The bladder is a hollow organ that lies in your lower abdomen. A healthy bladder’s main job is to store the urine produced by your kidneys. There are a range of conditions that can affect your bladder, from cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder, to urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control.
While you can’t control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to support a healthy bladder. Read our seven tips for a healthy bladder below.
To maintain a healthy bladder, it’s important to drink lots of fluids, especially water. You should be drinking between six to eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid every day. And because water is the best fluid for your bladder health, try to make at least half of those fluids water. If you are living with certain conditions such as kidney failure or heart disease, you might need to drink less water. Contact your provider to make sure you know what fluid intake is right for you.
Certain foods and beverages can actually irritate the bladder. Try staying away from drinks like coffee, tea and carbonated drinks, even those without caffeine, as well as alcohol to see if that helps your bladder health.
Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as well as constipation, as some studies indicate that regular physical activity can improve bladder control. Try for at least 30 minutes of low-impact moderate activity — such as walking briskly, biking or swimming — most days of the week.
Being overweight can contribute to bladder control problems, particularly stress incontinence. Excessive body weight can put pressure on your abdomen and bladder, which can sometimes result in leakage. Losing weight through diet and exercise may help.
If you smoke, quitting can help address some bladder issues, as smokers are more likely to have bladder control problems and to have more-severe symptoms. Heavy smokers also tend to develop a chronic cough, which can place added pressure on the bladder and aggravate urinary incontinence.
A healthy diet can contribute to weight loss and can supplement overall health and wellbeing.
Try to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely. You should also avoid constipation whenever possible, which you can do by eating plenty of high-fiber foods (like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits), drinking enough water, and being physically active.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your bladder health, reach out to your provider or one of our expert pharmacists here at Medly.