A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Incontinence
I had a question the other day about incontinence.
Incontinence (loss of bladder control) is a common problem.
There are many things that can cause this annoying problem.
Incontinence can be either acute or persistent.
Acute incontinence is usually caused by an infection.
Persistent incontinence develops over time and lasts longer.
There are several different types of persistent incontinence, including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, functional incontinence, reflex incontinence, and total incontinence.
Stress incontinence is the most common bladder control problem.
This leakage occurs when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift a heavy object, or otherwise increase pressure in your lower abdomen.
Your bladder is rarely completely empty.
Dribbling is very common.
This problem is a result of weakened pelvic muscles, which can be due to aging, obesity, and/or pregnancy.
Urge incontinence is the result of an overactive bladder.
Your detrusor muscle, which surrounds your bladder, may involuntarily contract and begin the flow of urine.
Frequent urination is common with this type of incontinence; so is urination during the night, especially in men.
Difficulty urinating may also be due to prostate inflammation.
Possible underlying causes of urge incontinence are a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, abdominal surgery, stimulants like alcohol and coffee, and bladder infection.
It may also be due to prostate problems.
Functional incontinence is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to empty your bladder before you can get to the bathroom.
It can be caused by stress; changes in environment, like having to stay in the hospital and not being able to get to the bathroom in time; and mobility restrictions.
Some people don’t know when their bladders are full, and this loss of feeling can lead to urine leakage.
This is reflex incontinence, and it’s usually due to spinal cord injury or other neurological impairment.
Total incontinence is the unpredictable loss of urine at all times.
It can be caused by neurological dysfunction, abdominal surgery, spinal cord injury, or an anatomical defect.
Incontinence is most common in people over 50, but loss of bladder control can occur at any age, especially in pregnant women.
It’s wrong to assume loss of bladder control is an inevitable part of getting older.
It’s also wrong to assume nothing can be done about the problem.
To deal with incontinence, it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily, which cleanses and flushes your system. Drink at least 1 cup per hour.
*Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, coffee, chocolate, refined or processed foods, and simple sugars. Chemicals in food, drugs, and impure water have an adverse effect on your bladder.
*If you’re overweight, adopt a healthy weight-loss diet and exercise program to help you lose the extra pounds.
*Don’t delay emptying your bladder. Making sure you urinate every 2-3 waking hours (“voiding by the clock”) can help.
*Don’t use “feminine hygiene sprays,” packaged douches, bubble baths, or tampons, sanitary pads, or toilet paper containing fragrance. The chemicals in these products are potentially irritating.
*Do pelvic exercises like Kegel exercises. These are useful because weak pelvic muscles are often involved in bladder control problems. Daily exercises (5 minutes 3 times a day) can strengthen pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
*Cantharis is a homeopathic remedy for pain during urination and for frequent urination.
*Eat plenty of raw foods.
*Consider fasting and fresh juicing.
*Practice good personal hygiene.
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