Most people don’t take the time to really think about their bladder health, but urination is a huge part of our daily lives and anything that affects this can have a huge impact on our quality of life.
In the UK, it is estimated that almost half of women have had a UTI – that’s around 33 million women! (1). Women are more prone to UTIs due to anatomical and hormonal differences, but men can get them too. In fact, increasing age is a risk factor for both men and women when it comes to UTIs.
The most common treatment for a UTI is a course of antibiotics and indeed antibiotics are also used long-term to treat frequent UTIs. However, with the current global problem of antibiotic resistance and the negative impact of antibiotics on our gut flora, it is more important than ever that people think about bladder health in the same way we think about any chronic health conditions that become more likely with age.
While some things are out of our control – like our genetics and certain environmental factors, there are some lifestyle changes that we can incorporate into our daily lives to support our bladder health. Keeping your bladder healthy can help to protect again bladder infections like UTIs, therefore reducing the need to take frequent antibiotics.
Hydration is the number one factor in bladder health
Yes, we’ve all heard it before: drink two litres of water, and avoiding fizzy and acidic drinks is crucial for our bladder, for both women and men.
Typical messages around healthy eating are also valid for supporting bladder health. For example, there is evidence that eating a Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of developing bladder cancer (2). The Mediterranean diet doesn’t have a fixed definition, but it is generally a diet that is high in fruit and vegetables, nuts, beans, wholegrains, fish and unsaturated fatty acids like olive oil.
The healthiest vegetables to eat daily are: avocado, broccoli, celery, green peppers, cucumbers, courgettes, and all salad greens, they contribute to an alkaline urine which is protective of the bladder tissues.
Increasing fibre intake can have benefits for both the bladder and the bowel and one way to do this is by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables that you eat (3).
Drinks – But careful what you reach for
Staying hydrated is important to maintain good bladder health as it keeps urine diluted with a balanced pH which can help to prevent infections. However, what you drink is important as evidence supports the fact that drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, and indeed diet soft/fizzy drinks, can trigger UTIs in those who are susceptible to them (4). Alcohol and caffeine are also diuretics, which means that increase the amount of urine you produce, which could in turn increase the risk of dehydration.
Exercise – Work those pelvic muscles
Keeping pelvic floor muscles strong can help to support good bladder health. This is because these muscles support the bladder organs and also increase control over the bladder. Pelvic floor muscle exercises are usually associated with pregnant women, but these exercises are also a treatment for UTIs in both men and women (4). As we age, we are more prone to UTIs and bladder issues so starting to strengthen your pelvic floor is an excellent preventative measure.
If you want to do more to help prevent the symptoms of UTIs taking over your life, try URALIX capsules. URALIX is a natural, antibiotic-free supplement for long-term bladder support and urinary health. URALIX capsules contain a well-researched blend of natural ingredients that have been found to reduce inflammation of the bladder plus prevent E. coli sticking to the wall of the bladder.
URALIX capsules can be taken both for symptomatic relief of UTIs as well as long-term protection and maintenance by simply adjusting the dose.
- Kidney Research UK.www.kidneyresearchuk.org
- An inverse association between the Mediterranean diet and bladder cancer risk: a pooled analysis of 13 cohort studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-01907-8
- Eating your way to a healthier bladder, Bladder and Bowel Community. https://www.bladderandbowel.org/news/eating-way-healthier-bladder-bowel/
- Impact of behaviour and lifestyle on bladder health, The International Journal of Clinical Practice June 2013, 67, 6, 495–504.
Dr. Naomi Newman-Beinart, PhD
Nutritionist (BSc) & Chartered Psychologist specialising in Health (PhD)