Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Nurse's Corner - Bladder Health Month

Each month I highlight a health topic in the news­letter. Feel free to suggest health con­cerns that you would like to see added in future months.

Carol Savoie R.N.

Bladder Health Month

Key Bladder Facts

· It's normal to go to the bathroom 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice a night.

· The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ, and is made mostly of muscle.

· When the bladder is empty it looks like a deflated balloon. The shape of a bladder changes when it fills up.

· Urine is produced in the kidneys. It flows through tubes called ureters into the bladder.

· The bladder muscle helps you urinate by squeezing to force the urine out.

· Women have shorter urethras than men. Women are more likely to get a bladder infection as bacteria from outside the body can get into the urinary system easier.

· On average, the bladder holds about 2 cups of urine (about 16 ounces).

Bladder Health Tips

· Drink plenty of water. Strive to drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day.

· Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink - these may upset your bladder. Limit your intake of coffee, tea or cola as these can heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage.

· Women should sit to go to the toilet - they should not hover over the toilet seat.

· Take your time when on the toilet so that your bladder can empty - if you rush, and do not empty your bladder fully, over time, you could get a bladder infection.

· Stay away from foods that bother the bladder. Some foods can worsen incontinence. Skip foods like chocolate (also a source of caffeine), as well as spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.

· Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with pelvic floor muscle training.

· Stop smoking. It is of great value to stop smoking for your bladder health - using tobacco is a major cause of bladder cancer.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Adults?

A UTI is when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. UTIs cause more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. About 10 in 25 women and 3 in 25 men will have symptoms of at least 1 UTI during their lifetime.

How Does the Urinary Tract Work?

The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the waste products of your body. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down the ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine until it is emptied through the urethra, a tube that connects the bladder to the skin, when you urinate. The opening of the urethra is at the end of the penis in a male and in front of the vagina in a female.

The kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs in the back that filter liquid waste from the blood and remove it from the body in the form of urine. Kidneys balance the levels of many chemicals in the body (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and others) and check the blood's acidity. Certain hormones are also made in the kidneys. These hormones help control blood pressure, boost red blood cell production and help make strong bones. Normal urine has no bacteria in it, and the one-way flow helps prevent infections. Still, bacteria may get into the urine from the urethra and travel up into the bladder.

What is Bladder Cancer?

Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the body. These extra cells grow together and form masses called tumors. In bladder cancer, these tumors form in the bladder. The bladder is where urine (liquid waste made by the kidneys) is stored in the body. In 2016, more than 77,000 Americans will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Men are almost 4 times more likely than women to be diagnosed. About 16,000 Americans will die of bladder cancer this year. Over time, doctors have made progress with better treatments, and more people survive.

What is Neurogenic Bladder?

Millions of Americans have neurogenic bladder. Neurogenic bladder is the name given to a number of urinary conditions in people who lack bladder control due to a brain, spinal cord or nerve problem. This nerve damage can be the result of diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease or diabetes. It can also be caused by infection of the brain or spinal cord, heavy metal poisoning, stroke, spinal cord injury, or major pelvic surgery. People who are born with problems of the spinal cord, such as spina bifida, may also have this type of bladder problem. Nerves in the body control how the bladder stores or empties urine, and problems with these nerves cause overactive bladder (OAB), incontinence, and underactive bladder (UAB) or obstructive bladder, in which the flow of urine is blocked.

Information obtained from

from November 2016 newsletter 

From The Pugh...

This time of year we prepare for Reformation and Thanksgiving Worship. Times of reflecting on our Lutheran Heritage and all we are blessed with and thankful for, which for us at Bethlehem is a lot.

Reformation is a time we remember where we came from. This week I was reading the Trinity Seminary newsletter and Trinity President Rick Barger shared these words I wanted to pass on to you:

   The challenge we face together is a deeply missional one for the whole church. The question is, as one colleague puts it, “Are we collectively committed to having a robust Lutheran witness?” I want my grandchildren to be impacted by a robust Lutheran witness because:
• The primacy of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the Lutheran witness.  Christ alone brings about salvation by grace and faith alone.
• To be Lutheran is to be Jesus people. “Jesus is the messiah” is the content of our good news.  A Lutheran witness may engage in activism, but we do so as an outcome to the gospel.  “Jesus is the messiah” and the eschatology embedded in that claim is the only proclamation that can heal this deeply broken world.
• To be Lutheran means to honor the “priesthood” of all people. Everybody has a stake and is called into the church’s mission.
• To be Lutheran means that we do not exist for ourselves. We exist for the sake of the world. 
• The sacramental life of the church matters, not because Baptism and Eucharist are rituals, but because they embody the content of the gospel. 
• Finally, to be Lutheran is not about Lutheran as a noun. We get into trouble when we think of Lutheranism as a noun. Better to think of Lutheran as a verb, meaning that it is a way of living the gospel in the world.
Being Lutheran is who we are. It is how we think and how we act. The questions we have to wrestle with today are, “How do we continue to share being Lutheran with the world?” What are you willing to donate your time, you treasure and your talent towards?

November 13th Pastor John Schaumburg will lead Bethlehem in a visioning process. What direction do we as members of Bethlehem see God calling us to follow in the next 3-5 years? The event will begin following worship at 10:30am. We will eat lunch together and continue into the afternoon. We will listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we answer questions and dream dreams. The entire congregation of Bethlehem is encouraged to attend. This is your time to have your voice heard. If you choose not to come then we ask you to support the decisions made by the people who make this a priority.

In preparation for this time together I leave you with these questions to ponder that Pastor Bill Rindy shared during the last Rio Salado Conference meeting:
  1. Why in God’s name does Bethlehem exist?
  2. What is Bethlehem being called to do for Christ’s sake?
  3. What gifts has the Holy Spirit resourced Bethlehem with?

Bethlehem is not our church. Bethlehem is God’s church. Bethlehem exists to worship and serve God. We are God’s hands and feet. Join me on November 13 as we map out together the next road Christ is leading us down. Let everyone know far and wide that Bethlehem “Is a Home to Share God’s Love and Grace.” And all God’s people say…AMEN!

from the November 2016 newsletter