5 ways to prevent bladder problems
It’s something many of us don’t think about until there’s a problem – bladder health. Hema Brazell, MD, offered ways to prevent bladder problems in women, from bladder infections to urinary incontinence.
Some important bladder health facts:
- Small amounts of bacteria can live in a healthy bladder.
- What you eat and drink can affect your bladder.
- Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, can heighten your chance of getting a bladder infection.
- Urinary leakage, or urinary incontinence, is a common issue among women.
To improve bladder health, Dr. Brazell offered the following tips:
- Drink plenty of water. Good, old-fashioned water is the best fluid for your bladder. To stay healthy, drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverage consumption. These things can upset your bladder, heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage. Also, try to limit your consumption of artificial sweeteners.
- Don’t delay emptying your bladder. When your bladder tells you that it’s time to go, go.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco is the most important known risk factor for bladder cancer.
- Practice pelvic floor exercises. These can help strengthen your pelvic floor and are often a successful way to treat certain types of urinary leakage.
“The most important thing to know when it comes to preventing bladder problems is that you can always talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have,” Dr. Brazell said. “Don’t suffer in silence and wait until you’re really feeling pain, irritation or discomfort. There are ways we can help.”
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