When I first had interstitial cystitis (IC), I started looking at diet and lifestyle changes that might help me get better. Exercise is generally considered to be health promoting, so I decided to include it in my routine. I knew quite a few people who were jogging regularly and decided to give it a go myself, since it required no special equipment or gym membership.
However, each time I did go for a run I would get a massive flare of my IC symptoms, as well as the urge to run to the toilet.
I eventually abandoned jogging (mainly because I was chronically fatigued and couldn’t do much at all). I only recently came across an explanation as to why jogging may not be so great for the bladder and I thought I’d share it with you!
If you suffer from incontinence there is a chance that you have a prolapsed bladder. This is also known as a dropped bladder, cystocele or a bladder hernia.
This can (and should be) diagnosed by your doctor but there is also an easy way to check for it at home.
When speaking about urinary tract infections, we usually speak about bacterial infections. Fungi (a.k.a yeasts or mold) are different organisms from bacteria and they can cause infections such as thrush in some parts of the body. Fungal infections in the vagina for example are a well-known condition. But can there also be fungal infections in the urinary tract?
Last week I had a look at how hormones affect the urinary tract. Changes in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone and even the ‘male’ hormone testosterone appear to affect urinary tract symptoms.
Oral contraception affects hormone levels in the body and may therefore also affect urinary tract symptoms.
Other contraception may not affect hormones but may have an impact on the urinary tract in other ways.
Today I would like to take a look at what we know about different forms of contraception and bladder health.
Today I’d like to take a closer look at the role of hormones on bladder health. Hormones have been known for a while to play a role in lower urinary tract symptoms such as UTIs, interstitial cystitis and stress incontinence. Hormones may be the reason why women generally seem to be more prone to bladder problems than men and also why some symptoms may get worse at certain times of the month.
We typically associate incontinence with a lack of muscle tone of the pelvic floor or sometimes with bacterial infection. But what if the bladder microbiota and urinary incontinence are linked?
I have explored the role of the urinary microbiota in previous posts (here and here) and how an imbalance in microbes known as ‘dysbiosis’ can play a role in different bladder conditions. One of them is urgency incontinence.
It sounds weird but there is evidence suggesting that even incontinence can be related to the microbes living in our bladder.
This applies specifically to urgency urinary incontinence.
In last week’s post I talked about the urinary microbiota – the bacterial communities that have recently been discovered to be present in the urinary tract.
We know now that microbes that live in and on our bodies play a crucial role in health and illness. There are friendly and pathogenic microbes (bacteria, fungi etc.) plus opportunistic microbes that can become pathogenic when left unchecked.
When the delicate balance of good vs bad microbes is disturbed we become prone to an array of health conditions and infections. This is called a ‘dysbiosis’.
The human bladder and urine have long been considered to be sterile. Emerging evidence challenges this paradigm.
Recent advances in gene sequencing have made it possible to look at the human microbiome (the collective bacteria that live in and on our bodies) and more and more studies are showing an important link between the microbiome and our health.
Standard urine testing methods are limited in their ability to show the true bacterial composition of the urine and their main use is to show certain strains of bacteria that typically overgrow in urinary tract infections.
According to some researchers, the color of urine matches hydration levels in humans . Therefore, it has been proposed that urine color could be used to determine our individual hydration levels. So what color should urine be?
Recommendations for the color we should aim for seem to range from clear urine, to pale yellow, to straw-colored.
But who is right and what is actually healthy? This question could be relevant to those of us who suffer from bladder problems, especially overactive bladder (OAB).
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine or leaking of urine. It is a common problem, especially among women, and it is estimated that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK alone are sufferers. Severe incontinence increases with age.
23% of women affected by the problem put off seeking help because of embarrassment.
Urinary incontinence is a symptom rather than a condition.