If you’re like most people, you don’t spend much time thinking about your bladder until you have an issue. But taking steps to keep your bladder healthy can help you avoid bladder-related health issues.
At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our board-certified providers, led by Dr. Philip Weintraub, specialize in helping you keep your bladder healthy. If you run into a bladder problem, we have the experience to diagnose and treat your condition.
Here’s a look at seven of our top tips to help you keep your bladder healthy.
Stay hydrated … but don’t drink fluids all at once
When you don’t drink enough fluids, your urine gets concentrated, and highly concentrated urine can irritate your bladder. If your bladder gets irritated, it can make you feel like you need to go to the bathroom, even if your bladder isn’t full.
Staying hydrated by drinking at least 6-8 cups of water and other hydrating liquids every day is without a doubt one of the best ways to support a healthy bladder. But space out your fluid intake so you don’t have to rush to the bathroom.
Keep away from bladder irritants
Some beverages have chemicals that irritate the walls of your bladder. These irritants may also be present in your food and include:
- Carbonated beverages
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Acidic or citrus beverages and foods
- Certain fruits (e.g., apples, cantaloupe, peaches, plums)
- All dairy products
If you’re struggling with making frequent (and rushed) trips to the bathroom, note that even decaffeinated teas and coffees have traces of caffeine. If this is an issue for you, try cutting out all decaf coffees and teas.
Don’t hold in urine
Your bladder has the capacity to stretch, going from about 2 inches long to over 6 inches long. While this organ can hold up to three cups of fluid, you usually feel the urge to go when it’s about a quarter full.
You can’t always get to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to go. But holding in your urine weakens your bladder muscles and raises your risk of getting an infection, as it does not fully empty it, so try to fully empty your bladder at least once every 3-4 hours.
Follow bladder hygiene practices
For a healthy bladder, always follow good bladder hygiene practices. This means fully emptying your bladder regularly, as well as:
- Urinating before and after sex (for women)
- Wiping from front to back (for women)
- Wearing breathable, cotton underwear
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes (in pelvic area)
- Cleaning your genitals before and after sex
- Cleaning your rectum daily to reduce bacteria
These steps help minimize your risk of developing an infection or other issue that affects the health of your bladder.
Take care of your overall health
Since your bladder is a part of your body, it’s no surprise that your overall health has a big impact on your bladder health. Take these steps with your overall health to keep your bladder as healthy as possible:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Manage a chronic cough
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
Also, eat foods high in fiber to avoid constipation, and don’t strain during bowel movements, since this can weaken the muscles that control your bladder.
Strengthen your pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor muscles help hold in urine. The stronger these muscles are, the lower your chances of getting bladder-related issues, such as:
- Leaking urine
- Urge incontinence
Men and women alike can use Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Talk to your Urological Associates provider about the right way to perform these exercises, since most people don’t do them correctly.
Don’t be shy: Ask about bladder health
At Urological Associates Medical Group, our compassionate providers know it’s not always easy to talk about issues related to the restroom. But everyone has a bladder, so come in and speak with us if you notice any of the following signs that you may have a bladder issue:
- Getting up from bed a lot to urinate
- Seeing blood in your urine
- Noticing a change in urine color
- Having cloudy urine
- Leaking urine
- Needing to urinate urgently or more frequently
- Having pain or burning before, during, or after peeing
- Having trouble fully emptying your bladder
- Having a weak urine stream
- Having issues starting to urinate
For more tips on how to keep your bladder healthy, schedule a consultation with us at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California.