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A Healthy Bladder is a Happy Bladder

It’s important to maintain good bladder health as it plays a key role in the functioning of your body. The bladder is a collapsible muscular pouch that sits behind the pubic bone in the lower pelvis. It is connected to the kidneys with a tubes called ureters. It is also connected to the outside of the body by one tube called the urethra that opens through the tip of the penis or above the vagina.

The bladder stores urine that is made in the kidneys until release from the body. The bladder capacity varies from 300ml to more than 600 ml. The urine varies in the concentration of sodium, ammonia, urea, and other substances that maintain the blood and body’s concentration of minerals, maintains pH and eliminates waste products. 

What can irritate the Bladder? 

To promote bladder health, it’s important to know which foods can irritate the bladder:

  • Apple juice
  • Bananas
  • Beer
  • Cantaloupes
  • Cheese
  • Chicken livers
  • Chilies/spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Corned beef
  • Cranberries
  • Fava beans
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Lemon juice
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Nuts
  • Mayonnaise
  • Nutrasweet
  • Onions (raw)
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raisins
  • Rye bread
  • Saccharin
  • Sour cream
  • Soy sauce
  • Strawberries
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar
  • Yogurt

There are also many beverages that can irritate the bladder such as:

  • Drinks with caffeine (Red Bull, Mountain Dew, most sodas, Coffee)
  • Anything with caffeine, citrus fruit juice, and alcohol or that contain aspartame or saccharin

Certain medications aren’t good for bladder health (Largely dependent on the individual; everyone’s body reacts differently to certain medications):

  • High blood pressure medications like ‘water’ pills or calcium channel blockers which may cause leakage
  • Sedatives/Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants 
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Sleeping pills

Obesity can also contribute to bladder leakage:

Extra weight from fat can put pressure on pelvic floor muscles and the bladder walls leading to bladder issues such as incontinence (leakage) and urinary tract issues, due to a lack of support.

Possible Conditions that can arise from an unhealthy bladder: 

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Urinary tract infections UTIs: Caused by bacteria that inflame the inside of the bladder and can also lead to leakage, burning with urination, frequent urination, dribbling
  • Dysuria (painful urination) is usually due to a UTI or bladder stones
  • Urinary Incontinence: multiple types but stress incontinence is the most common
  • Cystocele of dropped bladder
  • Urinary retention from neurologic disorders
  • Overactive bladder or spastic bladder means that the muscle in the wall of the bladder is contracting or is on the verge of contracting which makes a person feel like they have to go to the bathroom. This is called urgency.
  • Bedwetting is often a risk factor for overactive bladders later in life. 

5 Tips for Promoting Bladder Health:

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises

    Pelvic Floor Exercises bladder health

For individuals who have weak bladder muscles, which can lead to random involuntary urination. Kegel exercises are one form of pelvic floor exercises that promote bladder health but there are other types that work in concert with biofeedback or devices.

Especially important for women in between pregnancies, as childbirth can damage the body’s muscular support for the urethra and bladder  and damage the major nerve supplying that region (Pudendal Nerve)

  • Multiple vaginal childbirths especially if traumatic or those that result in tears. without pelvic floor exercises can lead to possible issues years later 
  • Not only are you strengthening your core, but also a critical part of your urinary tract! 
  • Moral of the story: pelvic lifts go a longer way than you think 
  • For men, pelvic floor exercises are similar.

The Pelvic Floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and supporting tissues that surround the pelvic organs and attach to the pubic bone or pelvis in multiple areas of the bone. 

Maintain a healthy diet that promotes bladder health

Such diets include foods like: 

  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Berries
  • Garlic

These foods provide large amounts of nutrients that aid in muscle strength and also defend the area from bacteria via their antioxidant properties. Make sure your diet also contains plenty of high-fiber foods and plenty of water, as that helps in preventing constipation, which can not only be uncomfortable and painful but also potentially dangerous for the bladder, as the colon can put pressure on the bladder and affect its structure and its functionality. 

Avoid Tobacco

50,000 people per year in the US are diagnosed with Bladder Cancer, and many were smokers. Smoking cigarettes is linked to bladder cancer as well as other environmental hazards. Possible ways to stop smoking, medications or methods that can aid with coming off of tobacco. 

  • Medications such as Chantix
  • Nicotine gum
  • Weaning schedule to avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis

 Take enough time to completely empty your bladder 

  • Reduces the urge to urinate at possibly inconvenient times 
  • Reduces the risk of stagnant urine which could lead to UTIs 
  • Increases and maintains the functionality of bladder muscles
  • Can make catheter usage experience more enjoyable and use fewer catheters

For those who are unable to empty their bladder completely may find intermittent catheters to be a great option! CompactCath offers discreet, compact, sanitary intermittent catheters that fit seamlessly into your life. Try it out starting with a free sample box through the button below!

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Urinate after sex 

Believe it or not, this is one of the most overlooked tips! There are many benefits to urinating after sex, especially for women. The urine flushes all of the bacteria out of the urethral tract, so it will not be able to reach the bladder, begin growing, and then inhibit the person’s ability to urinate or damage the bladder’s inner walls. 

If you are a man, it is not as critical that you should urinate after sex. Due to the anatomical differences between men and women, it is more critical that women urinate after sex, due to how close the rectum is to the urethra. Emptying the bladder pushes any bacteria that may have been pushed up there during sex.