Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. I am not a healthcare professional. This is my own anecdotal experience. Please consult your physician for medical advice.
In recent years as people find ways to reduce their intake of sugar, they have been turning to sweeteners such as stevia as an alternative. Stevia is a plant-based, natural and authentic-tasting sweetener that is now available in a wide array of products from soft drinks to baked goods.
About a year ago, my wife and I started purchasing soft drinks sweetened with stevia. We were drinking about 2-3 cans of these drinks per day. At the time I developed significant bladder urgency problems. I naturally attributed this to my BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) condition that affects my enlarged prostate and thought it would go away on its own.
For some reason, I eventually realized that when I cut back on the stevia-sweetened soft drinks my bladder urgency problems greatly diminished and eventually ceased. I have since stopped drinking these soft drinks and limited my intake of stevia whenever possible.
Not surprisingly, my wife developed bladder urgency problems as well. It was getting to the point where she could not travel — drive a car or fly on an airplane. It was debilitating. She went to her primary care physician and he prescribed her expensive drugs ($400 per month) to help alleviate this problem. Clearly, this was not something she wanted to do.
We got to talking and she realized she was drinking a lot of stevia-sweetened soft drinks as well. I told her that I believed that excessive consumption of stevia might be a cause of my bladder urgency problems. She stopped drinking the soft drinks and her bladder urgency problems have since vanished.
If you, your loved ones, or friends are having bladder urgency problems you may want to consider cutting back on your stevia intake and see if that helps.
I hope that a medical research facility or university will do a peer-reviewed study of the effects of stevia on the bladder in order to help the public with this problem.
Update: Here are comments that a reader left who has been helped by my article
While I agree with everything you said. This is the only place I could find to comment on an article you wrote in 2020 about stevia. I had just found a soft drink with stevia and thought my world was a better place. Until the pain, crippling pain started. I thought I was spitting out another kidney stone! After the cat scan, and the analysis of the urine, I was left with no answer. Maybe an ulcer? Finally, I looked up and found out that stevia is a diuretic! It took me looking about stevia and issues that I found your post! Combined with spastic bladder and the pain, (I had stopped all carbonated drinks, but went back to half a can of the Zevia a day, because I had bought cases of the stuff), it started up again! That stuff is dangerous! Thank you for the only support online that helped me!