LITERATURE REVIEW Impact of the consumption of carbonated drinks on the incidence, severity and progression of overactive bladder syndrome in women
Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) affects approximately 20% of the adult female population. Lifestyle management, including modification of fluid consumption, is one of the first-line treatments for OAB, and the lay literature often recommends a reduction in the consumption of carbonated drinks as part of this approach. National and international guidelines on management of OAB recommend a reduction in the consumption of caffeine, but no guidance is given in relation to carbonated drinks. Consequently, it is a challenge for healthcare professionals to give patients evidence-based guidance on the importance of eliminating carbonated drinks as part of the management of OAB. Therefore, the aim of this critical review is to examine the available evidence regarding the effects of carbonated drink consumption on the incidence, severity and progression of OAB in women. A detailed literature search was undertaken and five key articles were identified. These papers varied in quality. Notable limitations included a general lack of clarity over the definition of carbonated drinks, small sample sizes and a lack of control for confounding factors in three of the five studies. However, it can be concluded that the available evidence suggests that the consumption of carbonated drinks increases the incidence of OAB, and may increase the severity and progression of its symptoms. Therefore, it would seem sensible to advise women with OAB to trial the elimination of carbonated drinks from their diet for a 1–2-week period while they self-monitor symptoms. Only when a stronger evidence base emerges would it be appropriate to develop local, national and international guidelines.
Keywords: carbonated drinks, overactive bladder, urinary frequency, urinary urgency