Keeping a Healthy Bladder
While bladder issues are a common occurrence for older adults, that does not mean that suffering from them won’t cause a significant and upsetting interruption to your daily life. By taking steps to increase the health and strength of your bladder, you can make sure that it functions as best as it possibly can, despite the complications of age. You may not be able to control every facet of the health of your bladder, but read on for steps you can take to keep it working well and doesn’t make your life harder than it has to be.
The bladder is an elastic, balloon-like organ that holds urine, a waste product made up of unnecessary compounds and excess fluids, filtered out in our kidneys. When your brain sends the signal to urinate, the muscles of the bladder are also responsible for contracting, and beginning the process of eliminating urine through your urethra. As we age, the normally stretchy tissue that makes up the bladder can become tougher, and less stretchy. This, among other common aging issues, can lead to all sorts of problems, such as frequent or uncontrollable urination, bladder infections, or urinary tract infections.
The key to maintaining the health of your bladder is, like many of your body’s systems, good nutrition and lifestyle. While overall good nutrition is helpful for your entire body, some foods and drinks are specifically of interest to the health and function of the bladder.
- Berries contain a compound called flavanol, helping to fight off infections. Useful for staving off UTIs as well as being good for the whole body.
- Cranberry juice and supplements have long been an herbal remedy for bladder issues, and taken consistently, can help with the overall health of your urinary tract.
- Garlic, in all its forms, fresh, powdered, or supplements, can help fight inflammation in the bladder and kidneys.
- Whole grains contain fiber, which can help with gut health, overall digestion, and prevent constipation. When constipated, an impacted colon can put pressure on your bladder, leading to discomfort and difficulty controlling urination.
- Protein, which helps with muscle development and health, is good for your bladder, which is a muscle.
- Celery decreases uric acid, which is a leading cause of discomfort before and during urination.
- Apple cider vinegar, long a favorite of hippies and natural remedy proponents, the enzymes, potassium, and minerals found in apple cider vinegar inhibit bacterial growth in the urinary tract. Adding a couple tablespoons of the unfiltered kind to a glass of water, once a day will allow you to reap the benefits.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water is the best drink for maintaining your urinary tract health, and at least half of your fluid intake should be simple water.
While it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle as we age, important habits that have positive effects on overall bodily health will also go far in keeping the bladder healthy. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing chronic conditions like diabetes are an excellent course of action. Quitting smoking.