Your bladder plays an essential role in your body, holding onto urine from your kidneys until its time to go. Yet, its an organ we tend to give little thought to until something goes wrong.
Bladder issues can lead to painful urination, urinary urgency or awkward moment with urine leakage, disrupting your daily functioning and quality of life. Suddenly, your bladder needs some attention!
Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics when these problems occur due to bacterial infection.
That’s not always the solution, though. Some home remedies can help you alleviate symptoms of bladder irritation or urethral irritation naturally.
Lifestyle changes for bladder and urethra health
A healthy lifestyle is of crucial importance to bladder and urethral health. Below, you can see some of the most important lifestyle changes to make.
1. Weight loss
Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk of problems affecting the bladder and urethra.
A growing body of evidence confirms that excess weight increases intra-abdominal pressure, which elevates pressure onto the bladder. This leads to excessive bladder activity and irritation of the urethra (4).
Weight is a risk factor for urinary incontinence. Each five-unit increase in body mass index (BMI) is linked to a 60% to 100% higher risk of daily incontinence (5). Studies confirm that weight loss can reduce urinary incontinence (6).
In order to support the bladder and urethral health, or to improve it, overweight or obese persons should strive to lose weight.
People who are within normal weight range should work on maintenance. Doing so will take the pressure off the bladder, reduce irritations, and decrease the severity of your symptoms.
2. Stay hydrated
People often assume you’re supposed to reduce water intake in order to preserve or improve the health of the bladder and urethra. Not true, though!
Staying hydrated is crucial. Drinking water throughout the day allows you to flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. In turn, this can manage symptoms of irritation or prevent them from developing.
Staying hydrated also dilutes urine, thus making it more difficult for bacteria to stick to your urethra and cause problems.
Ideally, you should drink water instead of fruit juices and sugar-laden beverages. Strive to drink around eight glasses of water throughout the day. If you tend to forget or wait to feel thirsty, you can always set up reminders to drink water.
3. Improve sexual hygiene practices
Sexual activity can be one of several ways bacteria enter your urethra and reach the bladder. You can improve the health of the urethra and bladder or reduce irritation symptoms by practicing good sexual hygiene.
That means you need to urinate before and after sexual intercourse. Use a condom during sex and wash your genitals before and after sexual activity.
4. Quit smoking
Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, but it’s also the enemy of your bladder and urethra. Nicotine and other toxic chemicals in cigarettes can irritate your bladder and contribute to irritation symptoms.
One of the most significant lifestyle modifications for urinary tract health is to quit smoking.
5. Manage stress
Although stress and irritation of the bladder or urethra seem unrelated, the truth is that they’re connected. Stress and anxiety increase the tension of muscles in the body. This also includes bladder muscle. Also, high stress levels can trigger a fight or flight response that results in urine leakage in some people.
Since stress affects urinary health through the nervous system, muscles, and lifestyle choices, it’s important to be proactive about its management. Instead of just waiting for it to go away, find a healthy coping mechanism that will help you overcome stressful situations.
Some other tips include:
- Don’t hold it in. Pee whenever you need to.
- Take a probiotic.
- Eat garlic.
- Increase vitamin C intake.
- Wipe from front to back to reduce the risk of bacterial infections.
- Wear loose clothing made from cotton or other natural materials to reduce moisture in the pelvic area (moisture contributes to infection and irritation).
- Apply a warm washcloth, heat pad, or hot water bottle onto the pelvic area to reduce pain and discomfort.
- Use herbal remedies that improve urinary symptoms, such as uva ursi (bearberry leaf), green tea, saw palmetto, horsetail, nettle, and others.
- Use dietary supplements to improve the health and function of the urinary tract.
By incorporating simple lifestyle tips into our daily routine, you can safeguard your bladder health and prevent potential issues. Staying well-hydrated, choosing bladder-friendly foods like lean proteins, pears, bananas, and winter squash, and practicing good bathroom habits are all essential steps.
Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress levels can further support bladder function. Equally important is refraining from smoking and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake. Lastly, seeking professional advice for specific bladder health concerns can provide personalized guidance. By embracing these lifestyle tips, you can enjoy a happy and healthy bladder.