The physicians of Sound Urology wish to share the best ways to keep your bladder healthy this month
- Your bladder, a hollow organ in your pelvis that stores urine from your kidneys, is one of those body parts that is only noticed when it stops working properly. Certain problems affecting your bladder can cause painful urination or urine leakage at unwanted times. Simple lifestyle changes and exercises, however, can help ensure that your bladder keeps doing its job.
- Women are especially prone to urinary tract infections, which often involved the bladder. One way to reduce your risk is to make sure that you empty your bladder when urinating.
- Drinking plenty of water – at least eight glasses daily – can flush bacteria out of your urinary tract and help prevent bladder infections. If you’re bothered by a constant need to empty your bladder and you’re drinking fluids throughout the day, reduce your intake. Also, limit caffeinated sodas and coffee, as they will make you urinate more.
- Some people may develop fluid build-up in their legs during the day. At night, this fluid is released and causes them to urinate frequently. If you have fluid retention in your legs that’s causing an active bladder overnight, try walking more throughout the day. If you can’t walk, flex your calf muscles and raise your legs to waist level. Ask your doctor for more tips.
- Every year, more than 50,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer. Using tobacco is a major risk factor. Cigarette smokers have two to three times higher risk of bladder cancer than nonsmokers. If you’re still smoking or using other forms of tobacco, it’s important to stop. Talk to your doctor about how to quit smoking.
- Kegal exercises are done to strengthen muscles that allow for better bladder control. Weak muscles can contribute to urine leakage, called urinary incontinence. If you’re having bladder control issues, talk to your doctor about whether Kegel exercises are appropriate.
- Sexual intercourse can contribute to bladder infections in women. A women’s urethra – a tube through which a person urinates – is located where bacteria are naturally found. Urinating before and after sex helps flush any bacteria out of the urethra so they don’t spur a bladder infection.
- A condition called interstitial cystitis, which is much more common in women than men, causes bladder pain, urgent urination, and sometimes urinary incontinence. Some people find that certain foods worsen their bladder symptoms. Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus may be linked to flare-ups. Alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine, and spicy foods can also irritate your bladder. Keep a diary of your symptoms and see if you can connect them to any foods.
- If you’re getting up too much at night to urinate, limit fluid consumption after dinner.
- If you feel that you’re urinating too often, keep a bladder diary of how often you visit the restroom and how often you’re drinking throughout the day. Keeping this diary if you have episodes of urinary incontinence will help show you and your doctor what factors might be involved in the problem.
- Blood in the urine is never normal. This can be caused by a bladder or kidney infection, kidney stones, or kidney or bladder cancer. If you see blood in the urine, schedule an appointment to see your doctor immediately.
If you would like more information about bladder health, call Sound Urology for an appointment at