Limiting your intake of fluids if you have increased urges to urinate and/or incontinence may at first glance appear sensible but is actually harmful for the entire body. The first rule if you have bladder problems is: drink, drink, drink!
Drinking enough fluids is essential for life at any age. There is no life without water. To ensure that the water balance stays in equilibrium, water intake and output must be balanced. Many of us, particularly older people, do not drink enough for a variety of reasons. This can lead to severe health conditions or even death due to dehydration in the worst case.
Poor habits, swallowing disorders, fear of going to the toilet at night, incontinence or prostate problems often discourage people from drinking enough. Even transporting heavy bottles or beverage crates – whether from the supermarket to home or from the cellar to the first floor – can definitely be a barrier to drinking enough fluids.
If the sensation of thirst declines with age, drinking is often simply forgotten. For those dependent on care, in some cases their problems become so bad that they are no longer able to reach for a drink.
If the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate the urine, more water is excreted. As a result, more water also needs to be drunk. The same applies to an increased intake of protein and electrolytes, heavy sweating (e.g. in summer, with a fever, in overheated rooms, during physical exertion) but also diarrhoea, vomiting and taking laxatives or diuretics.
– a component of all cells and bodily fluids
– a means of transport and a solvent for nutrients (via the blood to the organs) and for metabolic waste products (excretion via the kidneys)
– essential for maintaining a constant body temperature (sweat protects the body from overheating)
– needed to plump and soften digested food in the bowels (protection against constipation)
A lack of water can thicken the blood and result in a considerable reduction in performance. Headaches, constipation and confusional states as well as loss of consciousness may result.
A fluid intake that is too low can be a considerable health risk for the elderly. Seniors in particular must ensure that they regularly drink adequate amounts and monitor their drinking behaviour.
Limiting the quantity of fluids, where applicable even balancing, may be necessary for patients with (severe) heart failure or disorders of fluid excretion (e.g. certain types of kidney damage). A reduced pump function of the heart can occasionally lead to a reduction in the kidney function and thus to fluid deposits in the tissue. For a number of liver and lung diseases it may also be sensible to reduce the intake of fluids. In this case, it is essential that you promptly consult your cardiologist or general practitioner.
Drinking water, mineral water, still water, diluted fruit juices, and fruit and herbal teas are ideal for an optimal fluid intake. Mineral water also provides the opportunity of improving the calcium and magnesium intake. Mineral waters rich in calcium and magnesium are labelled ‘calcium-rich’ or ‘magnesium-rich’. A calcium-rich mineral or curative water is one that contains at least 150 mg, or even better more than 250 mg, calcium per litre. A magnesium-rich mineral or curative water contains at least 50 mg, or even better more than 100 mg, magnesium per litre.
You might find it difficult to drink a lot of fluids but also soups and certain fruit and vegetables can contribute to the fluid requirement. Especially fruit and vegetables with a high water content such as melons, tomatoes and cucumbers are good for you. Try to avoid sweet or fizzy drinks because of their high sugar and energy content.
Overactive bladder often has psychological origins – but the unpleasant symptoms, such as frequent urges to urinate or pain when urinating, can in turn cause emotional strain, further aggravating the bladder problems.
When stress triggers your attacks, think about how you can reduce tension. This is best done together with your family. Try doing light endurance sports such as jogging, swimming or cycling. Learn to say ‘no’ when you feel overstretched and need to move down a gear. Plan your day to include fixed periods set aside for “ME-time”. Learn to relax yourself: lie down on your sofa but don’t simply lie there – instead consciously and actively relax yourself. With a little training you will soon notice that 15 minutes of active relaxation a day can be enough to eliminate stress-related tension.
UROSTEMOL Men & Femina, these are traditional herbal medicinal products for use in the relief of lower urinary tract symptoms related to an overactive bladder or bladder weakness, exclusively based upon long-standing use. Visit your doctor before use to rule out any underlying conditions. Always read the leaflet.
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