Posted on | November 24, 2011 | No Comments
I read this article written by Nicola Conville on a health website called Body & Soul (www.bodyandsoul.com.au) and thought everyone needs to read this. So… excuse the fact that I’ve copied it pasted it – I just really like the information and encourage you to have a read, follow the advice and please do go to the website if you’d like more information.
Dashing to the toilet at every opportunity may be harming your bladder, say experts.
Did you know? Around 2 million women in Australia and New Zealand have bladder loss, or incontinence. So if you have some degree of bladder weakness, you are not alone.
Are you in the habit of always popping to the loo right before you leave the house? Do you avail of every toilet you see when you’re out and about – just in case? If so, you may be doing yourself more harm than good with this seemingly innocent habit. ”Some people go to the toilet frequently because they think ‘I’d better go before I leave’, which you should never do,” says Dr Elizabeth Farrell, a gynecologist with the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health. “Frequent trips to the toilet means your bladder never gets a chance to fill up. Then because it never reaches its full volume – it shrinks.”
So how many times a day should the average person urinate? “The normal range is between four and six times a day, including up to two visits to the loo during the night,” explains Dr Farrell. In other words, once every four hours is considered normal. “Certainly anything under two hours would be too frequent,” she adds.
Of course, there are a few factors that influence the frequency of voiding. “It’s very dependent on how much you drink and your bladder capacity,” says Dr Cindy Pan. “Sometimes people over drink with water, giving themselves urgency of the bladder. Other things that can stimulate the bladder include caffeine, soft drinks and spicy foods.” Being dehydrated or suffering from interstitial cystitis are triggers too, adds Dr Farrell.
Getting help and taking steps to rectify the issue is vital to avoid bladder problems later in life, says Dr Farrell. “It is a significant constraint and some women are socially isolated because of it,” she explains. “I have patients who come in and say they know where every toilet in the city is, because they’re afraid that if they can’t find a loo they’ll wet themselves.” If you do find yourself doing the dash a bit too often, see your GP to ensure there are no underlying issues. “A urine infection is an abnormal condition that can cause frequent urination, as can diabetes or a neurological problem like a spinal cord injury,” says Dr Pan. “Most of the time it’s not going to be anything like that, however. It’s usually just a behavioral thing.”
The good news is that you can learn to retrain your bladder. “The best thing to do is try to hold on a bit more and resist the urge to void all the time,” says Dr Pan. She also suggests keeping a diary of your fluid intake and how often you’re voiding so you can work with your GP to fix the problem. Pelvic floor exercises are also a must, says Dr Farrell, particularly post-childbirth. “See a pelvic floor physiotherapist for tips and exercises,” she advises.