Natural remedies to reduce incontinenceBack to articles
Having urinary incontinence is not just about having small accidents, it could affect your daily routine and lifestyle. The results of a British study based on the social implications of Stress Urinary Incontinence showed that 6 in 10 women decide to just ‘put up with it’, not realising that it is an issue which can be fixed. Just like these women, a lot of us don’t realise the effects that our diets can have on our bladders. Here, we cover some common food items that can aggravate a weak bladder and some things you can try to reduce the symptoms.
According to EmpowHER, eating too much sugar can lead to diseases such as Diabetes which can increase the risk of bladder dysfunction and can lead to the start of bladder problems at a younger than average age. When excess sugar builds up, it can damage the nerves that control the bladder and lead to Urinary Incontinence:
“Although not as well-studied as caffeine and alcohol, sugary foods, including those that contain honey, corn syrup, and fructose, can also aggravate your bladder, some evidence suggests.”
Just to be clear, we’re not suggesting that you cut away sugar completely. However, it’s important to make sure that we enjoy with caution and make it a part of a balanced diet.
Cut down the spicy food
Spicy food - it’s not for everybody, but for those who like a little (or a lot) of spice in your lives, it’s important to be careful of how much you’re consuming, especially if you’re struggling with bladder weakness. Health listed it as one of the ‘10 things that can make incontinence worse’ as it can be irritating for the bladder, making it more likely to cause incontinence:
“There are certain foods that are triggers for people with incontinence or overactive bladders, including spicy foods, which doctors have identified as common irritants for women,” says Kristen Burns, an adult urology nurse practitioner at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore.”
Less Citrus fruits and drinks
Despite its alkalizing benefits and high dosages of Vitamin C, citrus can have a negative effect on people who are suffering from urge incontinence, as explained below by Health:
“Acidic foods and beverages, such as grapefruits, oranges, limes, lemons, and even tomatoes, can irritate your bladder and may worsen incontinence symptoms. “The bladder muscle has all kinds of nerves that can be affected by irritants, like acidic foods, which can exacerbate urgency symptoms,” says Burns.”
If this is something that affects you, don’t let citrus get on your nerves (literally)! Talk to your clinician or nutritionist about whether cutting down on the Citrus can benefit you.
Consider reducing your caffeine intake…Including fizzy drinks!
The Mayo Clinic explains how caffeine can cause increased bladder activity and urine production which then leads to symptoms such as a higher urgency & frequency of urination (meaning that you’re more likely to suffer from leaks).
We know…it’s hard to imagine our mornings without our friendly cup of Joe, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back. If you take a look back at our previous blog post, you’ll see that one of our top ways to drink ourselves beautiful this summer was to try to swap your normal morning coffee for a delicious Turmeric Latte. Whilst this won’t strengthen your pelvic floor, it is a healthier alternative which will provide you with more health benefits without compromising your pelvic floor like caffeine does. Don’t forget, this also includes fizzy drinks!
“A can of Coke may be a double whammy for your bladder thanks to the caffeine and carbonation.” – Gladder Bladder
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are probably the most commonly known natural treatments for bladder weakness. Often referred to as Kegel exercises, pelvic floor exercises involve contracting and releasing the internal pelvic floor muscles over and over again, just like flexing a bicep! As the muscle is deep inside our bodies, they can be difficult to master – think about the feeling you have when stopping a wee mid-flow or holding in wind from your back passage. Activities such as Yoga and Pilates typically involve a natural strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles, as a strong pelvic floor help can help you to develop strong core muscles, so these are great activities to incorporate in to your exercise routine. The downside is that these pelvic floor exercises are quite difficult to do properly, and you need to contract and releases hundreds of times to see the benefits. INNOVO® automates and perfects this process for you – it delivers 180 perfect pelvic floor contractions in each 30 minute session, so you know the time you are spending on these exercises is actually getting you somewhere! Learn more here.
According to Better Woman, Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function; it may also ease incontinent worries by reducing bladder muscle spasms and enabling the bladder to fully empty upon urination.
“In a small study at Tel Aviv University in Israel, more than half of the 40 women who took magnesium hydroxide pills twice a day had improvements in their urinary incontinence and did not wake up as many times in the night to go to the bathroom. Include magnesium-rich foods, such as corn, potatoes, and bananas in your diet, but talk to your doctor before you start taking magnesium supplements.” - Health
After speaking to many of our users we found out that having to wake up during the night to run to the toilet and not being able to get a decent night’s sleep is one of the worst parts of struggling with incontinence. 27% of women who suffer from incontinence are getting less sleep, according to the results of the British study mentioned earlier. This can affect your mood and wellness as we all know how important sleep can be. While INNOVO can help reduce the stress of constantly needing to pee during the night, magnesium-rich foods may help you to see a change in your Innovotherapy process a little faster. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Vitamin D also appears on the list of ‘10 things that can make incontinence worse’ written by Health, who say:
“Vitamin D promotes calcium intake and good bone health. Research suggests that it can also reduce the risk of incontinence”, this is because it also helps with the maintenance of muscle strength including the pelvis which is needed for urinary control.
“A 2010 study found that women 20 years and older who had vitamin D levels that were in a normal range were less likely to have any type of pelvic floor disorder, including incontinence.”
So, try to add more foods containing Vitamin D to your diets, such as eggs, dairy, fortified milk, and fish, but before doing this, please consult your health specialist for advice.
That’s right, you may actually need to drink more water according to Better Woman. A lot of people may deprive themselves of liquids due to the fear of leaks but this may worsen your incontinence symptoms.
“occasional constipation can cause bladder problems and not drinking enough fluids can be another cause of constipation. In addition, when you are dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated, which increases the risk of bladder irritation” – which could then lead to occasional incontinence. If you suffer from urge incontinence, speak to your doctor about how much liquid intake is suitable for you depending on the severity of your incontinence.
If you’re interested in understanding how INNOVO® can help you strengthen your pelvic floor and treat the root cause of leaks, visit our INNOVO® for Women or INNOVO® for Men pages to learn more. Change your life today with INNOVO!
Pelvic floor exercises are probably the most commonly known natural treatments for bladder weakness.
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