Due to the nature of our jobs, sometimes it’s impossible to go to the bathroom when you need to go. In times when we’re advised to drink more water in order to stay hydrated, the need for urination is increased and that’s great for our health, but delaying the trip to the bathroom can cause great problems for our health.
Many people think that not going to the bathroom when they need to is harmless, but this is a bad habit that can significantly damage your overall health. In general, we should urinate more than 6 times a day, and always go to the bathroom as soon as possible. If you pee less than that and you’re delaying the trips, you should know that you’re at an increased risk of numerous health problems.
Every time you prevent the emptying of the bladder, you expose yourself to problems such as urinary tract infections, cystitis and other issues which can really take a toll on your reproductive and overall health.
Here are the problems that can arise from holding urine in your bladder:
Urinary tract infections
Our urine is full of toxins and bacteria from the body that need to be eliminated, so by holding it back, you’re exposing the urinary tract to a lot of bacteria which can multiply quickly and cause urinary tract infections. By holding back the urine, you will raise the acidity in your bladder and irritate its walls and ducts. As we already mentioned, we need to urinate 6-8 times a day at least in order to eliminate toxic substances from the body. In order to achieve this, it’s highly important to drink enough water. The amount depends on your age, sex and physical activity, but it’s recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water during the day. In order to avoid UTIs, you should urinate every 3-4 hours. Furthermore, consuming lemons, pineapple, apples, watermelon and pears will also prevent urinary tract infections.
Holding the urine in your bladder for a long time can deform the organ and affect its function. An enlarged bladder will make it harder for the body to detect when it’s time to urinate, and retaining the urine can increase the risk of bladder infections. The average bladder contains 440 ml. of urine, and to support this load, you need to drink a lot of water every day. Experts recommend drinking plenty of water and even reminding yourself that you need to urinate every 3-4 hours in order to keep the bladder healthy and properly functioning.
Pyelonephritis and cystitis
A mild urinary tract infection can progress into something far more dangerous – cystitis. Cystitis occurs when the infection has reached the kidneys and usually affects women that delay the need to go to the bathroom. Cystitis is usually accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic area when urinating, and can affect your renal function if left untreated. Furthermore, not treating urinary infections on time can also lead to pyelonephritis, inflammatory disease of the kidneys which can lead to kidney failure and death. In order to prevent these problems, make sure to drink more water and urinate frequently. Check your urine for any changes as well, as both cystitis and pyelonephritis can change the texture and color of your urine.
Unlike animals, humans can’t recover their urine. For example, black bears can recycle water from their bladder and not urinate during hibernation, but in humans, the bladder is simply a reservoir which needs to be emptied once full. However, the phenomenon of nervous urine complicates matters. According to Dr. Schalken, nervous urine is a term which describes the urge to pee that disappears after a few seconds. It is much more common in athletes, who feel the need to go to the bathroom for a few seconds before a race. However, the urge disappears immediately after the race starts. This is a big problem which will retain urine in your bladder and increase the risk of dangerous infections and kidney problems as well.
As you can see, delaying the trip to the bathroom won’t bring anything good for your health. In order to prevent these dangerous problems, we suggest going to be bathroom every 3 or 4 hours, and reporting any kind of urine changes to your doctor.
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