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Do my bowel habits affect overactive bladder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Because constipation places pressure on the bladder, it can cause symptoms of overactive bladder. It can increase urinary urgency and frequency. However, practicing healthy bowel habits can help you avoid constipation and relieve bladder symptoms. You should increase your fiber intake. Good food choices include beans, pasta, oatmeal, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

You also can try the following mixture: 1 cup of apple sauce, 1 cup of unprocessed wheat bran, ¾ cup of prune juice, and spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg as desired. Begin with two tablespoons each evening followed by a six- to eight-ounce glass of water or juice. After 7 to 10 days increase this to three tablespoons. At the end of the second to third week, increase it to four tablespoons.

You also need to exercise regularly. If your bowel problems continue, you should see your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.