Men: If you’re not taking proactive measures to maintain urological health, it’s time to start. We know urological health is not often the first thing people think about until there’s an issue or illness. So in recognition of National Men’s Health Awareness month, we want to offer tips to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Taking preventive measures is essential when it comes to your urological health and can help you minimize risk for bladder or urinary tract infections (UTIs), erectile dysfunction (ED), and more. The sooner you start, the better. However, as you age and risk increases, prevention becomes even more important.
“A healthy diet and exercise are some of the first things I recommend to patients,” says Jeffrey Spire, MD, a urologist at Rio Grande Urology. “It’s really a common sense diet combined with exercise to support a low-stress lifestyle. These are important first steps.”
By staying aware of your habits and health, you’re more likely to recognize when things aren’t normal, so you can schedule an appointment with your doctor for advice and treatment early on.
Here are five lifestyle habits you can start today to help maintain your urological health.
1. Drink plenty of water and other fluids (and no, caffeinated beverages don’t count).
Hydration is essential to help cleanse the body and minimize the chance of infection. Dr. Spier recommends minimizing caffeine as much as possible, as well as limiting hydration right before bedtime if you’re experiencing frequent urination during the night.
2. Maintain a healthy diet (avoid foods that trigger UTIs).
Minimize sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants. They can trigger infections or lead to obesity or diabetes, both of which carry an increased risk for issues like ED or prostate cancer. Spicy food can also be a contributing factor to urinary issues, according to Dr. Spier. He recommends a diet that is low in fat and high in vegetables and fruits.
3. Follow healthy bathroom habits (go when you need to go).
Yes, we have to say it: When you need to use the restroom, go. Also, pay attention to your regular habits and call your doctor if you notice that you need to urinate more frequently than normal, have difficulty going, or have pain when urinating.
4. Make those checkup appointments with your doctor (and get screened regularly).
Talk with your doctor to see how often you should have a checkup, and be sure to get screened regularly for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. These conditions have been linked to urological issues such as infections and ED. Ask your doctor how frequently you should be screened for prostate cancer as well.
5. If you smoke, it’s time to quit (today).
Among other health concerns, smoking has been linked to many urological diseases, including bladder and kidney cancer, ED, urinary incontinence, and kidney stones. If you’re having trouble quitting, contact your doctor to make a plan that will help you stop and get on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
It’s time to start thinking about your urological health and implementing more healthy life choices. If you are experiencing any signs of urological pain or discomfort, contact your urologist right away. Our doctors at RGU are here to help.