As we age, many of us are all too aware of our bladders. They frequently interrupt our activities during the day. And our sleep at night.
The last thing we need is a bladder awareness month. But a Bladder Health Awareness Month… that’s another story. Most of us could use that.
The bladder is an extremely important organ. Keeping our bladders healthy should be a priority to us as we age.
And it just so happens that November hosts this awareness. So, there’s no time like the present to take a look at what we can do to keep our bladders healthy.
What Is the Bladder?
First, let’s make sure we all know exactly what the bladder is. The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ. It’s made mostly of muscle.
When it is empty, it looks like a deflated balloon. But one that shape changes when it fills up with pee.
Different people have different-sized bladders. But the average holds about 16 ounces of urine. That urine is produced in the kidneys and arrives at the bladder through tubes called ureters.
The bladder muscle squeezes to help us force urine out. On average, most people urinate four to eight times per day. As we get older, add a couple of times at night to the mix.
5 Tips for Bladder Health
Following are some tips for general bladder health, as provided by the Urology Care Foundation.
- Drink plenty of water. Try to drink at least six to eight cups per day.
- Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink. They can both heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage.
- Take your time while urinating to empty your bladder as much as possible. Not emptying your bladder can lead to an infection.
- Limit your intake of foods that can worsen incontinence. Such as chocolate and spicy or acidic foods.
- Do pelvic floor muscle exercises to keep those muscles strong.
An Embarrassing Problem
One of the most common problems aging people have with their bladders is urinary incontinence.
In addition to being embarrassing and uncomfortable, it can cause emotional distress. It can result in depression, social isolation and loneliness.
Millions of Americans deal with this problem of involuntary urine loss. The lack of bladder control might just be a minor annoyance. Or it could be a condition that makes life miserable.
It can make people afraid to participate in normal activities. They’re concerned they’ll have to stop in the middle to visit a bathroom.
A Condition… Not a Disease
Urinary incontinence can increase rashes, skin infections and sores. They develop from constantly wet skin. It can also increase one’s risk of repeated urinary tract infections.
Some people avoid intimacy because of it. They worry about the possibility of leaking urine during activity.
It can even increase the risk of falling in the home or elsewhere for older folks hurrying to get to a bathroom.
But urinary incontinence is not a disease. It’s a condition. It may be related to an underlying health problem, but for most people it can be easily dealt with. Mainly through lifestyle changes and/or an additional aid.
Different Types of Urinary Incontinence
Most people are surprised to learn there are several different kinds of urinary incontinence.
They include stress incontinence. It’s caused by lifting a heavy object, coughing, sneezing or laughing. And there’s urgency incontinence or overactive bladder. It results from nerves and bladder muscles not working together properly.
Others are overflow incontinence, when the bladder does not empty properly while new urine is produced. And bedwetting, which can occur for different reasons. Including having too many beverages before going to bed.
Another is temporary incontinence. It can be caused by diuretic beverages such as caffeine and alcohol. Yet another is gross total incontinence. This involves constant leaking of urine from a bladder with no functioning storage capacity.
Natural Ways to Deal With It
Of course, if you have any bladder problems, see your doctor first. Once your doctor rules out serious problems, there are natural ways to deal with incontinence.
One is bladder habit training. Establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between sessions. Start with one-hour intervals and gradually increase the intervals over time.
Another is a pelvic muscle exercise mentioned above. Contract the muscles used to keep urine in. Hold the contract for up to 10 seconds. Then relax the muscles for the same amount of time.
Yet another is lifestyle changes. Drinks containing caffeine such as coffee and sodas can cause you to urinate more often, as can alcohol. You should limit these types of drinks, especially at night.
A Supplement Might Be Your Answer
Another great option for some people experiencing urinary incontinence is a supplement.
My top recommendation is our brand-new U-Control™ formula.
This natural herbal formula from Down Under is clinically shown to help “silent sufferers” overcome this problem and regain their confidence along the way.
It’s a natural diuretic, great for hair skin and nails, and even a super supporter of urinary health… all backed by impressive research. Just see how it helped this 78-year-old mother:
“My bladder capacity was good, but the leakage and accidents would happen a few times a day making me wear a pad every day. I was a teacher and always thought all the standing and holding on didn’t help. The specialist suggested a sling procedure, but I didn’t want surgery if could I avoid it. After 10 days I stopped wearing the pad as it had been dry for a few days in a row and I seem to be maintaining very well since.”