The urinary tract is a bodily system that removes urine from the body and consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. If not looked after properly, the urinary tract can stop working correctly, meaning toxins and excess fluid cannot be filtered from the bloodstream. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to keep your urinary tract healthy and functioning at its best.
The urinary tract is crucial to keeping you healthy,because it filters waste products and extra fluid from the bloodstream and out of the body. In order for normal urination to take place, all parts of the urinary tract need to work together and in the right order. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood (to remove toxins and excess fluid) and transferring the waste into urine. The ureters then carry the urine from the kidneys to the bladder, which acts as a reservoir to hold the urine until you are ready to urinate. The urethra allows the urine to exit the body (through urination).
Taking Care of the Urinary Tract
Keeping the urinary tract healthy is essential to ensure all the components function properly. Here are some simple steps you can follow to help take care of your urinary tract:
- Drink Eight Glasses of Water a Day
Drinking enough fluids, especially water, helps keep the urinary tract healthy and flushes out toxins and waste products. If you are healthy, the recommended intake is eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you have kidney or bladder stones, you may need to drink more, whereas conditions such as kidney failure or heart disease may require you to drink less than the recommended daily amount. You should discuss what is right for you with your urologist or primary care physician.
- Make Healthy Food and Lifestyle Choices
Sticking to a healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and making good lifestyle choices, such as getting regular physical exercise and limiting alcohol intake, can help keep your bowels regular and the urinary tract healthy. Constipation or having large amounts of feces in the colon can put pressure on the bladder, causing it to contract when it isn’t supposed to, meaning it isn’t able to fill up as much as it should. This can lead to conditions such as an overactive bladder and urinary tract infections.
- Incorporate Healthy Bathroom Habits into Your Life
It may sound simple, but going to the bathroom when you need to is a good way to stave off urinary problems such as infections. Holding urine in for too long can weaken the bladder muscles and make it more difficult for the bladder to empty completely. It is also important to fully empty your bladder when using the bathroom. Urine left in the bladder increases the risk of infection, as it can allow bacteria to build up. Urinating after sex is also a good way to help flush bacteria away that may have entered the urethra.
- Commit to Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor exercises, help strengthen muscles in the pelvic region. This in turn can help to better control bladder and bowel function and prevent leakage. They are beneficial for both men and women and involve squeezing the muscles around the front passage (as if trying to stop the flow of urine) 10-15 times. If you are unsure how to do Kegel exercises correctly, discuss this with your health care provider.
- Visit a Urologist
A urologist specializes in health issues that affect the urinary tract. They also treat conditions affecting the male reproductive organs, which include the penis, scrotum, testes, and prostate. If you are male, certain urinary issues, such as trouble passing urine or a frequent urge to pass urine, can be symptoms of a prostate problem and may require further investigation to rule out potentially serious conditions, such as prostate cancer. If you are experiencing men’s health problems or urinary symptoms, you should visit a board-certified urologist as soon as possible for further evaluation and treatment.
Urological Surgeon in Phoenix, AZ
If you have symptoms of a urinary tract problem or a men’s health issue, visit the experienced providers at Ironwood Urology. We provide high quality, confidential, and compassionate patient-focused care.
Our board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist specializes in a wide range of men’s health conditions, including prostate health, robotic urological surgery, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, male infertility, vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, penile prosthetic surgery, and more.
To find out more about our services, or to schedule a consultation with our expert urologist, call us today at (480) 961-2323, or request an appointment online.