Don’t suffer in silence!

Every day in my clinic, women come to me seeking help for a problem they would rather not talk about.

These women can be as young as 30 or as old as 90, but their stories are remarkably similar. With obvious embarrassment, they tell me of dashing from the checkout line to find a bathroom, often leaving the cart behind… or of interrupting a workout to peel off gym clothes that are soaked in more than sweat. I’ve even heard them speak sadly of having to give up travel by air and car, even church attendance, just to avoid humiliating themselves with their sudden and frequent need for the restroom.

Urinary incontinence is a very common problem, a challenge that will be faced by almost every woman as she ages

Especially after motherhood and menopause, women will often begin to have bladder control issues such as stronger urges to urinate, and leakage when coughing, sneezing or laughing. While this is most typically a daytime concern, some women also experience incontinence problems during the night.
My message to these women – all of us, really – is that help is on the way! Doctors like me, along with other professionals across the health care spectrum, are working hard to find solutions that will allow women to take back their lives and regain their ability to participate in their favourite activities. But we can’t help if women don’t reach out and ask us for help.

What is your first step?

The first step for any woman experiencing bladder control problems should be to make an appointment with a trusted doctor. He or she will ask the questions that will help determine which type of urinary incontinence you’re experiencing – stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed (stress and urge), or less commonly, overflow incontinence or overactive bladder. If the problem is significant and treatment is advised, you may be offered a prescription or even surgery. But there are many natural solutions to consider first, many of which I have found to reduce or even eliminate the need for further intervention.

Natural Solutions for
Stress Urinary
Incontinence

Natural Solutions for Stress Urinary Incontinence

This is leaking that is caused by pressure or light stress on the bladder, the kind that occurs when you are coughing, laughing, sneezing, lifting, or exercising.

Improve the muscle tone of your pelvic floor

  • Walk with upright posture (“like a queen,” I tell my patients). This posture requires you to isometrically lift the entire pelvic floor, strengthening the internal muscles around the bladder.
  • Sit with upright posture (pretending to balance books atop your head). Again, this requires you to isometrically lift your internal muscles, strengthening your pelvic floor. Do this while working at your desk, sitting in a meeting, or watching TV.
  • Try the Beyond Kegels® program, a new set of exercises for the pelvic floor developed by a physical therapist. These techniques provide statistically improved results over the usual Kegel squeezes, and they’re especially good for mothers and women who have developed uterine prolapse.
  • Watch for the availability of Genityte®, a breakthrough in non-invasive treatments to restore tone to the pelvic floor and treat incontinence. It is still under development as of this writing, but results for both stress and urge incontinence have been very promising.
Animated Kegel Exercise

Prevent Leaking

  • Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles before you sneeze or cough. If you have a persistent cough, seek medical advice, because chronic coughing can weaken the muscle tone of your pelvic floor.
  • Be sure to modify any weightlifting exercises that require you to assume a wide stance. Keep your legs at shoulder width for this kind of exertion and, to guard against straining your pelvic floor muscles, squeeze them before beginning each lift.

Natural Solutions for
Urge Incontinence

Natural Solutions for Urge Incontinence

Consider your food triggers

  • Examine your diet carefully to see what may need to be eliminated or reduced to relieve your symptoms. Carbonated drinks, caffeinated beverages like coffee and green tea, and other foods have been known to irritate the urethra or bladder.

Do not panic when the urge hits

  • The fight-or-flight response is to be avoided, because panic and other sympathetic nervous system releases make the detrusor muscle con­traction (the urge feeling) stronger. Remain calm. Close your eyes, hold your breath for a few seconds, and let the urge pass.

I recommend that patients try natural solutions first.

Weaken the urge impulse by holding your breath

  • Holding your breath lowers the breathing muscle (diaphragm) in your abdomen, interrupting the firing of the detrusor (urge) muscle.
Animated Squat Exercise

I recommend that patients try natural solutions first.

Don’t consider prescription medication without being aware of potential side effects

  • Drugs can help by relaxing the muscle that empties the bladder, or by blocking the nerve impulses that tell the bladder to contract. But pharmaceutical solutions can cause side effects such as: dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, dizziness, and even interference with mental clarity. I find the higher the dose and the older the patient, the more likely these side effects are to be reported. I recommend that patients try natural solutions first.

Try Ultimate Bladder Control®

  • This is a water-soluble pumpkin seed extract, a totally natural option. It has been shown to be highly effective in addressing urinary urgency and frequency, including the “need to go” that wakes you from sleep. Much safer than the prescription drugs on the market, Ultimate Bladder Control has impressed me with its ability to reduce the symptoms of those who use it daily. Ultimate Bladder Control can be found at your local health store.

According to new research: Water-soluble pumpkin seed is most effective with bladder issues, because absorption is crucial. Water-soluble pumpkin seed helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles of the bladder and also helps the bladder relax.

Ultimate Bladder Control® contains a patented water-soluble pumpkin seed that was researched by Japanese scientists and found to be far superior to the oil-soluble pumpkin seed.

So, don’t be embarrassed by your symptoms and don’t assume you’re alone in dealing with them, either – because you aren’t, not by a long shot!
If you’ve been limiting your life and avoiding activities you love, please know that there is help available. See a trusted physician or naturopath, or try Ultimate Bladder Control as a starting point!