Monday, May 18, 2009

Do Cold Ice Rinks Stimulate the Bladder?

I was in the stands yesterday with the gals and someone (E.C.) suggested I write about the relationship between cold ice rinks and bladder stimulation.

You’ve got to be kidding me, I said.

No, E.C. insisted. It’s true.

Other moms nodded their heads.

My only opinion about the relationship between ice rinks and nature’s call is that I refuse to use the restrooms in rinks where they're located next to the ice and the heater doesn't work. Yeah. Permafrost.

So, really. Does the cold encourage the bladder to contract? Yep. I couldn’t make this up.

From an article in The Boston Globe:

This is not exactly the most-studied question in medicine, but yes, patients often do report a greater sense of urinary urgency in the winter, doctors say.

"In the olden days, we would have pooh-poohed this question. Now, we're paying attention and trying to see what causes it," says Dr. Pablo Gomery, a urologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Cold air seems to trigger an increased sense of urgency, he says, though this does not necessarily translate into incontinence.

The article reports that researchers have found that cold weather stimulates animal bladders, too. People also have more urine in winter because the body uses more fluid in the summer.

Alright. What does this mean for the mom in the stands?

  • Make your rest stop before you get to the rink. I do that anyway because I don’t like public restrooms, especially those with permafrost.
  • Drink less caffeine. Caffeine also stimulates the bladder and the liquid is, well, liquid.
  • Stop worrying. Easy for me to say, but worry also causes bladder contractions.
  • Stay healthy. Again, easy for me to say, but sneezing and coughing can trigger the bladder, too.
  • Stay warm. Hang out in the lobby or bring lots of blankets and a warm coat.

Are we crazy? Have you experienced this phenomenon? You can comment with your suggestions and experiences or just roll your eyes and move on with your life.


Aaron said...

When I attend competitions I frequent the wash room at least twice as much as normal.

Could it be from all the pop I find myself drinking at competitions?

Ice Charades said...

Too bad ice rink bathrooms have got to be some of the worst in the world!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the wonderful advises regard to my daughter who didn't want to participate in the ice show a few weeks ago. After I told to her a few more times. She did participate in the show and did well. She still doesn't like it, but at least she did it. She loves to be challenged but not hold back. She is looking forward to her new group. But she also made some friends in the show and that helped. She has been moving up so fast that she never get to know any other kids.
Again thank you so much on all your advises and thank you for this wonderful blog.

Figureskatingkitty said...

Our rink has pretty darn clean bathrooms. The only trouble is that they automatically flush a bazillion times as you try to get your tights up. Do you think that my cat ever feels uncomfortable? He likes cars, our rink allows pets in the lobby (lucky us), and, oddly, thecat likes rinks :)

RedShamrock said...

Wait! What rink has heat in the lobby?! If they are w/n a 20 mile drive of Boston I want to know about it. :-)

Ma said...

I am new to your site (and figure skating) and am finding the info and insight quite helpful and fascinating.

I have experienced having to go often as I wait for my granddaughter. I just attribute it to the lack of perspiration that would normally take place in a warmer clime. The body must naturally keep a fluid balance and if you are in a cold environment where you would not be perspiring and losing water through the pores, then you must balance by urinating more often.

Dianne Replica Swiss said...

Good for you. Well for me, I kept on forcing my daughter to join competitions but she insisted not to even though she has the skill.