When you gotta go, you gotta go … and usually only then do we give much thought to our bladder.
November is Bladder Health Month, a time to give some thought to having a healthy bladder, especially as we get older.
Bladder tissue is elastic, but it can toughen and become less flexible as we age. When bladder tissue doesn’t stretch, the bladder can’t hold as much urine as before. Then you gotta go more often. Also, if the bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles get weaker, it gets harder to empty the bladder.
Here are seven steps to ensure your bladder is … well … good to go.
What goes in your mouth affects your bladder.
- Drink plenty of water. Try to drink 6 to 8 cups each day.
- Drink less caffeine and alcohol. Coffee, tea or cola can increase bladder activity, can upset your bladder and can lead to leaks.
- Avoid foods that bother the bladder. They include chocolate (which also is a source of caffeine) and spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruit. Some foods can aggravate incontinence.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco use is a major cause of bladder cancer.
How you go matters.
- When you’re on the toilet, take your time. Let your bladder empty. If you rush and don’t fully empty your bladder, you could develop a bladder infection over time.
- Ladies, please sit on the toilet. Don’t hover over the toilet seat.
- Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with Kegel exercises. Strong pelvic floor muscles help keep urine in the bladder, preventing leaks.
Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons offers innovative treatments for overactive bladder and men’s urinary incontinence caused by prostate or post-surgical issues. Those treatments include UroLift, InterStim and Botox procedures. We also treat urinary diseases, urinary tract infections and other bladder, kidney and prostate issues.