You might take your trips to the bathroom for granted. You’ve been doing it your whole life, after all. But how do you know if you have a healthy bladder? Are there any signs associated with bladder health or things you can do to encourage better function?
You bet there are.
Like most other organs and tissue, your bladder undergoes a natural aging process. It becomes a little less elastic with age, and you may notice that your urine stream isn’t what it used to be, or that you have a sudden urge to urinate.
Although you might not be able to restore its function fully, there are things you can do to make it a little easier.
Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, is one place to start. Drinking eight or so glasses of water per day can help flush bacteria from your system to prevent infection while helping keep your bladder in good shape. Avoiding liquid intake in the evening is recommended.
Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake might be another way to improve bladder health.
Avoiding constipation by eating high-fiber food and getting at least 30-minutes of physical activity per day can also help. Constipation can put pressure on the bladder and lead to leaking, known as urinary incontinence.
How you urinate can also influence bladder health. Holding urine for too long can lead to weaker muscles and increase the risk of infection. Try to go at least every three or four hours. When you do go, make sure you empty your bladder completely
Wearing loose-fitting clothing and cotton underwear can help reduce the risk of infection. Nylon underwear can collect moisture and encourage the growth of bacteria in the urethra.
These are just some of the things you can pay attention to encourage a healthy bladder. Paying attention to your urine habits can help you prevent infection and delay potential problems.