Urinary incontinence is an embarrassing problem but it affects more people than you may think. Incontinence occurs when either the muscles or the nerves controlling the bladder fail to work properly. Stress incontinence occurs during physical activity with only a small amount of urine leaking; overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder empties completely after the bladder gets too full, and an overactive bladder which is caused by a hyperactive lining of the bladder that causes spasms.
The good news is that you can use natural remedies to treat your incontinence. There is no need to suffer!
One of the most effective remedies for urinary incontinence is Kegel exercises. These exercises were developed during the 1940s to help women that suffered from incontinence during pregnancy. The exercises strengthen the muscles that surround the opening to the bladder. To find these muscles, simply stop the flow of urine when you are in mid-pee. Once you have found the muscles, Kegel exercises involve tensing the muscles and holding them for as long as you can before releasing them. You should practice these exercises whenever you have a chance to during the day. Kegel exercises must be done regularly in order for them to remain effective.
Homoeopathy for Incontinence
There are several homoeopathic remedies that can be useful for urinary incontinence. These include:
- Arnica – is great for involuntary urination that occurs after surgery
- Belladonna- is helpful for people that tend to leak urine when they are cold.
- Causticum – is helpful when involuntary urination is worse in winter and better in summer. It is useful for stress incontinence.
- Equisetum – is useful for those people that wet their pants or their bed for no known reason, other than out of habit.
- Ferrum phos – is helpful for daytime involuntary urination, especially when the urge is strongest while standing.
- Kreosotum – is useful when the person has a sudden urge to urinate but do not have enough time to get to the bathroom.
- Lycopodium – is useful for those that are so anxious that they always worry about what others think of them.
- Zincum – is useful for stress incontinence, urinary retention caused by prostate problems, and the inability to urinate while standing.
- Pareira – is good for the retention of urine from an enlarged prostate.
- Sepia – is good for stress incontinence with the sudden urge to urinate, especially with a prolapsed uterus and vaginitis.
Herbal Medicine for Incontinence
Herbs may be used as dried extracts, tinctures or glycerites. Urinary astringents tone and heal the urinary tract. They are safe to take long term at the dosage of one cup per day or 30 drops of tincture. Horsetail helps with the integrity of connective tissue, while plantain is an astringent and demulcent. Marshmallow root is a urinary demulcent that is best used alone in a cold infusion.
Food Allergies and Incontinence
Coffee, milk, sugar, honey, alcohol, soft drinks, tea, chocolate, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and tomatoes and tomato-based products have all been associated with incontinence. If you suspect that the foods that you eat are causing or worsening your incontinence, try keeping a food diary to see if there is a pattern between the foods that you eat and the episodes of your incontinence. If there is a pattern, eliminate the offending food or drink to see if that helps. If it does, consider cutting the food out altogether.
Nutrition and Supplements for Incontinence
There is much that you can do in your diet to help control your urinary incontinence. Some things that help include:
- Cranberries and blueberries contain compounds that stop bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder. This can help to prevent infections that may worsen your incontinence.
- Eat foods that are high in antioxidants.
- Eat foods that are high in fibre.
- Avoid refined foods.
- Eat less red meat and more lean meat, cold water fish, tofu or beans for protein
- Cut down on foods that contains oxalates such as spinach, beets, nuts, chocolate, black tea, and strawberries.
- Eat foods that are high in magnesium and low in calcium.
- Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids that are found in commercially baked goods.
- Use healthy oils for cooking
- Avoid coffee and other stimulants.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
- Undertake moderate exercise.
- Vitamin C can help to prevent bacteria growing in urine.
- Beta-carotene helps your immune system to function properly.
- Zinc supports the immune function.