10 ways to keep your bladder healthy
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
There are 35 million adults in the United States who suffer from bladder problems, according to the National Association for Continence. Bladder issues may include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse (POP) disorders, chronic bladder infections, among many others.
Because November, Bladder Health Awareness Month, is all about being more aware of bladder health issues and encouraging people to take control of their bladder health, here are 10 ways to keep your bladder healthy.
- Make sure you’re done going.
Make sure you urinate completely. If you tighten your muscles to stop urinating too soon, the urine that didn’t quite escape will head back to your bladder, which can bring bacteria into your system.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
Drinking 6 to 8 glasses daily can flush bacteria out of your urinary tract and help prevent bladder infections.
- Take a walk.
Fluid retention in your legs can cause an active bladder overnight.
- Avoid tobacco.
Using tobacco is a major risk factor for bladder cancer. Cigarette smokers have a two- to three-times-higher risk.
- Learn proper kegels.
Kegel exercises are done to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that allow for better bladder control. Weak muscles can lead to incontinence.
- Eat cranberries.
The juice from cranberries prevents bacteria from hanging onto the walls of the bladder, helping you steer clear of infections.
- Stop drinking at the wrong time.
If you struggle holding your urine during long commutes or get up frequently during the night to go to the bathroom, you should avoid drinking beverages for two hours before these type of activities.
- Keep a healthy weight.
The heavier you are, the more weight presses on the bladder.
- Use caution with medication.
Many medications can cause or worsen incontinence, from diuretics to opioids. Ask your doctor if there is a different medication that might be easier on your bladder.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
Too much caffeine can irritate your bladder and serve as a diuretic.
Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons treat urinary diseases, urinary tract infections and incontinence, along with bladder, kidney and prostate issues. For information, call 888-437-9613 or request an appointment online.