You may have already noticed that as we age, our bladders don’t quite work like they used to when we were younger.
This is true for both women and men.
And older folks are most likely to experience urinary incontinence (UI) or overactive bladder (OAB).
In fact, The Simon Foundation and The National Association of Continence reports almost half of older adults suffer from incontinence.
Most traditional remedies for bladder health have proven to be ineffective… or come with a host of dangerous consequences.
I prefer a more natural approach.
Here are some ways you can strengthen your bladder muscles and ease feelings of urgency.
Most women know about Kegel exercises to help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that control urination.
You might be interested to know men can do them and help them, too.
To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream or tighten the muscles that keep you from passing gas.
Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, tighten them and hold the contraction for three seconds, then relax for three seconds.
Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions each day.
Beyond Kegels, there’s a lot you can do to get better control of your bladder and ease the unpleasant… and embarrassing… symptoms.
You first want to watch your liquid intake.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely want to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day.
Drinking too little can result in highly concentrated urine that irritates your bladder and increases those “need to go now” feelings.
I just don’t want you to down 20 ounces all at once.
Drinking too much in a short period of time can overwhelm your bladder and result in feelings of urgency.
So instead of drinking 3-4 large glasses of water in a day, drink small amounts of water throughout the day.
You also want to limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, as these types of liquids make your body produce more urine.
What you eat can also impact your bladder health.
Certain foods are known to irritate your bladder, so you want to try to avoid those.
Bladder irritating foods include acidic fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes, spicy foods, tomato-based products, and chocolate.
You can also try to “retrain” your bladder.
Routinely running to the bathroom to avoid an accident, even when you don’t have the urge to go, results in mixed messages between your bladder and your brain.
And after a while, your bladder begins sending messages that it’s full to your brain… even when it’s not full… and then you begin to feel like you have to urinate, even though your bladder isn’t full.
Bladder retraining puts your bathroom trips on a schedule.
Maybe you start with going every hour… even if you don’t have the urgency to go.
As you get more comfortable, slowly increase the time between bathroom visits, giving you more control over your feelings of urgency.
I’ve seen firsthand the toll bladder issues can have on someone’s confidence.
The fear of coughing… or sneezing… or even laughing.
The exhaustion from repeatedly getting up each night to use the bathroom.
The helpless feeling that you’ve lost control of your own body.
Change won’t happen overnight.
But with a few small dietary alterations and working those pelvic floor muscles… you can begin to restore bladder control and regain your confidence.
And if you’d like to see my top recommendation in natural remedies for bladder control…