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Your bladder is working daily to expel urine from your system. Its role in waste removal is critical, yet bladder health is something that isn’t often discussed. Your bladder is part of a urinary system that consists of many intricate parts. Urine is created in the kidneys and then flows down tubes (ureters) where it is stored in your bladder. When it is time to urinate, urine travels out from your bladder through your urethra. 
At any point in the process, infection or any other urinary condition can cause mild to severe discomfort. Bladder conditions like urinary tract infections (UTIs), cystitis, or overactive bladder syndrome are commonly treated with Macrobid (nitrofurantoin), Monurol (fosfomycin), Keflex (cephalexin), Detrol (tolterodine), and Toviaz. Talk to your doctor if you experience pain or irritation while urinating. Read on to learn tips on how to keep your bladder healthy.
Flush Out Bacteria
You can naturally remove bacteria and irritants from your bladder by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day. Drinking enough water is an effective way to keep your urinary tract clean and prevent bladder infections. Staying hydrated with water instead of other beverages is ideal. Soda pop, tea, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks can overstimulate your bladder, dehydrating you as a result. 
Keep in mind that drinking too much water can have adverse effects. You want to drink enough so that you have a comfortable urinating routine, but not so much that you constantly need to empty your bladder. 
Things to Avoid
There is a strong link between tobacco use and bladder cancer. If you smoke, you are three times likelier than a non-smoker to get bladder cancer. More than 50,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year.  For the sake of your bladder health, it may be time to quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
If you are diagnosed with cystitis, avoiding acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes can reduce the number of flare-ups. There are many foods that can improve bladder health, but some foods may cause bladder problems more than others. For this reason, many people start a bladder diary to keep track of the foods that trigger discomfort. With time, keeping a bladder diary can help you narrow down the foods you need to avoid. 
Along with harmful foods and tobacco, being sedentary can be harmful to your bladder health. A study showed that inactivity increases the risk of developing bladder issues by 15 percent.  Sedentary habits may also be a factor that leads to constipation, further stressing your bladder. If you work a desk job, try to walk around and stretch every 30 minutes to ensure you are not retaining excess fluids. 
Foods to Eat
You can keep your bladder healthy without sacrificing on tasty foods. Coffee, alcohol, tomato-based products, citrus fruits, and spicy foods may be out of the question if you have a sensitive bladder, but there are many other foods that are bladder-friendly. These foods include:
- Nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts
- Green beans
- Winter squash
- Whole grains like quinoa, rice, and oats
- Lean proteins like low-fat beef, chicken, turkey, and fish 
Exercises for Bladder Control
Strengthening the muscles around your bladder can also improve your bladder control. Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder and urethra. Just like the muscles in your arms or legs, you can tone your pelvic floor muscles through exercise. Kegel exercises are specifically designed to build your pelvic floor muscles. Ask your doctor about the proper Kegel technique for maximum effectiveness.  
Keeping a Bladder Diary
If you are experiencing bladder discomfort, keeping a diary can help you understand the cause of these unpleasant symptoms. You should see a doctor about any bladder pain or irritation. You can also jot down the time of day the pain occurs or what you eat immediately before the irritation happens. This can help your doctor make a better diagnosis during your appointment. As mentioned above, noting the foods that trigger bladder tenderness can give you a better idea of what foods to choose for your next meal. 
The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.