Sick of nighttime bathroom runs and uncomfortable UTIs? You should be! Bladder health is inadequately discussed, considering your bladder is not only fundamental in your body’s elimination of waste but affects your daily routine. For both short-term and long-term benefits, your bladder must operate healthily and efficiently.
Here are five ways to maintain your bladder health, and therefore, overall well-being:
1. Change Your Lifestyle
Smoking increases your health risks on many fronts, including your bladder. The damage done by smoking is irreversible. It deteriorates your bladder health, and will likely lead to you seeking bladder cancer treatment, as it is a leading risk factor.
Exercise is also an important part of bladder health. Staying active, even just by going on walks, keeps your body from retaining fluid. Fluid retention should be avoided because it causes unusually frequent urination as well as nighttime bladder activity, which can disturb your sleep. Exercise can also help prevent incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a condition in which urine involuntarily leaks from the urethra. Though you, and everybody you know, have most likely experienced it, incontinence can be a very embarrassing problem. Exercises such as Kegels are a great way to keep your pelvic floor strong and your bladder under control.
2. Watch Your Diet
The way you fuel your body directly affects the health of your bladder, so it’s important to make wise dietary choices. Unhealthy foods such as anything fatty or high in sugar should be limited. Foods high in fibre and vitamins are best.
Excessive alcohol consumption can have a harsh effect on your bladder. Alcohol, or any acidic drink, is an irritant to your bladder lining. Other beverages that are best consumed in moderation include citrus juices, soft drinks, and coffee. It’s important to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water as this flushes out bacteria lurking in your bladder. Certain fruit juices or fruit supplements, such as cranberry and pear, are believed to have soothing effects on the bladder.
3. Avoid UTIs
Urinary tract infections are very common, especially in women. Most UTIs are bladder infections. These typically occur when bacteria travel up the urethra and into the bladder, but can also be a result of holding urine for too long, causing bacteria to multiple. They are usually characterised by:
- Cloudy or dark urine
- Frequent urination
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Bladder and/or pelvic pain
- Blood in urine
Bladder infections can be prevented by wiping front to back, urinating after sexual intercourse, staying hydrated, and emptying your bladder four to six times a day. If an infection does form, you should properly treat it in a timely manner. Not only will it make you incredibly uncomfortable, but it can lead to other serious complications such as kidney infections. Though over-the-counter products can manage the symptoms of bladder infections, antibiotics are the most effective way to cure them.
4. Follow Safety Precautions
Chemicals found in certain work environments can be damaging to the health of your bladder. Occupations involving the following can put you at risk for damaging exposure if proper safety precautions are not adhered to:
- Hair dye
5. Listen to Your Body
Your body is more intuitive than you think. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of life and ignore your body’s needs, but self-care is vital to your overall well-being. It’s important to put aside stressors and take some time for your health. If you feel the urge to urinate, go. If your urine is dark, make a point to drink more water. If you feel a burning sensation when you urinate, seek UTI treatment. If you are a smoker and experiencing issues with your bladder, make a doctor’s appointment. When it comes to the health of your bladder, half of the battle is acknowledging what your body is trying to tell you.
Keeping your bladder healthy and happy is well within your grasp. Start out making easy adjustments, such as consuming more water and less highly acidic beverages. Add more exercise into your routine and more high-fibre foods into your diet. Follow safety precautions not only when it comes to personal hygiene, but exposure to harsh chemicals. Lastly, find a way to quit smoking that works for you as the effect this habit has on your bladder is likely to result in cancer.