Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ, much like a balloon, that stores urine. Urine contains waste and extra fluid left over after the body takes what it needs from what we eat and drink. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.
As people get older, the bladder changes. The elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less flexible bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak.
While you cant control everything that affects your bladder, here are 15 steps you can take to keep it as healthy as possible:
How Much Can A Bladder Hold
The bladder acts as a storage tank, which expands on filling, like a balloon. A normal bladder in a healthy adult can comfortably hold a pint of urine. You need to aim for 300 400 mls. You can use a jug to measure your urine.
The bladder should be emptied three to four hourly. This also depends on how much you drink and your bladder capacity.
What Are Normal Bladder Habits
A healthy bladder can hold one and a half to two cups of urine during the day and about four cups at night. It is normal to pass urine five or six times a day if you drink between 6-8 glasses of fluid. It is usual to empty your bladder when you get out of bed in the morning, three times during the day, and before you go to bed at night. As we age this pattern may change, as older people tend to make more urine at night.
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Over The Following Weeks
Try to gradually increase the time between visits to the toilet. Each time you get the urge to go to the toilet, try to hold on for a few minutes longer.
If you wake up during the night with a strong desire to go to the toilet, it is reasonable to go and empty the bladder right away . As you improve by day, you will gain confidence to practice the programme at night.
Do Regular Kegel Exercises
Once you find your pelvic floor muscles, you can complete regular Kegel exercises to strengthen them. Simply contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold them for five to ten seconds, and relax them. The Urology Care Foundation suggests that you complete at least two sessions of Kegel exercises per day. Up to 30 contractions per session.
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What Is A Normal Bladder Habit
The volume of urine passed each time by a normal adult will vary from around 250400ml. This is the same as about two cupfuls. Most people with normal bladder habits can hold on for 34 hours between visits to the toilet. Most younger adults can also go right through the night without the need to pass urine.
With ageing, the bladder capacity may get smaller, so the frequency of passing urine may increase, both by day and night.
Also see: Overactive bladder
What Else Can Be Done
For many people with IC, changes in diet can also help control symptoms. To learn more, check out the information about IC and food sensitivities. There are also over-the-counter products and prescription medicines that may help control symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency .
Revised Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
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Can Your Bladder Fall Out
Under normal conditions in women, the bladder is held in place by a hammock of supportive pelvic floor muscles and tissue. When these tissues are stretched and/or become weak, the bladder can drop and bulge through this layer and into the vagina. This results in bladder prolapse, also called cystocele.
When you feel the urge to urinate, hold it for another five minutes or so. Then gradually increase the amount of time by 10 minutes, until you can last for at least three to four hours without having to go to the bathroom.
How Long Does It Take To Work
If urinary urgency and frequency are your only symptoms, you may see improvement in a few weeks. If you have more severe urgency and frequency, bladder retraining may take longer. On average, it takes about three months to retrain the bladder. By using this technique, you can take more control of your urinary urgency and frequency symptoms.
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How Long Can You Leave A Puppy Alone
The number one rule to raise a healthy, happy dog is spending a lot of time with them because they require attention, exercise, and care frequently during their one to six-month-old phase. Thus, leaving them alone for too long is not only sad for the pup but could lead to a number of mental as well as physical health problems.
Just like humans, dogs, no matter adults or puppies, also need to eliminate waste products from their bodies, and making them hold it for too long can cause several issues. So, even if you will be out for long, you must ensure that your pup is comfortable at home and knows where it can poop or pee. You can do so by training your pup to stay in a crate, although for as little time as possible, and please dont make this a regular habit because your dog needs exercise and interaction. You can also install potty pads and leave your dogs with many toys and treats to play with while youre gone.
How To Empty The Bladder
This article was co-authored by Robert Dhir, MD. Dr. Robert Dhir is a board certified Urologist, Urological Surgeon, and the Founder of HTX Urology in Houston, Texas. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Dhirs expertise includes minimally-invasive treatments for enlarged prostate , kidney stone disease, surgical management of urological cancers, and mens health . His practice has been named a Center of Excellence for the UroLift procedure, and is a pioneer in non-surgical procedures for ED using his patented Wave Therapy. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and was awarded honors in pre-medical studies, urology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Dr. Dhir served as chief resident during his urological surgical residency at University of Texas at Houston / MD Anderson Cancer Center in addition to completing his internship in general surgery. Dr. Dhir was voted Top Doctor in Urology for 2018 to 2019, one of the top three Best Rated Urologists in 2019 & 2020 for Houston Texas, and Texas Monthly has named him to the 2019 & 2020 Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars list.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 406,025 times.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Cystoplasty
Most people recover to about 90% of their baseline after six weeks. However, it often takes up to three months to get completely back to your pre-operative baseline. Avoid strenuous physical activity, including lifting, running, playing sports and having sex. Physical activity may put pressure on your abdominal wall and increase risk of hernia formation.
Its important to remember that your body is unique. Your recovery time may vary. Its important to follow your healthcare providers instructions as you heal.
Limit Common Bladder Irritants
Some fluids are more difficult for your bladder to process than others. We call these bladder irritants. Caffeine, alcohol and high-citrus content can make symptoms worse. Many people can reduce or even eliminate symptoms by avoiding common irritants most days. Tobacco is also very irritating to the bladder lining, in addition to increasing bladder cancer risk.
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Eating To Reduce Constipation
Sometimes constipation can place extra pressure on your bladder. You can prevent constipation by exercising regularly and including more fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiber include beans, whole-wheat breads, fruits, and vegetables.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends eating 2 tablespoons of a mixture of 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and 3/4 cup of prune juice every morning to promote bowel regularity.
What Should I Avoid
There are number of drinks that can irritate the bladder:
- Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and coke.
- Carbonated or fizzy drinks.
- Artificially sweetened drinks such as diet drinks.
- Hot chocolate
- Green tea and mint tea
- Blackcurrant juice
Try avoiding these or drink in moderation.
Drinks that do not irritate bladder are:
- Diluted fruit juices.
Aim to drink 6 8 cups of fluid a day or 1.5 to 2 litres. If you drink less then your urine can become concentrated which can irritate the bladder even further. Have your last drink 2 hours before you go to bed.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder symptoms can include:
- Sudden and overwhelming urge to urinate This symptom can come on very quickly and without any warning.
- Urge incontinence This happens when you suddenly leak urine after feeling an urgent and immediate need to go to the toilet. Theres also a feeling of not being able to reach the toilet fast enough.
- Frequency This is the need to urinate more often than usual sometimes more than eight times within a 24 hour period. Often the need to urinate is ever-present whether fluid intake is limited or not.
- Nocturia This occurs when an overactive bladder wakes you to use the toilet several times during the night to the point where your sleep cycle is disrupted.
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How Do I Measure My Urine
To measure the amount of urine you pass, put a container in the toilet bowl. Sit on the toilet and pass urine into the container. When you have finished, measure the urine by tipping it into a measuring jug. For men, you may prefer to stand and pass urine directly into the measuring jug. You should write the measurement from the jug in your bladder diary, then tip the urine into the toilet and flush.
You can also use absorbent pads to work out how much urine you leak over one or two days. This is done by using a dry pad that has been weighed in a plastic bag. When you change the wet pad you put it back in the plastic bag and weigh it. If you take away the weight of the dry pad from the weight of the wet pad you can work out how much urine you have leaked. One millilitre of urine weighs one gram.
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What Foods Are Good For The Urinary System
Along with beverages, its also a good idea to know the foods for a healthy bladder and kidneys. If your bladder is sensitive, there are still foods you can enjoy without irritating it. You already know the foods you should avoid. Here are some bladder-cleansing foods you may want to eat.
Pears: Pears are a great source of fiber and usually start to ripen sometime in September or October, depending on where you live.
Bananas: Youll find bananas in your local grocery store pretty much all year long. Theyre perfect for topping cereals, eating as snacks or putting in smoothies.
Winter squash: Despite its name, you can find squash year-round as well, particularly in the fall and winter. Squash varieties include butternut, acorn and spaghetti.
Green beans: Add a little color to your plate with green beans. Put them in salads, eat them raw or roast them with a bit of olive oil.
Potatoes: Both potatoes and sweet potatoes are bladder-friendly foods.
Whole grains: Rice, quinoa and oats are whole grains and just a few examples of the many varieties youll find. Theyre not typically expensive, either.
Lean proteins: Low-fat chicken, pork, turkey, beef and fish are examples of lean proteins. Theyre not likely to bother your bladder, particularly when you steam, broil or bake them.
Nuts: Cashews and peanuts make perfect protein-rich and bladder-healthy snacks.
Breads: Bread makes a great addition to any meal and is overall bladder-friendly.
Seeking Medical Treatment For Incontinence
Tip: Make sure to tell your doctor about any other symptoms you are having along with loss of bladder control.
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Can Overactive Bladder Be Controlled
Overactive bladder therapy can be challenging to manage. However, many people are very satisfied with the treatment they receive and they often see a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Your doctor will guide you to the best steps to begin with and give you options for any additional treatments you may need over time.
Blood And Lymph Supply
The bladder receives blood by the vesical arteries and drained into a network of vesical veins. The superior vesical artery supplies blood to the upper part of the bladder. The lower part of the bladder is supplied by the inferior vesical artery, both of which are branches of the internal iliac arteries. In females, the uterine and vaginal arteries provide additional blood supply. Venous drainage begins in a network of small vessels on the lower lateral surfaces of the bladder, which coalesce and travel with the lateral ligaments of the bladder into the internal iliac veins.
The lymph drained from the bladder begins in a series of networks throughout the mucosal, muscular and serosal layers. These then form three sets of vessels: one set near the trigone draining the bottom of the bladder one set draining the top of the bladder and another set draining the outer undersurface of the bladder. The majority of these vessels drain into the external iliac lymph nodes.
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Kegel Exercises And Muscle Training
You can also do special pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, in addition to regular exercise. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles to minimize involuntary contractions and improve posture. Its also one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications.
To do Kegel exercises:
You can also talk to a physical therapist to see if youre squeezing the right muscles.
What Behavioral Changes Can I Make To Help With Overactive Bladder
There are many techniques and changes to your typical behavior that you can try to help with an overactive bladder. These can include:
Keeping a log: During a typical day, write down your fluid intake, the number of times you urinate, the number of accidents and when they occur. Make a note about what happened when the accident happened, like when you:
- Were unable to reach the bathroom in time.
Monitoring your diet: Eliminate or decrease foods or beverages that may worsen your bladder symptoms. These could include:
- Spicy and acidic foods and drinks.
- Foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.
Maintaining bowel regularity: Constipation can place added pressure on the bladder and have a negative effect on your bladder function. By keeping healthy bowel habits, you may be able to avoid constipation and help to lessen bladder symptoms. The following are some suggestions for maintaining bowel regularity:
- Increase your fiber intake by eating foods like beans, pasta, oatmeal, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Every morning, take 2 tablespoons of this mixture: 1 cup apple sauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and ¾ cup prune juice.
- Exercise regularly to maintain regular bowel movements.
Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight can add pressure on your bladder, which may contribute to bladder control problems. If you are overweight, weight loss can reduce the pressure on your bladder.
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