If you rely on a urinary catheter for relief, you know the struggle of always living on-the-go. These hollow, flexible tubes help patients with urinary problems drain fluid from the bladder, but the cathing process alone can make it hard to take time away from the toilet.
That’s why it’s so important for catheter patients to stay healthy. By taking the proper steps to keep your body (and bladder) in peak condition, you’ll prevent common problems that can make a bigger chore out of using a urinary catheter. To help you find full-body relief, here are 4 tips to staying healthy while using a catheter.
Cut down on caffeine.
Your morning coffee may give you a boost of energy, but you’ll probably use it up in a mad dash for the toilet. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, meaning it promotes increased urine production. It also irritates the bladder, which can lead to an increase in urinary urgency, frequency, and incontinence. Cut down on your caffeine intake or swap to decaffeinated options to decrease urinary symptoms.
Drink enough water.
Avoiding fluids to minimize urination isn’t only ineffective, it’s also dangerous. If you use a catheter, drinking plenty of water reduces urinary tract infections (UTI), prevents dehydration, and helps keep you healthy. While doctors usually recommend between two and three liters per day, how much water you should drink depends on factors like your weight, environment, activity level, and more. Your doctor can help you determine how much water is right for you.
Aim for pale pee.
Urochrome is the chemical responsible for giving your urine that pale yellow color. If you are properly hydrated, your urine will remain that light yellow hue all day long. Clear urine means you’re over-hydrating, while darker shades of yellow or amber mean you need to increase your water intake.
Constipation is bad news for all your bathroom habits. When you’re constipated, pressure from your full bowel can press on the nearby bladder, causing a blockage in the flow of urine to your catheter. Straining during a bowel movement can also cause urinary leakage. To prevent constipation, eat a healthy diet full of high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.