Talk to Your Doctor about Bladder Control Problems
If you are having bladder control problems, the first step I would recommend is to meet with your primary care provider. This may be your doctor, or a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant.
They need to know what is happening! I know it can be embarrassing, but you cannot get their help if you don’t share.
Your primary provider may send you to a urologist or a physical therapist. They may suggest you try a new medication for bladder control problems.
Something your doctor may help you with is to recognize if your urine is the correct color.
Color and Smell can Indicate a UTI
One of the signs that something is going on with your urine is if the color or the smell is off.
Typically, a light yellow would be the normal color. There are some supplements that cause the urine to change colors, so make sure your doctor is aware of any supplements you are taking.
They may also do a urine test to see if you have an infection that is causing your bladder problems. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause bladder control problems like frequent urination.
If you have bladder control problems, make sure that you are still hydrating yourself. Dehydration can cause UTIs.
Normal aging of the mouth and tongue causes people not to be as thirsty. We call this a “reduced sensation of thirst.”
I usually recommend to my patients to have an objective measure of how much they are drinking every day. This can be a specific size water pitcher or a certain number of glasses per day.
Ask your doctor how much water you should be drinking. The amount of water needed varies from person to person depending on height, weight and any medical issues.
If you are not properly hydrated it can lead to bladder infections and bladder control problems.
Dehydration can also cause a new onset of BPPV.
Keep in mind that it is normal for people over 65 to take up to two trips to the bathroom at night.
If you are going to the bathroom more than twice at night, you are having what is called Nocturia. This bladder problem causes excessive urination during the night.
Nocturia is one of the bladder control problems you should mention to your doctor. Tell the doctor if you are going to the bathroom more than twice a night.
Exercise to Improve Bladder Control Problems
There are some specialized exercises that can help you with your bladder control problems.
The bladder is controlled by a muscle and just as with most of our body, the muscles will have reduced strength as we get older.
Strengthening exercises that focus on the core, hips, stomach, sides, and back can strengthen the muscles in the area of the bladder.
General fitness may help to some extent, but there is also physical therapy that specializes in controlling the bladder.
Note that it used to be called “Women’s Health,” but they renamed this specialty “Pelvic Health.” This specialized physical therapy is for both male and female patients.
Men can have bladder problems as well, especially if they have any prostate issues.
Pelvic Health is a specialty within physical therapy that your doctor can refer you to if you are having bladder problems. You can learn some exercises to help from a professional.
E-Course for Bladder Control Retraining
Because this topic of bladder control is such a wide spread problem for people over 65, it affects the risk of falling so greatly.
For that reason, I created an online course with the help of a Pelvic Health physical therapist for people to improve their bladder control.
This e-course is intended for people who are making multiple trips to the bathroom at night, having embarrassing accidents, urinating more than 8 times a day, or rushing to the toilet because the urge to urinate is irresistible.
This course can help you learn strategies and exercise to improve your bladder problems.
A lot of times people don’t want anybody to know if they are having bladder problems!
They keep it a secret, which can actually prevent them from getting the care that they need.
Bladder control problems may also lead to social isolation! This problem may cause people to not want to leave the house for fear of having a bladder accident.
Don’t let these fears or embarrassment keep you from getting the help that you need.
To learn how bladder control problems can cause falls, click here.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.