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Weak Bladder

by Jessica Lubahn July 07, 2021 2 min read

Weak Bladder

 

Lack of muscle support can allow urinary leakage called stress incontinence.    There are some very valid treatment options your family physician or a urologistcan prescribe.  There are also some ways you can help on your own.

 

Bladder Control Exercises

Kegels, squats, and the bridge can all help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.  Studies show that women who regularly practice these exercises are twice as likely to see improvement and five times more likely to have the symptoms resolve completely.  Before beginning, discuss the option with your medical provider, especially if you have recently had surgery or given birth.

 

Smoking Cessation

If you use tobacco products, stop.  Smoking reduces vascular health which impedes oxygen to the organs, including the bladder.  In addition, the coughing that results from smoking puts additional strain on the bladder which can contribute to stress incontinence.

 

Lifting

Weakened muscles won't provide enough strength when lifting moderate to heavy objects. 

 

Nutrition

Currently there are no dietary guidelines to promote a healthy, strong bladder.  Since individuals react differently to various foods, it can be difficult to promote one food group over another.  We do recommend avoiding acidic and citrus foods.  Regardless, a balanced diet of fiber-rich whole grains, nuts, lean proteins, vegetables, and non-citrus fruits is a good idea.

 

Weight

Eliminate excess weight.  Certain studies indicate that young women with body fat over 32% were 95% more likely to suffer with OAB.  Another study shows that urinary incontinence can be reduced by 17% with proper weight loss.

 

Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine irritates the bladder muscles which can cause the spasms that make urination more urgent.  It is also a mild diuretic, which increases the amount of water eliminated daily.  Alcohol as well is a mild diuretic.  If you do consume these beverages, do so early enough to avoid frequent nighttime bathroom trips.

 

Hydration

While you may be tempted to reduce the amount of water consumption during the day, it is actually important to stay hydrated.  This helps all the body functions.  Less fluid in your system will reduce the amount of urine the bladder can hold, which translates into more bathroom trips.  Proper hydration also helps with bowel function.  Constipation will force more strain on the muscle groups and be hard on the pelvic floor.

 

Implementing relatively simple lifestyle changes can help strengthen the bladder and pelvic muscles to improve OAB.  If symptoms continue or worsen, be sure to seek medical attention. 

 

Jessica Lubahn
Jessica Lubahn

Dr. Jessica Lubahn, a Washington University School of Medicine (in St. Louis) graduate, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology with over 13 years of experience in the medical field. Aside from practicing in Portland, Dr. Lubahn is a health writer and consultant, and the founder of ONDRwear. Dr. Lubahn’s mission is to destigmatize menstrual, urinary, and other types of leakage, by creating effective, beautiful products. Dr. Lubahn prides herself on patient care and is committed to providing the highest quality care to all of her patients, as well as her customers.



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