The bladder is one of those organs in the body that is not given much attention and care to until it develops a problem. The bladder is always taken for granted and people just believe it should do its job, but study reveals that bladder cancer is even more deadly than prostate cancer. The bladder itself or the urinary bladder as it is called is a muscular sac located in the pelvis, above and behind the pubic bone. The bladder stores urine till when it is ready to be excreted, but bladder problems can disrupt this flow, causing cancer, incontinence, inflammation, and bladder stones.
Urine is produced in the kidney and travels down the urethras to the bladder. The bladder then stores the urine allowing urination to be of an individual’s volition. The bladder has a muscle lining that helps it to stretch to contain urine. The size of the bladder is about 400 to 600mL, when empty the bladder is like the size of a pear. The bladder is a very important organ in the body and bladder problems should be prevented by keeping a healthy bladder, through good diet that have been proven to improve the health of the bladder, and also living a healthy lifestyle
Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Bladder
There are various steps you can take daily to gain and maintain a healthy bladder, but this article will be focusing on how to keep the bladder healthy through diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
- Avoid spicy foods: Spicy foods like curry and peppers can affect the bladder and worsen bladder problem. This happen because spicy food components are excreted in the urine, which distresses the bladder. So if you must eat spicy food, know your limit, if you see that it is affecting your bladder, desist from spicy foods immediately.
- Avoid constipation by eating fibers: Try as much as you can to eat lots of fiber a day, at least 25 to 30 grams a day, to avoid constipation. Constipation exerts too much pressure on the bladder making bladder related problems worse.
- Reduce your consumption of meat and gluten: Another way to keep a healthy bladder is to bring to a minimum the amount of meat and gluten you consume every day. Meat contains purines and these purines are broken down into acids by the body. Excess of these acids in the body will result into kidney stones, gout and other gastrointestinal issues like gas.
- Avoid beverages that displease the bladder: Soft drinks, carbonated and caffeinated drinks like coffee can irritate your bladder, keep away from drinks that have artificial sweeteners, limit alcoholic beverages, and acidic juice since they can also irritate the bladder. You should also limit tomato and citrus since your body breaks them down into acids. Limit alcohol intake to not more than one cup a day and also limit your coffee intake since it is diuretic and irritates the bladder.
- Drinks lots of fluids, water precisely: According to research it is recommended for men to drink at least 3 liters of water in a day and 2.1 liters a day for women. Water helps push out toxins from the body, circulate nutrients and helps to prevent bladder and also kidney infections. To avoid constipation which makes the bowels to press down on the bladder causing bladder discomfort, consume lots of water too. The body is naturally made up of water, so drinking lots of it helps keep the body healthy, lubricates the organs, maintain our body temperature, and also acts as a shock absorber for the nervous system. If you exercise a lot, always drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, same goes for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Maintain a Healthy lifestyle
- Quit smoking: The ingredients used in making cigarettes and tobacco will always give you the urge to urinate often and increase your risk of bladder cancer. Smoking also affects the lung which makes you cough more, a cough that can trigger stress incontinence. This cough gotten from smoking also weakens the stomach and bladder muscle.
- Shed some weight if you are overweight: Being obese or overweight can increase bladder problems and cause you to develop stress incontinence. Losing weight will help reduce too much pressure those excess weight puts on the stomach and bladder muscles.
- Always empty your bladder while you urinate: It is important you empty out urine from the bladder anytime you urinate, try to relax when you are urinating, this makes your bladder muscles to relax more, which means your bladder gets empty easily. One major good emptying the bladder does is it reduces the chances of getting urinary tract infection.
- Urinate frequently: It is not advisable to hold urine in, whenever you feel the urge to urinate, try to urinate immediately. Urinating frequently helps to reduce urinary infection, and helps to keep the bladder muscles strong.
- Urinate after sexual intercourse: Always urinate before and after sexual intercourse to maintain a good bladder hygiene and a healthy bladder. This habit will help you to limit your risk of getting a urinary tract infection after sex.
- Do kegel exercises: Pelvic floor exercise which is also called kegel exercise is also important in maintaining a good bladder health. It helps to hold urine in the bladder. These daily exercise can help you strengthen your bladder muscles, which helps you keep urine from leaking when you have a sudden urge to urinate.
- Wear loose fitting cloths and cotton underwear: Wearing loose fitting cloths and underwear helps allow air to penetrate around the urethra and keep it dry. Tight fitting under wears helps trap in moisture around the urethra area which makes bacteria grow.
Keeping a healthy bladder is important, as an infection to the bladder will make urination difficult, and can shut down all the activities in the body. There are foods that you should take for good bladder maintenance, foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grain, yogurt and also fibers and protein.