How can you prevent changes in your bowel and bladder?

Many of us live a busy lifestyle, too much on our mind, and not enough time for ourselves. Making minor changes in our life can prevent us from forming bad habits. Did you know that stress and time management, as well as diet play a big role in our bowel and bladder functioning properly?

At some point in our lives we may experience difficulty with our urological and gastrointestinal systems. A fair amount of the population does not seek medical attention for these changes until they are well advanced.

How do we know if a problem is really a problem?

Some guidelines to be aware of are:

Frequency/Urgency: Normal urination should be every 3-4 hours during the day and one should be able to sleep throughout the night without waking up to urinate.

JIC: “Just In Case” Many of us train our bladder to empty when it is not full. Going to urinate just in case prior to leaving the house or doing an activity is a poor habit to start. This will irritate your bladder.

Pain: We should never feel pain with urgency/frequency, urinating, or during bowel movements.

Bowel movements: Normal can be 2x/week to 3x/day. Constipation becomes a problem when our normal value decreases.

If you do experience any of these problems you should see your medical doctor, urologist, gynecologist, or gastrointestinal specialist who can evaluate, diagnose and treat you including prescribing physical therapy treatment.

How does this relate to physical therapy?

If you are seeking a physical therapist for any of these problems he or she should specialize in the pelvic girdle. A pelvic floor physical therapist can teach you proper techniques to retrain your bowel and bladder issues, educate on proper diet and fluid intake as well as retraining your pelvic floor muscles. In some cases manual physical therapy is warranted to decrease pelvic pain and relax high-toned muscles.

Lauradonna D’Antoni, DPT

Reference: Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute