Uromedix Recommends Extending National Bladder Health Awareness Past November
The Urology and Urologic Surgery Center suggests the subject is important all year ‘round
Most people are already unaware that November is National Bladder Health Awareness Month, and the professionals at Uromedix think that is a shame. Having a dedicated month offers the opportunity to speak out about bladder health conditions, like incontinence, and a chance to urge everyone to check in with their bladder health and maybe even do something to improve it.
Who is impacted by incontinence? It could be anyone and start anytime.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control, resulting in the accidental loss of urine. Over 25 million Americans live with incontinence every day, with roughly 75-80% of them being women. Some lose urine while running or coughing, which is called “stress incontinence.” Others may feel a strong, sudden need or urgency to urinate just before losing urine, which is called “urgency incontinence.” But even with its variety and common experiences, it is a condition that gets swept under the rug far too often, with patients leaving information out of discussions with their doctors because of embarrassment or even acceptance.
Granted, incontinence is not something most people want to talk about, either casually or in a professional capacity. People are known to hide it from their friends, family, and significant others. On average, most women wait up to 7 years before speaking about incontinence with their personal physician.
As a matter of fact, 1 in 4 women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily, and it can either be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating. For some, the chance of embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many of their favorite day-to-day activities, while the economic costs can be substantial. Bladder pads, briefs, hygiene, and odor-control products, laundry, dry cleaning and more all add up to year-after-year of wasted resources.
Other conditions include overactive and underactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections, nocturia, bladder cancer, urotrauma and neurogenic bladder. All of these can impact your health, quality of life, and result in significant health costs.
While Bladder Health Awareness Month has proven to be a great time to focus on connecting, educating, and empowering individuals to take control of their bladder health, it really is important enough to warrant focus throughout the year. While many Americans continue to shy away from talking to their healthcare provider about their bladder health symptoms because they are too embarrassed, several bladder conditions can be treated through simple lifestyle changes, behavior modification, or diet and exercise.
Awareness is critical when it comes to reducing the stigma associated with incontinence and other bladder health conditions and symptoms.
At Uromedix, we work closely together with patients to discover the root causes before determining a treatment plan, which can range from basic behavioral modifications and pelvic floor physical therapy to simple clinical procedures and minimally invasive surgery.
Tips for Everyday Bladder Health
- Hydrate. 6 to 8 cups a day. It is the first tip because it is the most important, and the easiest to forget day-to day.
- Limit the intake of coffee, tea, cola, and alcohol, as these may upset your bladder, heightening bladder activity and leading to leakage.
- If you rush to leave the toilet, you do not fully empty your bladder. Take your time in the restroom so that your bladder can completely empty and you can avoid bladder infections.
- Also, women should not hover over the toilet seat. Sitting on the toilet to go is the healthiest option.
- Some foods can bother the bladder and worsen incontinence. Try avoiding foods that are spicy or acidic, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, as well as chocolate (which is also a source of caffeine).
- Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with pelvic floor muscle physical therapy/training.
- Quit the cigarettes. Tobacco is a major cause of bladder cancer.
Everyone should keep in mind that the bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ made mostly of muscles, and muscles can atrophy when not used properly and consistently. You should be going to the bathroom 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice at night. If that is not your personal routine, you should explore why, no matter what month it is.
Uromedix: Urology and Urologic Surgery, is a Division of 21st Century Oncology, LLC, with locations in Aventura, Pembroke Pines and Hialeah, and they look forward to providing you with the best possible care. If you are experiencing any symptoms, click here to answer a few brief questions. If you know someone else suffering in silence, please send them our link. Bladder awareness can save a life today, so be sure to spread the word.