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Preventing Urinary Problems: What You Need To Know

Author
Amanda Turner
March 3, 2021

We’ve all heard the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this especially true when it comes to bladder and urinary health. Bladder problems can severely interfere with day-to-day life. People who suffer from urinary issues often struggle to concentrate on work, enjoy time with family, and even sleep comfortably because they’re constantly needing to (painfully) use the restroom.

bladder problems prevention

Some urinary issues are genetic, but this doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to suffer from urinary incontinence, bladder cancer, urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, and overactive bladder). Using preventative techniques can help you to keep your body’s urinary system healthy.

Here, we’ll take a look at some simple life changes you can make to decrease the likelihood of bladder and other urinary system problems.

Avoid perfumed/scented personal products.

Scented perfumes, deodorants, and soaps may smell nice, but they aren’t great for your urinary system and can cause irritation and more severe issues down the line, such as interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections, and bladder infections. Plain soap, water, and a cloth are enough to get fresh and clean. 

It’s also a good idea to keep perfumed soaps away from children, as their urinary systems can be vulnerable to these issues as well.

preventive techniques for bladder problems

Don't Wait to Use the Restroom

While you don’t need to run to the bathroom when you don’t feel the urge to go, it’s smart to get there as soon as you feel like you need to urinate. Many people put off going to the restroom for the sake of convenience. Your bladder muscles can become weak or worn out when you try to hold in urine, and this can lead to infections or incontinence. 

Try not to lie in bed at night if you feel like you need to use the restroom, and don’t hesitate to pull over on a long trip when you have to go. Try to pay attention to drinks, such as coffee or tea, that increase your need to urinate, and try not to have them during times when it’s difficult or impossible to get to a restroom. 

If you’re just starting to work on your urinary health and are drinking more water, you’ll be using the bathroom frequently. When you urinate, allow your body to work at its own pace — don’t use your pelvic floor muscles to try to speed up the process. Doing so can lead to incontinence.

Stay Hydrated — Even When You Don’t Feel Thirsty.

Your urine should be pale yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration, which can lead to bladder control problems. When it comes to fighting dehydration and preventing urinary issues, plain water is the best choice. 

It’s smart to aim for half your body weight in ounces each day — for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll want to drink at least 75 oz. of water per day. You’ll need more if you exercise or spend time in especially hot weather. If you’re not sure what amount of water makes the most sense for your body, be sure to check in with your doctor. 

If you already have kidney issues, talk with your doctor about how much water you should drink.

Seek Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections.

If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (frequent urination unrelated to increased fluid intake, pain during urination, blood in urine), be sure to see a doctor right away. While it can be tempting to use home remedies for urinary tract infections, doing so can be dangerous. Left untreated, a urinary tract infection can lead to other urinary system issues. 

Often, urinary tract infections are mistaken for a serious condition called interstitial cystitis, which can have long-lasting symptoms that negatively affect your quality of life. Even if you think you have a UTI, it’s vital to see your doctor for proper diagnosis

healthy diet to help bladder problems

Clean Up Your Diet

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help to prevent bladder cancer. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may be able to kill cancer cells and may help your body stay strong and healthy even if you’re genetically predisposed to cancer. 

Fruits and vegetables can also decrease the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies, which can lower cancer risk. Many people find that when they increase their fruit and vegetable intake, they decrease their intake of less-healthy foods, which can help them get to or maintain a healthy weight. Excess body weight can place pressure on the pelvic floor, which can lead to bladder and other urinary system issues. Being obese or overweight can increase the likelihood of many types of cancer.  

Have A Urinary Health Concern? See Your Doctor Right Away.

If you’ve seen a doctor for bladder problems (such as interstitial cystitis) in the past and were prescribed the drug Elmiron, it’s a good idea to have your vision checked, as studies have shown that Elmiron and vision loss may be related

If you’re experiencing bladder or other urinary problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away and talk about what type of urinary treatment makes the most sense for you. Some people put off seeing the doctor for urinary issues due to embarrassment, or due to hope that the issue will clear up on its own. About half of bladder cancers are diagnosed in the very early stages before it spreads to other areas of the body.

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