The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to keep control of the bladder. But why is this the case? Why do older people tend to have more bladder problems than younger people?
Unfortunately, most people who experience mild bladder problems can do little to prevent it – it’s just another of life’s wonderful ways of treating people as they age. This being said, you will find some tips at the end of this guide for those who want to keep their bladder as healthy as possible for as long as possible. While you may not stop the problem, you may slow the aging process somewhat.
Why Bladder Control Weakens
To answer the question posed in the title, bladder issues generally arise as people get older because of the bladder tissue. When you were younger, the bladder tissue had elasticity, and this allowed for control. Sadly, this elasticity disappears with age and the tissue can also become quite tough.
Simultaneously, both the pelvic floor muscles and bladder walls weaken over time. These two problems combine to cause a loss of bladder control, leaking urine, and even infections and other health concerns.
Common Bladder Problems and Symptoms
When it comes to general bladder weakening and loss of control, this is often referred to as urinary incontinence. In other words, you either leak urine or you can’t always hold it effectively.
Elsewhere, another problem in older generations is UTIs (urinary tract infections). In case you didn’t know, the urinary tract sits between the kidneys and the bladder. Infections in this area are common for older people since weakened bladder muscles can leave urine behind in the bladder. Although you may feel empty, some urine stays behind and this leads to bacteria. Over time, the urinary tract becomes infected.
If you’re worried about UTIs, common symptoms include:
- Needing to urinate even though not much is released
- Burning while peeing
- Pain in the general area
Meanwhile, you might find that you have an overactive bladder or that you need to urinate frequently. If you have any of these issues, invest in a discreet commode chair, and then it’s imperative that you speak with a medical professional and they will advise accordingly.
Though we don’t like to think about it, some people also experience bladder cancer. Common in smokers, keep an eye on your urine because one of the biggest symptoms is blood.
In terms of the wider symptoms for a bladder problem, it’s best to consult a doctor if you experience urinary incontinence, the need to urinate comes on suddenly, you’re urinating more frequently than normal, or you find blood in your urine. Otherwise, you may wake up in the night to urinate, have cloudy urine, or have a weak stream when you do visit the toilet.
Maintaining a Healthy Bladder
As promised, this final section will provide some advice for bladder health. Firstly, drink lots of water. Water is the magical liquid that keeps lots of body parts and functions healthy, and your bladder is the same. If possible, experts recommend at least six glasses per day.
Next, throw away the cigarettes and control your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Also, introduce a good exercise plan and keep a healthy weight. Both tips can alleviate constipation, a cause of bladder issues.
Lastly, never hold your urine for too long. Of course, you’re not always within reach of a toilet, but make the effort to listen to your body. If you need the toilet, go as soon as possible.
Whatever happens, don’t be ashamed of the natural aging process and what it does to your bladder. Speak with your doctor and seek solutions to common bladder issues!