Tag Archive | "healthy bladder"

Healthy Bladder-Friendly Foods

Millions of Americans suffer from bladder infections, inflammation, and general bladder discomfort today.  But did you know that eating certain foods can actually help prevent such problems from ever starting?  For years physicians and dieticians have been recommending healthy foods, and now urologists have jumped in.  Try including these five foods to your diet and keep them a part of your regular daily meals for a healthy bladder:  cranberries, pears, whole grains, water, and yogurt.

Cranberries—These red berries have been used to prevent urinary tract infections for years.  They contain healthy doses of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, and Vitamin K.  Studies on the effects of cranberries indicate that about 16 ounces (2 cups) of pure cranberry juice daily treat and prevent urinary tract infections.  Cranberries do this by acidifying the urine, which breaks down the UTI-causing bacteria.  Further, they contain an antibacterial agent called hippuric acid and other compounds that reduce the ability of E. coli bacteria to adhere to the walls of the urinary tract.

Pears—Many patients with interstitial cystitis love pears as they are one of the few fruits that do not produce the feared symptom flare-up.  Due to their low acidity, the fruit makes for an easy snack for IC sufferers.  Pears are also a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C.  Pears are a high-alkaline (basic) food, so eating more of them helps balance an overly acidic system, which, in turn, keeps bladder issues under control.

Whole Grains—Constipation increases pressure on your bladder, making bladder problems even worse.  Whole grains provide significant amounts of dietary fiber, which aides in maintaining a healthy colon and allows for easy digestion, thereby decreasing defecation issues.  Examples of whole grain-rich foods include oatmeal, spelt, bulgur, brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, popcorn, and barley.  The recommended daily dosage of fiber for a healthy system is 25 grams a day.

Water—A properly hydrated body functions correctly.  But over-hydration puts too much pressure on the bladder.  Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day is adequate to maintain a flushed and clean system without bogging your bladder down with unnecessary work.

Yogurt—According to a study conducted by the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, and the Department of Urology and Center for Assessment of Medical Technology, Orebro University Hospital, in Sweden, daily consumption of yogurt reduces the risk of bladder cancer.  The study focused on the association between the intake of cultured milk and other dairy foods and the incidence of bladder cancer.  Although the total dairy intake was not significantly associated with a decrease risk in bladder cancer, a significant association was observed for the intake of cultured milk (yogurt).  In other words, a high intake of yogurt (about two servings per day) may lower the risk of developing bladder cancer.

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Jumpstart a Healthy Bladder Lifestyle

Simple lifestyle changes can help improve your bladder health and reduce incontinence. Here are some easy tips for a healthier bladder:


-Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole  grains, lean proteins, and good-for-you-fats to keep regular and prevent constipation, which can cause bladder weakness by affecting the pelvic muscles and nerves.


-Although it may seem that drinking less fluid would be the logical solution to reduce leakage, this can actually lead to bladder or urinary tract infections (UTIs), constipation, and dehydration. All these conditions will worsen your bladder control.

-Stay hydrated! Physicians recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water per day.

- Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Caffeine can irritate the nerves that control your bladder and cause excess urine production. Alcohol also can cause excess urine production and further relax the bladder control muscles.


-Even a few extra pounds can cause bladder control problems. Consider changing your diet and being more physically active if you are overweight. Losing weight can reduce intra-abdominal pressure, which will in turn improve your bladder control.


-Exercise is both mentally and physically beneficial. If you have been avoiding exercise or other physical activity because of leakage, try absorbent pads to help you get back on your feet.


If you have been avoiding exercise and other physical activity because the exertion causes you to leak, it’s time to stop letting your bladder limit your lifestyle. Exercise is healthy for you mentally and physically and can even help improve your bladder control.

Have sex

Sexual activity will help strengthen your pelvic muscles. In addition to intentionally practicing kegel exercises, the natural muscle contractions experienced during sex and orgasm will help improve bladder control.

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Habits for Happy Bladders

People with healthy bladders should use the toilet four to six times a day, and no more than twice at night. Below are some great tips for keeping your bladder in working order:

Healthy Bladder Hints

1. Drink lots of water

-Adults should drink at least six to eight cups (1.5 liters) of water per day, unless their doctor advises otherwise.

-Reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink to avoid upsetting your bladder. Common caffeinated drinks include coffee, tea, and cola.

-Try instant coffee (which is lower in caffeine) instead of brewed, or herbal tea instead of coffee or caffeinated tea.

2. Practice good toilet habits

- Don’t go to the toilet ‘just in case’. Only use the toilet when your bladder is full and you need to go. (However, using the toilet before bed is fine).

-Take your time to fully empty the bladder. Women should sit on the toilet instead of hovering. If you rush and don’t fully empty your bladder, you might get a bladder infection.

3. Practice good bowel habits

-Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and stay active to maintain bowel regularity.

- Don’t strain when passing a bowel movement. This may weaken the muscles that keep bladder control (pelvic floor muscles).

4. Take care of your pelvic floor muscles

-  Both men and women should regularly train their pelvic floor muscles to keep them strong.

5. Talk to your doctor.

-If you experience changes in your bladder functioning such as leaks or an urgent need to urinate more than eight times a day, talk to your doctor.

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