6 Techniques To Improve Bladder Health
Bladder issues in women (and men) are more common than you probably thought. If you or someone you know experiences bladder leakage, frequent urination, constipation, or pelvic pain you are not alone. Many adults experience bladder and bowel changes and they assume these changes are due to childbirth or just a part of getting older. The truth is that many bladder issues are very correctable or manageable through education, exercise and other conservative medical treatments like Physical Therapy.
In addition to advice from your doctor and Pelvic Floor physical therapy, here are 6 tips and techniques you can start today to improve your bladder health.
- Drink 6 to 8 Cups of Water a Day
Although people might think they should limit fluid intake to ease their urgency, drinking water helps eliminate bladder irritants and can actually prevent the urgency or frequency. Drink throughout the day, and stop three to four hours before bedtime.
- Do Kegels
This simple move strengthens the pelvic muscles around the bladder. Kegel exercises can be performed anytime, anywhere. To identify the right muscles, squeeze as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine (without tensing your thigh or stomach muscles). Once you know where to flex, tighten these muscles for 10 seconds, then release and relax for 10 seconds. Aim to do 30 Kegels, two times a day.
- Increase Fiber Intake
A fiber-rich diet, as well as drinking enough water, can help prevent constipation and keep you more regular.
- Eliminate Possible Irritants
One at a time, try reducing your intake of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, tea, soda, alcohol, spicy foods, highly acidic foods (like citrus fruits and juices and tomato-based products), and anything containing aspartame-based sweeteners.
- Keep a Diary
Track how frequently you empty your bladder to help your doctor or physical therapist diagnose your condition as well as identify symptoms and potential dietary irritants. Record what, how much, and when you eat and drink. Write down when you go and note any incontinence episodes.