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Bootcamp for your bladder:training your bladder to behave (part 1)

Posted May 28 2010 11:13am
Do you know where every single bathroom is located? Do you go so often that you actually have favorite restrooms? Have you down loaded the "apps" that find the best bathrooms in your town and every city you visit? Alright, so your bladder may not leaking but you are still not happy having to go to the bathroom so frequently. It seems as if your bladder has a mind of it's own.

So what's going on? You may feel as if your bladder is full to bursting but then tinkle, tinkle... and you wonder why you ran to the bathroom for that?

Your bladder is not always a reliable source of information. It may tell you that it is full when really it is not. This is called sensory urgency. Basically your bladder is panicking, thinking it is full enough to need to urinate when in reality it is only partially full.

(Sudden onset urinary frequency and/or urgency can be a symptom of a bladder infection or other medical problem. Always check with your medical provider for any change in your health status. This blog is meant to be a substitute for or followed instead of treatment or a
dvice from your medical practitioner.)

Remember your bladder fills at about 15 drops per minute and typically empties about every 3-4 hours during the day. So running to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes is NOT normal.

The difficulty is that you "feel" the urgent need to go so strongly, and feel so much better once you have gone (at least for 30 minutes). You develop bad habits. You are now captive to every toilet in town.

So what's a girl to do? Take charge of your bladder and retrain it! Boot camp for your bladder.

There are 2 basic training strategies to make your bladder behave. The first involves slowly delaying how often you void, the second is called timed voiding. The slow and easy program uses the bladder suppression tips (see archives) to gradually delayvoiding. In the absence of a medical problem, nothing bad happens to you if you hold urine.

The bladder is meant to be a storage tank not a pipeline. So by gradually delaying how often you urinate, you are training your bladder to hold a more normal volume of urine. This will be easier for you to do if you have rid your diet of bladder irritants (see archives for more info).

Terrific tips:

1. Don't go to the bathroom "just in case". You are training your bladder to empty (or call you) before there is a real need to empty. Just because a bathroom is handy, you are leaving the house, or a friend is going and wants bathroom company are not a reasons to urinate. No good comes of this and in fact that's probably how you got in this fix.

2. Try to initially delay urination by 5 minutes, use the suppression tips to help you. If that's hard do, delay for just a minute. If that is too hard, delay urinating for just a few breaths. The goal is to break the habit of "feeling" the urge to go and running mindlessly in a panic to the bathroom. Going to the bathroom is not an emergency.

Don't be hard on yourself it took you awhile to develop this habit it will take awhile to change it.

We know you can do it, just keep training.

Next week, interval training for your bladder-the other strategy.
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