MANAGING BLADDER HEALTH THROUGH THE MIDLIFE YEARS
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Managing Bladder Health Through The Midlife Years
It might not seem like there’s much of a reason to focus on bladder health in the years between early parenthood and menopause – after all, you’ve already gone through the trauma of childbirth but you haven’t yet had to deal with the hot flashes and hormone changes that come as you enter your 50s. What’s there to worry about?
In fact, these years are actually some of the most important where bladder health is concerned. Many of the choices you make in this time will influence how well your bladder and bowels function as you get older, and it doesn’t have to take an enormous effort to do the things you should be doing to keep them in great shape.
The hardest challenge will be to keep them in mind as you do your best to manage with child rearing, caring for aging parents, advancing your career, saving for retirement and keeping in good overall health. Nobody ever said it was easy to be an adult!
With that in mind, below are a few tips to help manage and maintain your pelvic floor health during midlife.
Maintaining Good Pelvic Health
Remember regular maintenance
Following childbirth, it’s easy to let your pelvic floor exercises fall by the wayside – who has the time to think about them when you’re shuffling kids off to scout meetings, running to the bank and preparing for that big presentation. But remember that these exercises are easy – they don’t take much time at all, there’s not a lot of exertion involved, and you can do them almost anywhere. Nobody has to know that you’re doing Kegels while you’re waiting at the stoplight, or that you’re squeezing something else while you’re squeezing the Charmin at the supermarket. Keeping a strong pelvic floor is one of the simplest and best things you can do to keep incontinence at bay, so try to make it a regular habit.
Keep tabs on your progress
If you see early signs of incontinence – light leaking, sudden urgency, frequent urination at night – it’s time to take action, before things get worse. It’s always easier to deal with an incontinence condition when it’s first starting out than when it’s become a full-blown problem, so don’t delay. What, exactly, does that entail? A number of things:
Watch your diet
Make sure you’re drinking a sufficient amount of water, neither more nor less than you should each day, and do your best to avoid bladder irritants. Click here for more details on bladder-healthy eating and drinking habits.
Track any issues
A bladder or bowel diary is a great way to follow your symptoms to identify any patterns that may be related to your episodes. Click here for free downloadable diaries.
See your doctor
We always like to say “there’s no shame in being human.” Too many of us are embarrassed by our incontinence to speak to anyone about it, even a physician, and as a result, we suffer in silence until things get so bad that we have no other options but to speak up. Why wait for the inevitable? Talk with a doctor today – NAFC can help you find one if you don’t know who to turn to – and you’ll discover that doctors are great at dealing with patients who are uncomfortable bringing it up. Click here if you’d like a little guidance on how to open up with a physician – it’s not always an easy conversation, but it’s worth it! There are so many proven, effective treatments available today that there’s almost certainly going to be something that works for you.
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