Good urinary health is a gift. Just ask anyone with an overactive bladder, prostatitis, or erectile dysfunction examples of urinary or male reproductive organs suffering from health issues affecting the quality of life. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. Men and women can take steps to achieve and maintain urinary health as they age. While there are no guarantees you won’t develop a medical condition affecting your urinary health, it should at least slow the progression or seriousness of an issue.
Four easy ways to nurture urinary health
Each day, make it your opportunity to nurture good health. The following four steps, will not only protect and preserve the health of your urinary system but also do the same for your entire body. The urinary system involves the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. This system of organs works tirelessly round the clock, continually adjusting to changes in your environment and everything you eat or drink that enters your body to remove waste products while producing urine.
To keep your urinary system running smoothly and functioning properly, here are four ways to keep it that:
- Drink sufficient water each day
Our bodies are made up of approximately 65 percent water. Every day, our bodies are bombarded with antigens such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens with the intent to do us harm. One way to counter these unwelcome visitors is to keep well-hydrated with water. Water helps flush out these bad substances along with other wastes from the bloodstream your body doesn’t need. Sufficient water intake also helps prevent kidney or bladder stones and carries buildup of bacteria, increasing the risk of a urinary tract or prostate infection.
Men who consume plenty of water daily enhance good blood flow, which in turn, enhances their sexual health by promoting good erectile functioning.
Besides drinking water, fruits, vegetables, and soup are other good sources of this beverage. Not sure how much water to drink each day? A simple estimate is to divide your weight in half and aim for that number in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for 75 ounces (or 9 cups) of water daily.
2. Aim for five servings daily of fruits and veggies
Most Americans are not eating enough produce. A study found that only about 13% of adults in the U.S. eat the minimum recommended amount of 3.5 to 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are valuable sources of various vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. For example, if you want a healthy bladder, often eat pears, berries, bananas, carrots, and squash. Also, load up on cranberries, bananas, and probiotic-rich sauerkraut to prevent urinary tract infections. When you fill-up on fiber-filled, water-rich fruits and veggies, it discourages over-eating. Gaining too much weight puts you at risk for kidney, bladder, and prostate cancers and may lead to weakness of pelvic floor muscles.
3. Improve core strength with physical activity
A strong core of abdominal and chest muscles, and an elongated spine, are the backbone of good urinary health. These core parts of core strength are necessary to reduce bladder pressure and to prevent symptoms of urinary incontinence. Exercising regularly also reduces and maintains blood pressure and good blood flow from strong erections and for prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Every day, find ways to fit in physical activity throughout your day.
4. Rest and recuperate with a good night’s sleep
Inadequate sleep contributes to many health problems, such as weight gain, uncontrolled blood sugar levels, and daytime sleepiness. However, poor sleep is also associated with increasing the risk of nighttime urinary frequency (nocturia) and daytime lower urinary tract symptoms.
Studies have found that both men and women who suffer from sleep deprivation are more affected by osmotic dieresis, which leads to excessive urine production at night.
Adults are not the only ones affected by lack of sleep. A 2012 study found that sleep deprivation in children ages 8-12 also had higher incidences of frequent nighttime urination, excreted more sodium in their urine, and showed alterations in regulating hormones necessary for excretion.
Since lack of sleep can lead to significant health problems, here are suggestions for reducing nocturia:
- Stop drinking any fluids, including alcohol and caffeine, at least 3 hours before bedtime
- One hour before bedtime, elevate your legs. This helps reduce peripheral edema converting to urine during sleep.
- Practice sleep hygiene habits: Have a bedtime routine, go to bed at the same time every night, turn down the thermostat, keep your room as dark as possible, and limit the use of electronic devices.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.