Have A Healthy Bladder!
A big percentage of people experience incontinence as they grow older. For some, they experience it as they have underlying health problems, that is why it is important to always be mindful of your bladder at all times. Although bladder control issues such as urinary incontinence cannot always be avoided, good habits can help keep your bladder as healthy as possible.
Before we dive into the tips, here are indications that you have a healthy bladder :
- Urinating four to six times per day, and once (or not at all) at night
- Urine that is usually pale yellow – dark yellow or brown urine may indicate that you are not drinking enough (dehydration) (dehydration)
- Producing bowel movements (poo) three times per day to three times per week
- Having soft and easy-to-pass bowel movements
- Not having any unintentional leaks
Here are tips on how to keep your bladder healthy:
Maintain a healthy diet.
It is always best to maintain a healthy diet! Obesity and diabetes, for example, are risk factors for UI that can be avoided through healthy eating. There is no direct scientific evidence that nutrition improves or worsens UI.
Many people believe that alcohol, spicy foods, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, caffeinated, carbonated, and citrus beverages, and high-acid foods like citrus and tomatoes can cause bladder irritation and inflammation, which can lead to UI. You should avoid these foods and beverages for a while to see if your symptoms improve. If you’re trying to avoid certain foods that aggravate your UI, a registered dietitian can help you plan meals.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Drink enough liquids to require urination every few hours. Learn what’s normal for you and avoid dehydration. If you are drinking enough liquids, your urine should be pale yellow. Consult your doctor about how much liquid you should drink based on your size, activity level, and where you live. Water is the best option. However, if you have kidney or heart failure, you should avoid drinking excessive amounts of water.
Alter your bathroom habits.
When you need to use the restroom, make sure you go there. People frequently hold their urine because it is inconvenient to use the restroom. However, holding your urine in on a regular basis can strain your bladder muscles. Holding urine also increases your chances of developing a bladder infection. Bladder infections can result in UI.
When urinating, women should try to relax the muscles around their bladder to make it easier to pass urine. It’s best to sit on the toilet seat or crouch completely. Hovering over a toilet seat to avoid touching it prevents muscles from fully relaxing, and urine may remain in the bladder. Allow yourself as much time as you need to urinate and completely empty your bladder.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Prevention of bladder control problems (urinary incontinence) & bladder health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems/preventionIncontinence – prevention tips. Incontinence – prevention tips – Better Health Channel. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/incontinence-prevention-tips