Is Frequent Urination A Sure Sign Of Kidney Failure?

There are times when we all have to "go" more often than usual (especially if you've taken the "Water Challenge!"). But, there are also times when frequent urination is a sign of something more serious. But, can your urine tell you if your kidneys are healthy or not?

In the video above, Dr. Constance Mere, Associate Professor of Medicine at Howard University, joins to set the record straight.

human body illustration with kidneys

Also, here's three quick ways to deal with an overactive bladder:

1. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are a common method of decreasing your sugar and calorie intake. Despite these benefits, sweeteners can aggravate both urinary urges and frequency. According to the National Association for Continence, the risk for these symptoms is higher with artificially sweetened diet drinks than it is with sugary beverages.

Common culprits include acesulfame K, aspartame, and sodium saccharine. Get rid of sugary beverages altogether and make the switch to water if you’re still worried about calories.

2. Exercise Your Pelvic Muscles

Women can help strengthen pelvic muscles to reduce leaks and urges through Kegel exercises. Kegels work by squeezing pelvic floor muscles as if you’re trying to stop urinating. The Mayo Clinic recommends performing Kegels three to four times a day for best results.

You may also consider wearing vaginal weights to enhance Kegel exercise performance. These are small, cone-shaped weights that insert into the vagina. You have to contract your pelvic floor muscles to hold the weights in place, which strengthens the bladder.

3. Cut Down Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine consumption worsens overactive bladder. Both are stimulants and diuretics, so you may experience increased urination along with powerful urges to go. Cutting out caffeine doesn’t just mean skipping your morning cup of coffee. Other sources of caffeine include:

- soda

- tea

- chocolate

- certain medications

The National Association for Continence recommends decreasing your daily caffeine intake to 100 mg a day or less.

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

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