Urological health is typically not at the top of the checklist regarding health and wellness for older adults. The older adult population usually thinks about heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, nutrition, or exercise much more frequently than their urological health when it is just as important. Usually, older adults begin paying attention to their urological health when a serious problem arises affecting the kidney, penis, testicle, bladder, ureter, urethra, or prostate.
The good news is that older men and women can adopt general lifestyle behaviors to help to maintain their urological health.
1. Drink Water
Water is essential for urological health of older adults. Drinking at least six glasses of water daily helps to prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a combination of weekly aerobic and muscle strengthening activities for older adults. Being significantly overweight is a factor of several health conditions including older adults’ urological health.
3. Relieve Stress
De-stress. Stress can affect urological health and poor urological health can cause stress. High levels of stress adversely affect fertility, erectile dysfunction, ovulation, bowel disorders, and amplifies symptoms. Good nutrition and exercise are excellent ways for older adults to reduce stress.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
What older adults eat certainly impact their health. Some foods like red meat, those high in fat, alcohol, and caffeine are not recommended as they can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of cancer and kidney stones.
5. No Smoking
If older adults smoke, they should stop as smoking causes complications and affects urologic health in these ways: erectile dysfunction, infertility, kidney stones, cancer of the kidney, cancer of the bladder, urine leakage, and painful bladder syndrome.
Older adults can protect their health by routinely performing testicular self-exams (men), knowing their family health history, maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, and getting tested for prostate cancer. Also, older adults should tell the doctor about changes in the number of bathroom visits to urinate, about urinary incontinence, feelings of urgency to urinate, urine flow decreases, or more frequent urination during the night.
Good urological health care is for both older adult men and women. Older adults should develop healthy habits and understand that their urological health deserves as much attention as other areas of their bodies.