Top Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy
Urinary incontinence is best defined as loss of bladder control, resulting in the involuntary leakage of urine. There are several types of incontinence but the two most prevalent are stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Urge incontinence is a involuntary loss of urine preceded by a sudden desire to pass urine whereas stress incontinence occurs when activity such as coughing, sneezing or laughing causes an increased pressure on the bladder resulting in leakage. Perhaps factors such as age, pregnancy, surgery or obesity may contribute to loss of bladder control, however there are steps you can take to ensure your bladder remains healthier for longer. As many people stop participating in activities, shying away from social situation’s with embarrassment and a lack of self-esteem, we’ve compiled some steps that may empower you to take back control of your bladder and move forward with confidence.
#1. Maintain a healthy weight
Every aspect of your health and well-being requires you to maintain a healthy weight, and in respect of incontinence and bladder issues, the heavier you are the more weight presses on the bladder. Ensuring you engage in adequate exercise and consume a moderate diet power packed with fresh fruit and vegetables can help prevent incontinence and benefit your overall health. If your diet is in need of supplementation, try a comprehensive multi-vitamin such as the ReviveActive Health Food Supplement for additional support and energy.
#2. Do Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises involve squeezing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, which connect nerves to the bladder. Kegels are the optimal method of maintaining life long bladder control. It is particularly vital that you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles prior to having children and in between pregnancies. It is not unusual for the pressures of childbirth to damage the natural support of the bladder and uretha. Kegel exercises are recommended for both men and women of all ages. Why not try our Kegel8 range of Kegel exercisers including the best-selling Kegel8 Tight & Tone Electronic Pelvic Toner .
#3. Exercise caution with medication
For many people medication is a necessary component of their everyday health, however there are certain types of medications that can actually worsen incontinence such as diuretics and opioids. In general this side effect isn’t enough to stop taking a prescribed medication, but it may prove beneficial to consult with your doctor to see if a different medication may be easier on the bladder.
#4. Watch what you’re drinking
Of course beer, coffee, tea and soft drinks can increase bladder activity and lead to leakage, particularly with anything containing alcohol, and just like anything in life, moderation is the key. Often people drink far too much which will naturally increase bladder action but it’s also important not to drink too little. Not drinking enough can lead to concentrated urine and constipation which can irritate the bladder, resulting in incontinence. The recommended amount of fluid is 2 litres per day.
#5. Watch what you’re eating
Many foods act as allergens that we know, but did you know that certain foods can actually worsen incontinence in certain people? Common foods that irritate the urinary tract include chocolate and foods that contain caffeine as well as spicy and acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits. Try an elimination diet to identify potential culprits, by eliminating one type of food every two to three weeks, keeping track of symptoms and improvement.
#6. Quit smoking, don’t smoke!
Not only does smoking increase the risk of all types of cancer, but it also increases the risk of bladder cancer over the longer term. In the short term, cigarette smoke and nicotine also work as immediate bladder irritants, which can trigger the bladder to leak and dump urine. Also chronic coughs often associated with cigarette smoking can lead to accidental leakage.
#7. Protect yourself from UTI’s
Bacteria caused by urinary tract infections can invade the bladder and weaken the muscles in the urethra. While it is not a common trigger, for those prone to incontinence it can cause leakage. It is recommended that you empty your bladder before and after sex to reduce your risk of UTI’s. If you notice symptoms of a UTI , drink cranberry juice to limit bacterial growth in the urinary tract, again in moderation as too much acid content may increase your incontinence risk.
#8. Prostate Health
In men the prostate gland is situated just beneath the bladder, encircling the urethra, and as a man ages the prostate gland enlarges which can have a profound effect on his urinary health. Fortunately there are many treatments available for an enlarged prostrate, and incontinence is a common side effect as a result of prostrate cancer treatment, however there are treatments available less likely to cause incontinence than others, and all men should discuss their options with their health care provider. However all men who do develop incontinence problems will benefit from Kegel exercises such as those stimulated by the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Toner.
#9. Avoid constipation
The consumption of fibre and fluids will help to keep your bowels in good running order and can support the healthy functioning of the neighbouring bladder also. A full rectum applies pressure on the bladder and increases the need to void more frequently and urgently.