BOWEL & BLADDER CARE

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1 BOWEL & BLADDER CARE

2 Bladder Function Bladder problems are a common and distressing symptom in Multiple Sclerosis. Below are some suggestions that may help you with your bladder function: Drink plenty of fluids (six to eight 250 ml glasses is recommended). Water, fruit juices and milk are best. Avoid all forms of caffeine, such as: coffee, tea, chocolate and colas. Non-caffeinated drinks or herbal teas are ok (Caffeine irritates the bladder). Avoid other products that may irritate the bladder such as: alcohol, nicotine from smoking and artificial sweeteners.

3 Drink 120 ml to 300 ml of cranberry juice each day. Cranberry juice may decrease the incidence of bladder infections by helping to prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder. Restrict fluids after the evening meal. It is best to stop drinking 2-3 hours before going to bed at night. This is to help decrease the need to get up to go to the bathroom during the night. Empty your bladder completely just before going to bed. Empty your bladder before and after intercourse. Voiding Triggers: Bladder massage or tapping Tickle inside of thighs with fingertips Gentle tug on pubic hair Bend forward at the waist Always clean from the front to the back of the genitals after going to the bathroom in order to avoid bladder infections.

4 Caffeine and Your Bladder What is caffeine? Caffeine is the world s most popular drug. The white, bitter-tasting substance was first isolated from coffee in Caffeine has a direct effect on the brain and central nervous system. Three or more cups of coffee can give you the jitters. Other side effects of caffeine intake can include insomnia, headaches, irritability, nervousness, heartburn, indigestion, and frequent urination. Caffeine and your bladder Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it results in an increase in frequency of urination. It can also increase the urge to urinate if consumed in excessive amounts. Excessive intake of caffeine: 3-4 cups of brewed coffee mg of caffeine (found in energy drinks; caffeine pills) Caffeine is thought to have a direct effect on the bladder s smooth muscle. It may irritate the tissues of the bladder and potentially cause an involuntary bladder contraction. This can contribute to urge incontinence.

5 Sources of Caffeine SOURCE Tips for Reducing Caffeine Coffee Automatic percolated Filter drip Instant, regular Instant, decaffeinated less than 6 TEA (180 ml) Weak Strong Decaffeinated less than 0.08 Iced (360 ml) COLA DRINKS (355 ml) 1 can COCOA PRODUCTS Hot chocolate (180 ml) 6-30 Chocolate milk (250 ml) 2-7 Dark Chocolate (56 g) Milk Chocolate (56 g) 3-20 Cut down on caffeine intake at the rate of ½ cup a day or every other day. This is known as Caffeine Fading. Plan to reduce your intake over a one or two week period. This way you can avoid a withdrawal headache or any other unpleasant symptoms. Replace caffeinated beverages with vegetable juice or fruit juice, milk, water or other decaffeinated beverages; especially with meals. Drink caffeine-free colas instead of regular colas. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, so it draws water out of the body. To maintain proper hydration, balance your intake of caffeinated beverages with noncaffeinated ones. Do not use caffeine to make up for lack of sleep. Try getting to bed ½ hour earlier each night until you feel more rested.

6 Bowel Function Many people with Multiple Sclerosis experience bowel problems, such as constipation or diarrhea at some point during their illness. The nervous system normally controls how food passes through the intestines and bowel and sends signals to the bowels to empty. In MS, nerves controlling these processes are affected. Individuals with MS may lose the urge to defecate and the bowels may lose muscle tone. There may also be loss of sensation in the rectum and anus, and the rectum may not easily open.

7 Tips for Preventing Bowel Problems Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day and drink more on hot days, or when exercising. Switch to decaffeinated coffee or tea Drink alcohol in moderation (2 glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage) Eat regular well-balanced meals. Eat plenty of fibre (fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans/lentils). Exercise regularly walking is a natural laxative so go for a walk at least once a day. Schedule a time of day for bowel movements. Thirty to forty minutes after breakfast is a good time because the bowels may be naturally stimulated to move after a meal. Proper positioning for emptying bowels may be helpful. Bending forward and raising the knees so that they are higher than the hips is recommended. A footstool or telephone book may be helpful. If these tips are unsuccessful, talk to a health professional about medications available to help with your bowel problems

8 How To Get Fibre in Your Diet

9 A Healthy Bowel Recipe A Bowel Recipe: 2 cups all bran cereal 1 cup applesauce ½ cup prune juice Mix together and store in fridge. Take 1 or 2 Tablespoons twice daily.

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