At Fore River Urology we appreciate that urologic health is related to a larger, holistic framework. Some urologic conditions can be prevented with careful “lifestyle choices,” and many problems can be improved with lifestyle modification and attention to wellness.
Our specific recommendations for wellness vary by urologic condition and will be addressed during your visit. General recommendations include:
A healthy diet is a useful adjunct in prevention and treatment of many urologic conditions. Generally, a healthy diet is based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, with moderation of meat and dairy. Refined sugars and processed foods should be avoided.
Kidney stone formers should speak with a urologist, as diet recommendations vary according to stone composition and other patient-specific factors.
Weight loss can be helpful in the treatment of several urologic conditions, including urinary problems and pelvic pain.
Adequate hydration is recommended for several urologic problems. Most patients experiencing urinary frequency and urgency should not avoid drinking fluid. For patients with excessive nighttime urination, reducing fluid intake in the evening can be helpful. Kidney stone formers should take in enough fluid to make between 2 and 2.5 liters of urine per day. 8-10 glasses of water is usually enough. Excessive hydration should be avoided, and on occasion can be dangerous.
Water is the best drink option. In general, it is better to take in your calories from food, not drink. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and juices.
Avoidance of constipation
Constipation can lead to a host of urologic problems, particularly urinary problems. It can even lead to urinary retention, a painful situation when a person is unable to urinate.
Most people should have a bowel movement at least once per day.
Constipation can often be avoided by consuming dietary fiber. Fruits and vegetables are naturally high in fiber. If needed, medications such as stool softeners can help prevent constipation. Talk to your doctor if you think you have constipation problems.
Avoidance of bladder irritants
Many substances irritate the bladder and can cause or exacerbate bladder conditions.
Caffeine is a widely consumed irritant. It is present in coffee, sodas, teas, chocolate, and energy drinks. A single cup of coffee or tea per day is reasonable for most people. More than one or two (8 oz.) cups of caffeinated drinks can lead to significant bladder symptoms.
Other bladder irritants include spicy food, acidic fruits, tomatoes, and alcohol. These substances do not irritate everyone.
Careful use of nasal decongestants
Nasal decongestants are often found in over-the-counter or prescription sinus pills, cold medicines, and allergy pills. These pills can constrict the urinary tract, particularly in men, leading to urinary symptoms and even urinary retention. They should be avoided in men with significant urinary symptoms.
It is worth noting that nasal sprays do not affect urinary symptoms.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause or exacerbate pelvic pain. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
It is important to avoid straining for urination or bowel movements. This type of straining can lead to urinary problems, pelvic organ prolapse, and/or hemorrhoids. Some people develop bad habits, often in childhood, and require pelvic floor retraining by a physical therapist.
There are many other causes of pelvic floor dysfunction, including stress, anxiety, trauma, and back/spine problems.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be evaluated and managed by a urologist.