Stress is the silent pandemic that no one seems to be talking about. Stress is, well… stressful. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve been dealing with copious amounts of stress for any length of time, you’re probably aware of the fact that it can directly impact your health. Your urological health is no exception.
First thing’s first: urological health refers to the health of the male or female urinary tract as well as the male reproductive organs. The urinary tract includes the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys. If any one of these organs is not functioning optimally, you’re sure to notice. And you’ll likely experience additional stress as a result.
Let’s talk about how stress could affect urological health, and then we’ll refer you to the urologists who can help you work through these stressful situations!
How Stress Could Affect Urological Health
Urinary Tract Infection
Often referred to as UTI’s, urinary tract infections can wreak havoc on your comfort levels. And while stress can’t be solely blamed for causing a UTI, it certainly can play a major role. When we are stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol inhibits our immune response which can lead to a host of health issues, UTI being one of them.
In addition, when we are in an especially stressful time in our lives, we tend to get a little careless about basic things. You may neglect your hygiene or overindulge in sweets. Extra coffee or a sugary drink could sound more appealing than your usual glass of water. All of these things are common when we’re stressed, and they all can contribute to a UTI.
Studies have found a connection between stress and bladder issues. If anxiety and stress is your norm, this will come as no surprise. Stress can result in the need to urinate more often.
Additionally, high levels of anxiety and stress can trigger your “fight or flight” response which can lead to leakage. If you’re concerned about leakage or that you won’t make it to the restroom in time, you may become even more stressed. And a vicious cycle ensues.
Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that span from the pubic bone to the tailbone. These muscles carry quite a bit of weight, both literally and figuratively. When we are stressed, we tend to tense our muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are common victims. Constant tension results in soreness and pain. If you are the type to carry your stress in your pelvic muscles, you’re likely to feel a lot of pain down there.
Interstitial cystitis is chronic inflammation of the bladder. The cause of this is not entirely understood. While stress isn’t blamed as a direct cause of IC, it can cause flare ups. The pain that an IC flare up often causes can lead to even more stress, which in turn can make the flare up significantly more severe.
Stress and Urological Health
The impact stress can have on urological health is clear and potentially significant. The number one way to reduce the effects of stress on your urological health is to reduce your stress! One of the ways you can do this is by visiting the Urology Associates of South Bend. These compassionate and knowledgeable urologists can get to the root cause of any urological issues you may be experiencing. Understanding what’s going on and following the expert advice of your urologists will certainly reduce your stress and its effect on your urological health!