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Is my bladder healthy?

Updated: Sep 12


Like any other part of your body, the bladder requires healthy habits and lifestyle changes in order to function normally for you…. No there is no special bladder work out or potion that will fix any bladder issue.. like leakage or urgency. Nice try!

In order to understand the bladder, let’s talk about the norms of bladder health.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED NORMAL?

· The average bladder can hold about 2 cups of urine before it needs to be emptied.


· The normal range of voiding urine is 6 to 8 times during a 24 hour period. As we get older, our bladder capacity can get smaller and we may need to pass urine more frequently but usually not more than every 2 hours.



· Urine should flow easily without discomfort in a good, steady stream until the bladder is empty. No pushing or straining is necessary to empty the bladder.


· An urge is a signal that you feel as the bladder stretches to fill with urine. Urges can be felt even if the bladder is not full. Urges are not commands to go to the toilet, merely a signal and can be controlled.


WHAT IS CONSIDERED NORMAL?

· The average bladder can hold about 2 cups of urine before it needs to be emptied.

· The normal range of voiding urine is 6 to 8 times during a 24 hour period. As we get older, our bladder capacity can get smaller and we may need to pass urine more frequently but usually not more than every 2 hours.

· Urine should flow easily without discomfort in a good, steady stream until the bladder is empty. No pushing or straining is necessary to empty the bladder.

· An urge is a signal that you feel as the bladder stretches to fill with urine. Urges can be felt even if the bladder is not full. Urges are not commands to go to the toilet, merely a signal and can be controlled.

WHAT ARE GOOD BLADDER HABITS?

· Take your time when emptying your bladder. Don’t strain or push to empty your bladder. Make sure you empty your bladder completely each time you pass urine. Do not rush the process. 

· Consistently ignoring the urge to go (waiting more than 4 hours between toileting) or urinating too infrequently may be convenient but not healthy for your bladder.

· Avoid going to the toilet “just in case” or more often than every 2 hours. It is usually not necessary to go when you feel the first urge. Try to go only when your bladder is full. Urgency and frequency of urination can be improved by retraining the bladder and spacing your fluid intake throughout the day. Practice good toilet habits. Don’t let your bladder control your life.

TIPS TO MAINTAIN GOOD BLADDER HABITS

· Maintain a good fluid intake. Depending on your body size and environment, drink 6 -8 cups (8 oz each) of fluid per day unless otherwise advised by your doctor. Not enough fluid creates a foul odor and dark color of the urine.



· Limit the amount of caffeine (coffee, cola, chocolate or tea) and citrus foods that you consume as these foods can be associated with increased sensation of urinary urgency and frequency. 

· Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol increases urine production and makes it difficult for the brain to coordinate bladder control.

· Avoid constipation by maintaining a balanced diet of dietary fiber.

· Cigarette smoking is also irritating to the bladder surface and is associated with bladder cancer.  In addition, the coughing associated with smoking may lead to increased incontinent episodes because of the increased pressure.

HOW DIET CAN AFFECT YOUR BLADDER

Although there is no particular "diet" that can cure bladder control, there are certain dietary suggestions you can use to help control the problem.  

There are 2 points to consider when evaluating how your habits and diet may affect your bladder:

1. Foods and fluids can irritate the bladder

Some foods and beverages are thought to contribute to bladder leakage and irritability. However their effect on the bladder is not completely understood and you may want to see if eliminating one or all of these items improves your bladder control.  

If you are unable to give them up completely, it is recommended that you use the following items in moderation:

· Acidic beverages and foods (orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade etc)

· Alcoholic beverages

· Vinegar

· Coffee (regular and decaf)

· Tea (regular and decaf)

· Caffeinated beverages

· Carbonated beverages

2. Drinking enough and the right kinds of fluids

Many people with bladder control issues decrease their intake of liquids in hope that they will need to urinate less frequently or have less urinary leakage. 

· You should not restrict fluids to control your bladder. While a decrease in liquid intake does result in a decrease in the volume of urine, the smaller amount of urine may be more highly concentrated.  

· Highly concentrated, dark yellow urine is irritating to the bladder surface and may actually cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently.  

· It also encourages the growth of bacteria, which may lead to infections resulting in incontinence.  

· Substitutions for Bladder Irritants: water is always the best beverage choice.  Grape and apple juice are thirst quenchers are good selections and are not as irritating to the bladder.

· Low acid fruits: Pears, apricots, papaya, watermelon

· For coffee drinkers: KAVA®, Postum®, Pero®, Kaffree Roma®

· For tea drinkers: non-citrus or herbal and sun brewed tea


At COPE PT we can work together to assess your current bladder habits and dysfunctions to develop a plan to aid in improving an dysfunctions. For more information please contact us.


So, Get the drinking .... water this :)


~Ijeoma

@Dr_PelvicBella


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