Take Care of Your Bladder
Posted on: July 9, 2013
Take Care of Your Bladder – Insight into Bladder Disorders
By Linda Adams, LVN
July is bladder cancer awareness month. The symptoms of bladder cancer may be similar to symptoms of other bladder conditions. It is important to be aware and understand the differences.
The most common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood or blood clots in the urine
- Pain during urination
- Urinating small amounts frequently
- Frequent urinary tract infections
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor who will complete a thorough medical history and examination. You may then be referred to a urologist, a physician who has special training in managing diseases of the bladder.
But what if you are just experience urinary urgency or urinary incontinence? Through simple behavior modification you can lessen your symptom’s severity. Here are a few self care tips to help with these very common issues.
Regulate your fluid intake with a consistent and constant daily consumption. Many people with bladder control problems reduce the amount of liquids they drink because they fear urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence. This practice actually makes those symptoms worse. However, I recommend limiting your intake 2-3 hours before bedtime if night time voiding is a problem.
Eliminate bladder irritants such as caffeine, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners (particularly aspartame), spicy foods, citrus juices and fruits and alcohol. Also, prevent constipation through use of dietary fiber, fluid intake and exercise. Smoking cessation and weight reduction are also recommended.
Avoid using the bathroom when you do not have an urge, this is called “just in case” voiding and can create your desire for increased frequency.
Pelvic floor strengthening called Kegels, (with or without biofeedback) done daily and correctly can reduce and even prevent certain problems. The recommended number of Kegels vary, but 60-80 per day has been proven to reduce bladder frequency symptoms.
In most cases urinary incontinence can be treated and controlled, if not cured. If you are having bladder control problems, see your doctor or seek a specialist in urinary incontinence and bladder dysfunction.
Linda Adams, LVN works with the urologists at Pacific Urology, a division of Diablo Valley Oncology, where together, they have created a continence program that is specifically designed to reduce and/or eliminate the causes of incontinence. For more information about our Continence Center or to schedule an appointment with Linda, call: Walnut Creek: 925-937-7740 or San Ramon: 925-830-1140
Tags: Bladder Cancer