Having an overactive bladder can wreak havoc on your quality of life. It makes it harder to plan long car trips or travel with urinary incontinence. Additionally, severe bladder conditions can make it hard to maintain a social life, focus on your job, and even get a good night’s sleep. We have a few tips that may help improve your bladder health.
What is Overactive Bladder?
First, if you’re not familiar with the term, you may want to know more about overactive bladder (OAB), which is sometimes referred to as urge incontinence. OAB is an urge to urinate that often can’t be controlled or stopped.
The most common symptoms of OAB are:
- Having to wake up and urinate several times during the night
- Needing to go to the bathroom more than usual during the day
- Inability to hold urine
Is Overactive Bladder Curable?
The good news for those suffering from an overactive bladder is that it’s a very common and sometimes treatable condition. For medical advice, please see your doctor or another prescribing healthcare professional.
However, outside of whatever treatment plan you and your doctor decide on together, it’s possible you may be able to better manage your overactive bladder with a few subtle lifestyle and dietary changes.
Ways to Improve Bladder Health
For example, those who struggle to sleep through the night without a bedwetting accident (nocturia) or rushing to get up and make it to the bathroom may be told by their doctors to stop drinking fluids a few hours before bed. In addition, some may be told to utilize straight catheters to help empty their bladders, which may also improve their sleep.
Losing excess weight may help as well. Increasing physical activity is an essential part of finding your body’s ideal and healthiest weight. However, a large of improving physical health also comes down to nutrition.
A Diet for a Healthy Bladder and Body
Ideally, focusing your diet around whole foods, vegetables, and fruits may be a great way to start.
In addition, certain foods can not only help someone shed a few pounds but are also known to have nutritional characteristics that assist with bladder health. For instance, pumpkin seeds have omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, several studies indicate that pumpkin oil may reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Your doctor may also recommend adding cranberries or cranberry juice to your diet as a way to stave off urinary tract infections. Also, they may suggest upping your water intake to stay optimally hydrated.
Of course, when there are foods to seek out to improve bladder health, you may also want to avoid certain foods.
Talk to your doctor about the possibility of steering clear of potential bladder irritants such as:
- Nightshades such as tomatoes and peppers
- Caffeine (coffee, soda, energy drinks)
Of course, everyone has a different body. It makes sense to test different foods on a small scale to see which foods need to be eliminated.
Additional Tips for Bladder Health
Outside of the kitchen, there are exercises people can do to help tame their overactive bladders.
Kegel exercises, which both men and women can do, can strengthen muscles if done regularly. Plus, this type of pelvic floor muscle exercise can help limit involuntary contractions that can lead to incontinence.
A simple journal can help keep track of trips to the bathroom and can help you set goals to elongate the time between visits. It’s also helpful to set a schedule for bathroom visits. If you can start to delay the times slowly over time, it’s possible to retrain the bladder. You can download and print some helpful diaries to keep track of your incontinence at our helpful Incontinence Resources page.
180 Medical is here for all your intermittent catheter needs. Contact us today for friendly service and high-quality supplies.