

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Kate is a content specialist who is passionate about women's health. She's also mum to three kids, two dogs and unsurprisingly, a lover of wine.

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Glossary

For words you might want to know more

Vitamin Deficiency

This term refers to the condition where the body lacks essential vitamins, which can lead to various health issues, including problems with bladder control and overall function.

Overactive bladder (OAB)

Describes a condition characterised by a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, often exacerbated by hormonal changes during menstruation.

Over-supplementation

This term describes the intake of vitamins in excessive amounts, which can lead to toxic effects and adverse health reactions, including issues with the bladder such as irritation and frequent urination.

Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Bladder Problems?

Bladder health is an essential aspect of overall well-being, particularly for women. Various factors contribute to bladder function, including hydration, pelvic floor strength, and diet. One often overlooked component is the role of vitamins in maintaining a healthy bladder. This article delves into how vitamin deficiencies can affect bladder health, the potential adverse effects of excessive vitamin intake, and which vitamins can help with bladder control.

The Role of Vitamins in Our Body

Vitamins are organic compounds that our bodies need in small amounts to function correctly. They play crucial roles in numerous biological processes, including metabolism, immune function, and cell repair. Each vitamin has specific functions, and a deficiency in any of them can lead to health issues.

When it comes to our bladder health, certain vitamins are particularly important for us to consider because they support muscle function, nerve signalling, and tissue health in this important organ.

How common is vitamin deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency is a significant issue in the UK. According to a report by Public Health England, about one in five adults is vitamin D deficient - in fact, it's the most common deficiency in men especially. The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency varies but is notable among older adults and those with certain dietary restrictions or those who are vegan and vegetarian.

Despite the abundance of food choices that we have in the UK, nearly 800,000 people were admitted to hospital in 2022 as a result of nutritional deficiencies. It's important that we look at our nutritional intake as part of understanding the role vitamins have on our whole health - but especially our bladder.

The Impact of Vitamin Deficiency on Bladder Health

Vitamin deficiencies can lead to various health problems, including issues with bladder control. Here are a few ways in which deficiencies might impact bladder health:

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and muscle function. A deficiency can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, leading to urinary incontinence.

In a 2024 meta-analysis published in PubMed, an increase in overactive bladder was observed in people with vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin B12: This vitamin is crucial for nerve health. A deficiency can lead to nerve damage, affecting the bladder's ability to signal properly when it is full, potentially leading to incontinence or urinary retention. A blood test can help you to understand if your symptoms are related to B12 deficiency.

Vitamin C: This is a tricky one for our bladders! We know that vitamin C is important for our overall health and immune function, but many woman find that too much vitamin C can irritate the bladder lining and worsen conditions like interstitial cystitis and need-to-go urgency. However, there is also research that vitamin C can support urinary health and prevent urinary tract infections. As ever, speak to your GP if you are unsure.

Vitamins in our food

Getting an adequate amount of vitamins from our food is ideal and ensuring that you are eating a balanced diet is important for our health. Foods rich in the vitamins mentioned include:

Sources of Vitamin D: Fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), fortified dairy products, and exposure to sunlight - just 15 mins can do wonders (but always be safe in the sun!)

Sources of Vitamin B12: Meat, dairy products, and fortified cereals.

Sources of Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli.

Can your vitamin levels be too high and what does that mean for our bladder?

It can be tricky to ensure that you are meeting your vitamin need through diet alone, especially when we are on the go, or working, or travelling. For busy lives, supplementation can help to meet our nutritional needs - but it's important to understanding the risks too as there can be adverse reactions to high doses of supplements including vitamins.

Taking too much of any particular vitamin can lead to adverse reactions in the body, including the bladder.

Vitamin 'overdose' is where someone takes over the required dose, for an extended period of time. This can cause hypervitaminosis, a condition resulting from the toxic effects of consuming vitamins in excessive amounts.

If you are concerned that your levels of vitamins are too high, general symptoms are nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain - but it may irritate your bladder too. Also keep an eye on bladder irritation, frequent urination, and the formation of kidney stones, which can obstruct the urinary tract and exacerbate bladder problems.

If you are concerned about your vitamin intake, it's important to speak to your GP, who can check your vitamin levels in a blood test and advise the best way forward for your body.

3 Vitamins that can help with bladder control

While bladder control can be improved by many factors, these three vitamins are known to help support and improve your bladder health:

  1. Vitamin D: Supports pelvic floor muscle strength and overall bladder function. Ensuring adequate levels can help reduce the risk of urinary incontinence.

  2. Vitamin B12: Essential for maintaining nerve health, which is critical for proper bladder signalling and function.

  3. Magnesium: Although not a vitamin, magnesium is important for muscle function and can help reduce bladder spasms and improve bladder control.

Jude’s clinically proven supplements give you better bladder and pelvic floor control, helping you sleep through the night and regain the freedom to live life on your own terms. With just one capsule morning and night, you'll have relief from need-to-go urgency in just 12 weeks.

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