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    Tips for Keeping your Bladder Healthy
    Diane K Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP posted:
    Like so many parts of our bodies, your brain, your bladder and the muscles that control your bladder are always communicating. When your bladder is full, your brain signals the bladder muscles to contract and push the urine out. Usually these contractions are voluntary, or under your control. It is important that you keep your bladder healthy and develop some good habits.

    I suggest you use good toileting or voiding habit. It is normal to go to the toilet about 5-7 times per day and no more than once at night. Your bladder should be able to hold up to 2 cups (400 - 450ml) of urine. You can usually pass between 1 to 2 cups of urine each time you go. Don't get into the habit of going to the toilet 'just in case'. Try to go only when your bladder is full and you need to go. Going to the toilet before you go to bed is fine. Not drinking any fluids 2-3 hours before you go to bed may prevent you from awakening during the night to go urinate. Also, take your time so that your bladder can empty. Women should sit to go to the toilet. Do not crouch over the toilet seat. If you rush and do not empty your bladder fully, over time you could get a bladder infection.

    You should drink enough water. Adults should try to drink at least 1.5 liters (six to eight cups) of water each day unless your doctor says this is not okay. Cut down on how much caffeine and alcohol you drink as they may cause you to go to the bathroom more often. So don't drink too much coffee, tea or cola. Instant coffee has less caffeine than brewed coffee. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee.

    Keep good bowel habits. Hard stool or constipation can put pressure on your bladder causing you to experience urgency, frequency and even urine leakage or incontinence. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and stay active to keep your bowel regular. A regular soft stool passed without straining from one time a day to every third day is considered normal. Do not strain when using your bowel as this can weaken your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that help keep bladder control).
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    Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
    How do you get out of the habit of using the toilet when you wake at night or right before bed just in case if you are already in that habit/
    Diane K Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    You should always empty your bladder (to void or urinate) before you go to sleep at night. If a person awakens during the night, they usually will go to the bathroom. This is more related to your awakening, not the need to go to the bathroom. Age may have something to do with this as our kidneys produce more urine at night as we get older. I have some information I give to patients when they ask the same thing you did. It is available as a resource called Ways to Prevent Bladder Problems During the Night .

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    For more information, visit Diane Newman's website