[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Bladder and urinary tract health are sometimes overlooked, but they’re an important part of overall wellness and comfort. Whether your struggling with bladder control or the occasional urinary tract infection, these six tips can get your bladder and urinary tract health back on track.
Tips for Urinary Tract Health
1. Stay hydrated
A key component of urinary tract health is staying hydrated
. Drinking enough water every day can help you use the bathroom more regularly and completely. By emptying your bladder every time, you can avoid bacteria building up in your urinary tract. It’s good to stick to the standard 6 to 8 cups of water daily.
Unsure if your body needs more or less? Speak to your healthcare provider about your body’s needs. A good goal is to urinate completely every three to four hours. This flushes out bacteria, reduces strain on muscles and helps avoid constipation.
2. Avoid constipation
Constipation can be a cause of urinary incontinence and possible infection because the backed-up bulk can press on the bladder. This pressure may not allow your bladder to fill and empty as it should. It can also cause the bladder to contract when it isn’t supposed to, which leads to loss of urinary control and possible urinary tract infections.
Avoid constipation by including plenty of such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet, staying hydrated and exercising.
3. Know your urination habits
There are two parts to this. Firstly, pay attention to your body’s position while urinating. You should be physically relaxed to allow all the urine to exit your bladder. Contracting your muscles too soon can trap some urine in the urinary tract, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Relax your body to relieve your bladder completely.
The other part is paying attention to when and how often you use the bathroom. If you think you’re going too often or not often enough, your health practitioner may recommend keeping a bladder diary to track your bathroom habits. Data in the diary may include recording the dates being tracked, the times of urination, amount of urine produced each time, any leakage, symptoms before or during urination and fluid intake throughout the day. This information – even when not compiled in a formal diary – can be helpful. Sometimes it can also help you decide how to schedule your drinking throughout the day.
4. Quit the cigs
You already know that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, but did you know that smoking can also affect your urinary health? The toxins inhaled by smoking leave the body through the urinary tract. Sometimes, the toxins can sit in the urine for several hours and cause damage to the organ. Bladder cancer is the fifth most common solid organ cancer in the U.S., and smoking significantly raises the risk of developing this cancer. Get help to quit smoking
if you need it. The sooner you quit, the faster your risk will decrease.
5. Engage in exercise
If it seems like exercise affects many aspects of your health, that’s probably because it does. Regular physical exercise can help you lose excess weight and become more fit. Being overweight can put extra pressure on your bladder, which can aggravate incontinence. Exercise also helps tone muscles, which can give you better control.
Consider using specific exercises for bladder health. Kegels – which help exercise and strengthen the pelvic floor – are great for improving control and staying dry. To perform a kegel exercise
, squeeze those bladder control muscles and hold as if you were trying to keep back a flow.
6. Keep it clean
Proper hygiene can help when it comes to urinary tract health. Women should always wipe from front to back (especially after bowel movements) to avoid introducing bacteria to the urinary tract. Men and women should clean the area before and after intercourse to avoid causing bladder infections. Urinating after intercourse can also help flush away bacteria. Wear loose-fitting cotton undergarments to help the area breathe.
Urinary health and habits are not pleasant table talk, but it’s important for daily health and comfort. If you struggle with bladder control or UTIs, you’re not alone. Trying these six ideas can help you maintain a healthy urinary tract and bladder so that you can stay comfortable and in control.
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