It’s a habit that many of us partake in before hitting the road but according to experts, going to the toilet ‘just in case’ could be doing more harm than good.
While attempting to empty your bladder before a long trip might sound sensible, it could actually be the cause of more serious problems in the future.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Diane Wootton, a clinical physiotherapy specialist in bladder and bowel dysfunction said that people who think “I’d better go before I leave” are more at risk of developing a weak bladder.
“It means your bladder won’t ever fill to a normal level (more than 200ml) because it’s often being emptied,” she says.
“If it’s not stretched, it’ll weaken over time — meaning you really will need the loo all the time.
“I once had a patient who went to the loo 22 times a day partly because of this habit.
If you’re a serial toilet-seeker don’t fret because it is possible to retrain your bladder by trying to use the toilet in intervals as far apart as possible. This will help it stretch and over time you’ll notice that you need to spend a penny less frequently.
Other tips for needing the loo less include to spread your intake of liquid throughout the day and avoid drinking late at night.
Also, try not to consume caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, fizzy drink and alcohol as these can irritate the bladder and make you want to go more.
This doesn’t mean you should hold on to a full bladder though, as making this a regular habit can lead to your bladder becoming overstretched instead.
The point at which your bladder recognizes that its full differs from person to person but as a rule, Professor Kirby, a consultant urologist at The Prostate Centre in London, says that most people can hold 300ml to 400ml of fluid if they drink around two litres of fluid a day without waking up at night.
And, that going to the toilet anywhere from four to ten times in a day is considered normal.