People rarely talk about bladder disease, but most of us are affected by it. The bladder is a hollow and balloon-like organ located in the lower abdomen that stores urine. Generally 1 In 6 Men Who Lack This Prostate Nutrient, Risk Total Kidney Shutdown
Waste and extra fluid are left over in the urine after the body takes out what it needs from food and drink. Each day, adults pass about one-half of waste and excess fluid through the bladder and out of the body in the form of urine.
With age, changes occur in the bladder. An older man’s bladder may be less stretchy. A less flexible bladder may not be able to hold as much urine as before and may therefore have to go to the bathroom more often. The muscles of the bladder wall and pelvic floor become weak, making it difficult to empty the bladder completely and urine leaking out.
While you can’t control everything that affects your bladder, here are 15 steps you can take to keep it as healthy as possible:
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- Try to urinate at least once every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and increase your chances of getting a bladder infection.
Use the bathroom often and when necessary.
- Stay in a comfortable position while urinating. Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. For women, hovering over the toilet seat can make it difficult to relax, so it’s best to sit on the toilet seat.
- When urinating, take enough time to empty the bladder completely. Rushing when you urinate can prevent you from emptying your bladder completely. If urine stays in the bladder for too long, it can make it more likely to cause a bladder infection.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Women should wipe from front to back to prevent intestinal bacteria from entering the urethra. This step is the most important after a bowel movement.
- Pee after sex. Sexual activity can move bacteria from the bowel or vaginal cavity to the opening of the urethra. Both women and men should urinate immediately after sex to reduce the risk of infection.
- Exercise pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercise can strengthen these muscles, which can help prevent urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, get up, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate. These exercises may also help avoid infection by strengthening the muscles that help empty the bladder.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Wearing loose cotton clothing will help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting pants and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems as well as constipation. It can also help maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight may be at a higher risk of urine leakage. Making healthy food choices and being physically active can help maintain a healthy weight.
Watch what you eat Some people with bladder problems find that certain foods and drinks, such as soda, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and tomato-based foods, make bladder problems worse. Changing your diet may help you feel better.
Drink enough fluids, especially water. More than half of the human body is made up of water, so it is important that you are drinking enough water. How much water you need varies depending on your size, activity level, and where you live. In general, drink enough fluids so that you don’t need to urinate every few hours. Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions such as kidney failure or heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid is healthy for you.
Limit alcohol and caffeine. For many people, drinking alcohol can make bladder problems worse. Caffeinated beverages (such as coffee, tea, and most sodas) can irritate the bladder and increase symptoms such as the frequent or urgent need to urinate. Cutting back may help.
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