Urinary health is important for keeping digestion and waste disposal running smoothly. These tips can help you maintain a healthy bladder and overall wellness. Read more to learn about five ways you can help maintain bladder and urinary tract health.*
The number one thing you can do to improve bladder health is to quit smoking. We know from decades of research that cigarette smoke can damage the lungs, but few are aware that the same chemicals often make their way to the bladder. These toxic substances can cause irritation to the cells lining the bladder. Damaging bladder cells causes the bladder to become stiff, which is the opposite of what you want. The bladder needs flexibility as it expands and shrinks like a balloon to accommodate urine. The toxic chemicals of cigarette smoke can lead to increased urinary urgency, leaks and potentially even more serious health issues.
Make Regular Trips to the Restroom
If you are drinking your 6-8 glasses of water a day, you will likely have regular trips to relieve yourself every 3-4 hours. Of course there are times, when we may have to hold off on visiting the restroom, which is something a healthy, flexible bladder is capable of handling. However holding urine in, to an excessive degree or on a regular basis, can eventually lead to a weakening of the bladder muscles. Weak bladder muscles may lead to leakage of urine. Holding urine in can also cause harmful bacteria to proliferate. Remember, the urine is part of the body’s waste and needs to be eliminated from our system at regular intervals. For men, keeping the prostate healthy involves regular trips to the restroom.
Underwear Choice Matters
Whether you prefer bikinis to thongs or boxers to briefs, your underwear choice will undoubtedly influence your urinary tract health. Underwear that is too tight can put pressure on the bladder and cause a lack of air circulation which encourages bacterial growth. Choose proper-fitting underwear made from natural breathable fibers or moisture-wicking material to discourage pathogens and other organisms. Cranberries have been researched for their health-promoting properties since they support healthy bacteria balance in the bladder. Drinking cranberry juice is one way to get these benefits, however many contain a small percentage of actual cranberry juice along with added sugar. Another option is to eat fresh whole cranberries.
Exercise For Bladder Health
Is there anything that exercise can’t do when it comes to our health? Regular exercise affects the urinary tract in a few different ways. First, exercising regularly helps you maintain a healthier weight. Bladder problems are more common in those that are carrying an excess amount of pounds, due to additional pressure on the bladder. Second, working up a sweat gets things moving in the body, including in your digestive system. If you are not having regular bowel movements this puts undue pressure on the bladder. Sometimes this can make it more difficult to fully empty the bladder, or cause increased frequent trips to the restroom. When exercising don’t forget to directly strengthen the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises. Squeezing the pelvic floor muscles strengthens the bladder, reducing leaks and urgency.* The muscle you use to stop the flow of urine is the same muscle you activate in a Kegel exercise. If you struggle having to “go” way too often try adding pumpkin seeds to your diet. Pumpkin seeds contain plant compounds that support bladder integrity and strength.
Watch Your Diet
It’s important to observe if specific foods or beverages can cause issues with frequent restroom visits. Some of the common culprits for this include dairy, soda, coffee and alcohol. These foods and drink options don’t affect everyone the same. You may be able to drink coffee without any affect on your bladder, while someone else may not be able to tolerate it at all. Take note of how your body reacts to see what you should limit or avoid. Something that everyone can do for better bladder health is to eat foods high in fiber such as flaxseeds, berries and vegetables. Fiber-rich foods decrease the chance of constipation and its effects on the bladder while also providing prebiotic material that encourages the growth of healthy bacteria. Eating probiotic foods like kefir and yogurt promote diverse healthy bacteria throughout the digestive system and urinary tract.
Supplements for Urinary Health
Take care of your urinary health and digestion with a little help from our 14-Day Colon Cleanse.* It contains a diverse profile of gut-healthy ingredients like flaxseed powder and lactobacillus acidophilus, a beneficial probiotic, in its formula.* You can also try our Prostate Formula containing nourishing botanical ingredients like maca, saw palmetto, lycopene and pumpkin seed.* We also include pumpkin seed in our Women’s Bladder Control for its benefits related to urinary frequency.* Our Saw Palmetto formula is another great choice for those who want to support healthy urinary function.* For women who want the benefits of cranberries without the empty calories, our customer favorite, Nature’s Lab Cranberry, provides concentrated cranberry without the added sugar.
Kispert, S. E., Marentette, J., Campian, E. C., Isbell, T. S., Kuenzel, H., McHowat, J. (2017, March). Cigarette smoke-induced urothelial cell damage: Potential role of platelet-activating factor. Physiological reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350181/