Winter is coming… and your bladder knows it!
If you find yourself urinating more often in cold weather, or having sudden, powerful urges to urinate you’re not imagining it, and you’re not alone. It’s more common than most people realise.
The cause is cold diuresis; if you’re going from being warm and toasty indoors out into the cold, your body thinks you may be in danger of hyperthermia, so it constricts blood vessels to direct blood flow away from the skin and inwards to try and keep your organs warm. Blood pressure goes up a bit, your kidneys then filter out excess fluid in your blood to reduce pressure, and this leads to increased urination.
On top of that, when it’s cold your body temperature is lower, and that can tense the muscles around the bladder contributing to bladder spasms which increases episodes of urgency or incontinence. You also sweat less, so more moisture is sent to the kidneys instead of being excreted through the pores.
You can’t control the weather, but you can alleviate some of the bladder dramas.
Short term. When that urgency hits, curl your toes hard. In Chinese medicine the toes connect to the bladder along the bladder meridian, and you will feel the effect right away. Some people recommend deep breathing to calm the nervous system.
Medium term. Over winter avoid excessive alcohol, tea, coffee; caffeinated or energy drinks and soft drinks as they aggravate the bladder. Replace with some herb teas like fresh mint, ginger or lemon. And make sure to keep your fluid intake up. That seems counterintuitive but dehydration causes urine to become more concentrated which also aggravates the bladder.
Long term. Proactively support your bladder health throughout your life. Healthy lifestyle changes including exercise are great, and especially pelvic floor exercises. Incontinence is not a problem with too much fluid, it’s a problem with holding the urine, so strengthening is a must. And we recommend our award-winning herbal Urox® formula. It tones your bladder muscles from the inside.