5 Bladder & Kidney Problems & How To Manage Them
There are a number of factors that come into play when the health of your bladder and kidneys are concerned. Aging, pregnancy, gender, and trauma, to name a few.
We take a look at the most common issues people are facing today, and what you can do to treat, and even possibly prevent them:
- Bladder control issues
This is when there is uncontrolled leaking of urine from the bladder – also known as urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence can be caused by an overactive bladder, poor closure of the bladder, or a blockage of the urethra. The most common type is called stress incontinence, occurring when you cough, sneeze or laugh. While not considered life threatening, this condition is not pleasant and is highly inconvenient.
Pelvic floor exercises (or ‘Kegels’ exercise), pilates, tablets, non-invasive medical procedures and in more severe cases, surgery, are all treatment options for the condition.
2. Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI is exactly that, an infection of the urinary tract. Symptoms vary from person to person, but usually include one or more of the following; an urgent need to urinate, a painful or burning sensation while urinating, pressure in the lower abdomen, or urine that is ‘cloudy’ or has a strong odour.
Treatment firstly includes a diagnosis via urine sample from your doctor who will then administer antibiotics to clear up the infection. For uncomplicated cases, cranberry juice has been known to help clear up infections. Some cases are more severe than others, but if left untreated, the infection can travel up to the kidneys, which opens up a host of more serious concerns.
3. Kidney stones
According to org, one in ten people will have a kidney stone over the course of a lifetime.
Kidney stones occur when there is a build-up of oxalate, calcium, uric acid, or cystine in the body. This is usually as a result of a genetic predisposition, but not necessarily. Symptoms include severe pain (usually in the lower back and groin area), and especially when sitting or lying down, nausea, vomiting, fever, perspiration, the urge to urinate, or a recurring UTI.
Treatment includes pain relievers and drinking lots of water to help pass the stone. Medications are often prescribed to dissolve the stones and sometimes medical procedures may be required to remove or break up larger stones. A natural remedy known to help is apple cider vinegar which contains citric acid that may help dissolve calcium.
4. Kidney infection
Often as a result of an untreated UTI, a kidney infection usually starts in the urethra and then travels up to the kidneys. Symptoms include back or groin pain, fever, nausea and vomiting, blood in the urine, and frequent urination. Treatment is usually antibiotics which often need to be administered in hospital. Severe kidney infection can lead to life threatening complications, so don’t wait if you suspect a kidney infection!
5. Kidney Disease
Kidney disease in a nut shell is the loss of kidney function, ultimately resulting in kidney failure. This can happen over time, so it is not always apparent that you are suffering from kidney disease.
Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, swelling of the feet, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping and muscle twitches.
Treatment will be to try and slow the progression of the kidney damage and to treat the underlying causes. If the disease reaches the final stages of kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant is the only option.
So how can you prevent these conditions from occurring in the first place?
While prevention is not always possible in any of the above, there are a number of common lifestyle habits you can adopt to maintain healthy bladder and kidneys.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. This is key to rid the system of toxins and any dodgy bacteria lurking around.
- Eat a diet high in fibre and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low fat dairy products.
- Drink fluids high in natural citrate such as lemonade. (According to kidney stone specialist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Allan Jhagroo, citrate in the urine may prevent calcium from binding with other constituents that lead to stones.)
- Exercise regularly. This goes without saying.
- Don’t wait to urinate! Go as soon as you feel the urge.
- Develop good toilet habits – wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
- Take a good probiotic daily.
- Practice good hygiene – particularly of the genital area – and especially before sex.
- Empty your bladder before and after sex
- Supplement your diet. Kaizen Bladder & Kidney Cleanse Tea contains buchu which has been specially formulated to assist bladder and kidney health. Buchu has antiseptic and diuretic properties which helps flush and cleanse the kidneys, potentially removing any cause of infection and helping to alleviate pain. It is known to break up kidney or bladder stones and can help reduce prostate inflammation.