In the days of most everyone carrying a water bottle in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, frequent urination may not be a seen as a red flag of a serious health issue. Truth be told, passing urine more than eight times a day may be a signal of a bladder health problem. One of the many health observances in the month of November is National Bladder Awareness Month; what a better time to learn more about this little talked about part of our bodies.
Bladder health issues are estimated to affect approximately 45% of the world's population age twenty and older. Although there are many, common bladder health issues include Overactive Bladder (OAB), Incontinence, and Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). Let's break each of these down:
Overactive Bladder (OAB) - A common, sometimes disabling condition characterized by symptoms such as strong need to urinate right away, frequent urination and, in many cases, strong need to urinate with leaking. Overactive Bladder can be confused with other health conditions involving frequent urination or the urge to urinate.
Incontinence – The loss of bladder and/or bowel control. It is not a disease or a syndrome, but the result of certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices. There are many different types of incontinence and symptoms can be anywhere from mild, such as an occasional, slight loss of urine, to very sever with a complete loss of control of both bladder and bowel.
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) - is the increase in the number and size of prostate gland tissue. Approximately 50% of men above the age of 50 will have BPH; of those only half will have symptoms of BPH. The symptoms of BPH include the inability to completely empty the bladder, dribbling at the end of urinating, urgency, frequency of urination, weak urine stream, loss of bladder control, and having to urinate more than two times per night.
As you can see the symptoms of these and other bladder health issues are very similar. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms be sure to discuss them further with your health care provider in order to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment approach.
The good news is that along with many other health issues, diet can be a protective factor. In effort to help keep your bladder healthy consider the following:
- Limit coffee consumption to one cup per day
- Avoid soda and try to drink more water
- Moderate consumption of foods which are spicy and high in sodium
- Increase consumption of fruits and veggies like cauliflower and mushrooms which help the bladder relax.
To learn more about bladder health and bladder health issues visit:http://www.bladderhealthawareness.org/ http://womenshealthfoundation.org/