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Battling Bladder Problems

February 22, 2016

Whether you have been diagnosed with MS or not, there is a good probability that you haven’t thought about your bladder much. Like plenty of other things, most do not think about their bladder until something goes wrong.

Having bladder control is huge for an MS patient, and there are certain steps one can take to ensure that they keep this control. The first key is knowing what a urinary tract infection is, and how to prevent them.

The primary function of the bladder is to serve as a reservoir to store urine that is produced when the kidneys filter waste products from the blood. Most UTI’s occur when bacteria enter through the urethra and stick to the bladder wall. And most UTI’s are caused by bacteria from the colon and rectal area. Once there, the bacteria will multiply rapidly.

Women are much more prone to UTI’s than men are. So, it makes sense that UTI’s are big in the MS community because 3 out of 4 MS patients are women. Sexual activity increases the risk of an infection, as well as menopause, because the reduced level of estrogen allows an overgrowth of bacteria of the urinary opening.
Keeping the private area clean and dry goes a long way towards preventing an infection as well. Always wipe from front to back. Constantly drinking water is a huge key as well. There is no such thing as drinking too much of it either, as a constant flow of urine helps to wash out any lingering bacteria. Vitamin C will limit the level of acidity in your bladder, helping to limit the bacteria as well.

Some of these symptoms may occur as well:
• Frequent urge to urinate
• Frequent urination
• Hesitancy in starting urination
• Difficulty in keeping the urine flowing, or finish voiding
• Incontinence
• Nocturia: Frequent voiding at night, at times without waking.

There are a variety of other issues that could cause these symptoms: pregnancy, a prostate issue (men only, or simply another illness. Doing nothing besides wearing Depends is not going to help. Untreated bladder dysfunction can do serious damage to the kidneys.