6 Top Tips For Coping With Bladder Issues

Have you been struggling with bladder issues lately? You might experience the inability to hold urine or a need to urinate even if your bladder isn’t full. 

Such bladder issues can be debilitating and can negatively impact the quality of your life. 

Bladder control problems are manageable and shouldn’t be something that you have to live with. 

This article highlights some tips that can help you cope with day-to-day bladder issues conveniently.

What Are Bladder Issues?

The bladder is the hollow, round organ located in your lower pelvis that stores urine. This “easy-to-ignore” organ becomes impossible to ignore when you’re unable to empty your bladder or when you leak. 

Common Bladder Issues

Urinary incontinence

This is the loss of bladder control or involuntary leakage of urine. Urinary incontinence affects people of all ages, but it mostly affects older people. It is estimated that about 2-3% of teenagers and 11-34% of older people have urinary incontinence. 

Some of the common causes of urinary incontinence include UTIs, constipation, prostate cancer, and weak pelvic floor muscles

Overactive Bladder (OAB) 

An overactive bladder refers to a group of urinary symptoms, including an uncontrolled urge to urinate, needing to urinate several times at night, and frequent loss of urine. 

OAB affects women more than men, with a prevalence of 3% to 43%. Patients suffering from an overactive bladder may feel embarrassed, stressed and can even develop urinary infections. It is important to note that OAB is not a normal part of aging. 

Interstitial cystitis

This is a chronic bladder condition that causes pelvis pain and problematic urination. Also called bladder pain syndrome, it affects women more than men. 

Some causes of interstitial cystitis include tumors in the bladder, menopause, UTIs, and enlarged prostate

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6 Tips to Cope with Bladder Issues

Bladder issues always require prompt medical attention and treatment. The following are some of the best tips and strategies that can help avoid bladder issues or assist in quick recovery if you are suffering from one.

1) Maintain A Healthy BMI

The risk of developing bladder issues increases when you’re obese or overweight. In a study of women aged over 70 years, it was reported that the risk of urinary incontinence was twofold higher in women who had the highest BMI. 

You’re more likely to suffer from urinary leakage when you gain weight. Losing weight can help combat bladder issues, especially urinary incontinence. 

2) Perform Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises

Your bladder and bowel are supported by strong pelvic floor muscles. Weak pelvic floor muscles lose the ability to hold urine, and as a result, you may experience urine leakage while laughing, sneezing or coughing. 

You can prevent urine leakage, improve bladder control, and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegel exercises. 

One review of different studies reported that participants who performed Kegel exercises were 5 to 17 times more likely to benefit and recover from urinary incontinence than those who did not perform any exercises.

Another study reported that women over 65 years experienced a decrease in daily urine leakage as a result of adding dance to their pelvic floor muscle program. 

How To Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises

  • Start by sitting comfortably and squeezing your pelvic floor muscles for 10 to 15 minutes. Try not to squeeze your thigh muscles. 

  • Tighten the muscles and hold this position 3-5 times. While holding the position, you should feel as if your pelvic floor muscles are lifting up.

  • Release the muscles and then rest for about 10 seconds.

  • Perform this exercise 10 times. 

While exercising, make sure you breathe normally. You’ll start noticing the results within 3 to 6 months.

3) Drink Enough Fluids

You may experience bladder irritation or constipation when you don’t drink enough water. You can prevent dehydration by adapting following changes:

  • Drink more fluids after exercise or in hot weather.

  • Drink at least 2 liters of water each day. 

  • Take small sips of fluids.

  • Do not wait until you feel thirsty.

Water is the best fluid to keep your body hydrated, but you can drink other hydrating fluids like milk, soup, or fruit juice. It is recommended to avoid carbonated and sugary beverages because they’re associated with bladder irritation. 

Typically, the color of your urine can indicate if you’re drinking enough fluid or not. Your urine should be pale yellow if you’re well hydrated. If you have not had enough fluid, your urine will have a dark yellow color. Some foods, vitamins, and medications can also affect the color of urine. 

4) Eat Healthily

If you want to keep your bladder and bowels in control, you should eat a diet rich in fibers. A high-fiber diet is vital for your bladder because it avoids constipation and keeps things moving. 

You may experience chronic constipation if your diet is not rich in fiber. This can also lead to fecal incontinence. 

Here are some suggestions for a high-fiber diet:

  • You should aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day. 

  • Make sure you eat vegetables (five servings) and fresh fruits (two pieces) each day. 

  • Replace refined or highly processed food with plenty of wholegrain cereals like beans, lentils, wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice, and porridge. 

  • As dietary fiber needs water, you should drink at least two liters of fluids per day. 

5) Retrain Your Bladder

Bladder training is crucial for people with bladder issues to increase the time between urinating. People with urinary incontinence or OAB develop the habit of going to the bathroom too often. 

Bladder training can help you to hold more urine and reduce leaking. Bladder training includes delaying urination for 5 minutes, decreasing the number of times you visit the bathroom, and limiting drinks that increase urination. 

6) Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

One study reported an association between urinary continence and drinking coffee. It was found that participants were 72% more likely to have urinary incontinence who consumed 234 milligrams of caffeine. 

Caffeinated beverages, as well as alcohol, trigger more urine production. Therefore, it is recommended to limit their consumption to avoid bladder problems. 

Conclusion

Bladder problems, if left unchecked, can lead to numerous health complications such as bladder cancer. 

Seeking prompt treatment is critical for patients with bladder issues. The above-mentioned tips can help reduce or ease the symptoms of bladder problems.

Next Up

kegels for men

The 5 Best Pelvic Muscle Exercises For Men.

Sources

  1. Messing EM, Stamey TA. Interstitial cystitis early diagnosis, pathology, and treatment. Urology 1978;12:381–92. https://www.goldjournal.net/article/0090-4295(78)90286-8/pdf
  2. Suskind AM, Cawthon PM, Nakagawa S, Subak LL, Reinders I, Satterfield S, et al. Urinary Incontinence in Older Women: The Role of Body Composition and Muscle Strength: From the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. J Am Geriatr Soc 2017;65:42–50. https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.14545
  3. Dumoulin C, Cacciari LP, Hay-Smith EJC. Pelvic floor muscle training versus no treatment, or inactive control treatments, for urinary incontinence in women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018;2018. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30288727/
  4. Elliott V, de Bruin ED, Dumoulin C. Virtual reality rehabilitation as a treatment approach for older women with mixed urinary incontinence: a feasibility study. Neurourol Urodyn 2015;34:236–43. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/nau.22553
  5. Palmer SAWRW. Bladder training for urinary incontinence in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001308.pub2/full
  6. J. DN, P. VC, M. JT, S. GP, L. BK, T. RD, et al. Caffeine Intake and its Association with Urinary Incontinence in United States Men: Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. J Urol 2013;189:2170–4. https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1016/j.juro.2012.12.061
  7. Milsom I, Stewart W, Thüroff J. The prevalence of overactive bladder. Am J Manag Care. 2000. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11183899/

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