Improving bladder health
Improving bladder health. One of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists, Laura Barret, gives us some of her top tips.
- drink more water! Studies show an adult woman requires 2-3l of water a day. A dehydrated bladder can be a twitchy bladder.
- Reduce your caffeine intake to 2 a day maximum. Tea, green tea and energy drinks contain caffeine too.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a diuretic causing dehydration and more concentrated urine leading to bladder irritation.
- Reduce your consumption of citrus fruit juices as their acidity may irritate the bladder
- Sit correctly on the toilet (feet raised and forward lean)to relax the pelvic floor and reduce straining.
- Avoid constipation to reduce pressure on the pelvic floor from straining.
- Avoid rushing or hovering when going to the toilet. Rushing can lead to you not emptying the bladder completely or incorrectly lead you to using the pelvic floor to force urination. Hovering can cause changes to the stream of urine and can encourage pelvic floor activation or bearing down.
- Don’t do a wee ‘just in case’. Emptying when your bladder is not full and before it has sent the message to the brain that you soon need to empty can lead to an overactive bladder.
- Take care of your pelvic floor. This may be in the form of strengthening exercises, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises or self massage.
- Avoid foods high in vitamin C as they can irritate the bladder. Peppers are a culprit!
- Avoid spicy food as it may irritate the bladder
- Always wipe front to back to avoid transfer of faeces to the vagina and urethral opening.
- Stop smoking! Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. People who smoke are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer than those who don’t.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is linked to the recurrence of bladder cancer.
- Exercise regularly. Do any exercise that your symptoms allow: swimming, walking, Pilates
- Wear cotton underwear to help prevent urinary tract infections.
You’ll find more tips on our website under news and articles.
If you have any symptoms of incontinence, urgency, increased frequency or prolapse, it is great to book yourself an appointment with one of our women’s health physiotherapists.