Overview on Bladder Health
The bladder is a human organ that holds urine in the body. It is thus an extremely critical part of the excretory system and its health is vital to a normal healthy life. Bladder health is a sensitive issue among most cultures in the world; even first world countries like the US have a large number of people who are embarrassed to discuss their bladder health issues with their doctor / physician.
This hesitance to talk about bladder health is the leading reason as to why there are no accurate statistics about the total number of people affected by bladder health problems. Experts encourage people to be candid with their doctors about all health issues including bladder health. Ironically, with the exception of some rare conditions, bladder health can be maintained quite easily, simply by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
There are a number of supplements that bladder health patients can consume (with the prior consent of their doctor, of course) to ease their conditions, and there are lifestyle changes that can go a long way in preventing and curing bladder problems.
What Can Influence Your Bladder’s Well-Being?
Bladder health is affected largely by the way you live your life:
- Healthy Fluid Consumption: The amount of good fluids you take in can play a pivotal role in maintaining healthy function of the bladder. Good fluids help to flush the bladder periodically thereby preventing conditions such as bladder stones and bladder infections.
- Carbonated, Alcoholic or Caffeinated Drink Consumption: These drinks are regarded as damaging the bladder; they have a reputation for inflaming the organ and can exacerbate its health issues.
- Age: Age can play a crucial role in determining the bladder health of an individual. An expert approximation suggests that a third of the US citizens over the age of 30, and below 70, are affected by bladder health issues. The reason being that the bladder gets weaker with age resulting in incontinence.
- Anatomy: This plays a larger role in determining female bladder health – the urinary tract is smaller in females, making their bladder more prone to infectious bacteria. As for men, the prostate gland, that may develop problems of its own as they age, can lead to bladder health issues.
- Child Birth: Women who have given birth multiple times are more likely to experience bladder control issues later in life.
Introduction to Bladder Support Supplements
Some natural substances can be used in preventing and treating bladder problems. These are the substances commonly used in bladder supplements. Here are some of them:
1. Dandelion Roots: Dandelion root, which is consumed as a tea or directly as an extract, serves as a natural diuretic. Dandelion roots stimulate the excretion of fluids from the body, which makes it good for alleviating the common symptoms of bladder problems such as discomfort and sudden urges to urinate. Additionally, this herb helps to remove toxins from the gallbladder and liver which enhances the body’s waste removal capabilities. By encouraging the removal of urine from the body, this herb helps prevent bladder conditions such as infections or stones.
2. Cranberry Supplements: This small berry packs a big punch against bladder infections, as affirmed by the American Family Physician in 2004. All health supplements that contain cranberry as the main ingredient – juices, tea etc. can help treat and prevent the onset of bladder infections. Cranberries promote the acidification of urine, which makes it hostile to bacterial presence and stops the bacteria from sticking to the bladder’s walls.
3. Green Tea: Green Tea Contains Polyphenols – compounds that have been known to be serious cancer fighters. Regular consumption of green tree is thus a proactive way to help prevent bladder cancer. Some initial studies have revealed that women who drank green tea had a lower risk of bladder cancer.
4. Uva Ursi: Uva Ursi is a tiny kind of cranberry which many refer to as bearberry. It has been used by the Native Americans for centuries as a home remedy for dealing with infections of the urinary tract as well as an inflamed bladder. The leaves of the berry’s plant are good at killing infectious bacteria as well as promoting fluid removal in the body, which makes it an ideal substance in fighting bladder problems. However, care should be taken not to consume uva ursi in large doses or for more than five days straight as it can be harmful for the bladder in that case.
5. Damiana Leaf: Damiana Leaf is a natural supplement helping the bladder to get rid of waste fluids much more effectively. This helps prevent bladder infections as well as other problems such as bladder stones that occur when the bladder holds urine for extended periods of time.
Herbs that Support Bladder Health
1. Bromelain: Bromelain is an enzyme primarily found in parts of the pineapple. Long a part of folk medicine, this enzyme helps prevent the worsening of bladder inflammation by limiting the activity of metabolites that cause inflammation and also by stoppering the flow of pain inducing agents to the affected region.
2. Buchu (Barosma betulina): This herb has been used in folk medicine to treat infections of the urinary tract (bladder included) for centuries. Buchu leaves are said to have many bioflavonoids that fight microbes as well as ease the pain caused by an infected bladder.
3. Cleavers (Galium Aparine): This sweet smelling herb can be grown in the garden; it acts as a diuretic as well as a germ killer in the urinary tract. It can repel infections, and bladder stones much like cranberry.
4. Cornsilk (Zea Mays): Corn silk is the soft strands of hair found on freshly opened corn cobs. It helps remove stones and gravel from the bladder because of it diuretic nature. It also acts a demulcent in the urinary tract, helping to ease bladder inflammation by forming a natural barrier over the affected area.
5. Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense): This herb is also a natural diuretic that promotes the flow of urine from the body which helps keep the bladder free from infections, inflammation and stones.
6. Pumpkin Seed (Cucurbita Pepo): Pumpkin seeds have been used by Native American medicine men for easing the flow of urine. Its water soluble constituents strengthen the muscles of the urinary tract which help people experiencing incontinence to retake control of their bladder.
- Drink lots of water: No matter how many supplements you take to help with your bladder health, there is no replacement for good, plain water. Water is absolutely essential for removing urine periodically from the body and preventing the formation of stones and the onset of infections.
- You will come across a number of other herbs such as couch grass, crataeva, St. John’s Wort, Saw Palmetto etc. that curb or assuage various conditions of the bladder and the overall urinary tract. Use these only after consulting with your doctor beforehand and ensuring that you do not have any existing medical conditions that may become aggravated as a result of their consumption.
The abundance of natural bladder supportive herbs is proof that bladder health is very easy to maintain and regain: There is no scary procedure involved in recovery and nothing to feel stigmatized about. With so much research on the bladder issues, patients should know that they aren’t the only ones affected and should take steps to get rid of their problem instead of attempting to conceal it.