There are simple steps you can take to help keep your bladder healthy. November is Bladder Health Month and this is a perfect time of year to get the facts about these issues. Here are six simple tips that could help you improve or maintain your bladder's health.
1. Drink plenty of water
Strive to drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day. Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink as these may upset your bladder. Limit your intake of coffee, tea or cola as these can heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage
2. Use good bathroom habits
It's normal to go to the bathroom 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice a night. If you go more than twice a night, you may have a condition called nocturia. Women should sit to go to the toilet as they should not hover over the toilet seat. Take your time when on the toilet so that your bladder can empty. If you rush, and do not empty your bladder fully, you could increase your risk for a bladder infection.
3. Stay away from foods that bother the bladder
Some foods can worsen urinary incontinence. Make sure to limit your intake of foods like chocolate (also a source of caffeine), as well as spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
4. Take care of your pelvic floor muscles
Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with pelvic floor muscle training. Read our pelvic floor muscles article to learn more about the possible benefits of kegel exercises.
5. Stop smoking
It's of great value to your bladder health when you stop smoking. Using tobacco is a major cause of bladder cancer. Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to be told they have bladder cancer, than nonsmokers.
6. Speak freely about your bladder health!
Tell your healthcare provider about your symptoms. You may feel embarrassed; but keep in mind, your healthcare provider is used to hearing about all kinds of problems. They are very common and there are a number of treatments available.
Many bladder conditions can be handled through simple lifestyle changes, behavior modifications, medication, bladder retraining or surgery. If you feel you may have symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor or health care provider.