Healthy Habits That Support Your Bladder

Healthy Habits That Support Your Bladder

Unless you have an issue, chances are you don’t spend too much time thinking about your bladder. But keeping your bladder healthy helps you avoid bladder cancer and other urinary tract-related problems. 

This amazing organ can stretch in size, going from only about two inches big to over six inches long. And while your bladder can hold up to three cups of fluid, most people feel the urge to go when it’s only about a quarter full. 

At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our board-certified providers specialize in helping keep your bladder healthy and functioning well. And if you experience a bladder issue, our providers have the experience needed to expertly diagnose and treat your condition. 

Keep reading to learn more about your bladder and our top tips for supporting bladder health.

Stay hydrated… but space out fluid intake

One of the best things to do to support a healthy bladder is to stay hydrated by drinking at least 6-8 cups of water and other hydrating liquids every day. Try to space out your fluid intake over the course of the day so that you don’t need to rush to the bathroom. 

If you don’t drink enough, your urine becomes concentrated and can irritate your bladder. And an irritated bladder can trigger multiple trips to the bathroom — even when you don’t have a full bladder.

Avoid drinking (and eating!) bladder irritants

Drinking plenty of fluids is a good thing, but some chemicals and types of fluids can irritate the walls of your bladder and may cause frequent bathroom trips and other issues. These irritants can also be found in food and include:

It’s important to note that even decaffeinated teas and coffees still have traces of caffeine, so if you’re struggling with too many trips to the bathroom, consider cutting out decaf coffees and teas. 

Don’t hold your urine

While it’s not always possible to go right when you feel the urge, holding in your urine and/or not emptying your bladder fully weakens your bladder muscles and increases your chances of developing an infection. 

A good rule of thumb is to empty your bladder completely at least once every 3-4 hours. Be sure to urinate in a relaxed position to make it easier to empty the bladder (e.g., for women, sitting instead of hovering over the toilet seat), and try not to rush as this makes it more difficult to empty your bladder fully.

Practice good bladder hygiene

Be sure to follow good bladder hygiene to promote the healthiest bladder possible. In addition to emptying your bladder regularly, be sure to:

You’ll also improve your bladder health by cleaning your rectum daily to keep unhealthy bacteria at a minimum.

Watch your overall health

Your overall health has a big impact on your bladder health. To support a healthy bladder, be sure to watch your overall health, including:

You’ll also want to be sure to eat to avoid constipation and try not to strain during bowel movements as these both weaken the muscles that control your bladder.

Improve your pelvic floor

The muscles in your pelvic floor work to help hold urine inside your bladder. The stronger they are, the less likely it is you’ll get an infection, leak urine, or experience an urgent need to go to the bathroom when you exercise, laugh, cough, sneeze, or lift something heavy.

Both men and women can improve your pelvic floor by performing Kegel exercises. Since most people perform these exercises incorrectly, be sure to talk to your Urological Associates provider about how to properly engage your pelvic floor. 

Talk about bladder health

At Urological Associates, our compassionate providers understand and want you to feel comfortable talking to us about your bladder health. Some signs you may have a bladder concern include:

Learn more about healthy habits to support your bladder health by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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