Guest Author - Gretchen Goel
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urine flow due to weakened muscles in the bladder or pelvic floor resulting from childbirth, poor nutrition, aging and other factors. It affects more than 200 million people worldwide. According to the National Association for Continence, “Urinary Incontinence is a stigmatized, underreported, under-diagnosed, under-treated condition that is erroneously thought to be a normal part of aging.”
It’s an embarrassing problem, so embarrassing that many people don’t feel comfortable sharing it with their health care provider. Many men and women use adult diapers and avoid social situations. They are also unable to exercise without having an accident and become less active as a result.
The three most common types of incontinence are Stress Incontinence, Urge Incontinence, and Environmental Incontinence. These conditions can usually be cured with the following natural solutions...
Clean up your diet
Start with cleaning up your diet! It can have profound effects on overall health as well as bladder health. Many of the foods and beverages consumed daily cause stress on the bladder. Alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, fried food, food containing Trans fats, and animal protein (dairy products, butter, eggs, poultry, beef and fish) are all foods that cause inflammation in the body. When you have weakened tissues in any part of the body, the best thing you can do to heal is to remove the above mentioned from your diet and increase raw organic fruit and vegetable intake. Make plain, filtered water your beverage of choice and take small sips throughout the day rather than sitting down and drinking a 12 ounce glass all at once. Eat a high fiber diet with 9-13 servings of mostly raw fruits and vegetables every day. You want to get a minimum of 45 grams of fiber to keep the bowel operating smoothly because excessive straining can cause a prolapsed bladder, leading to incontinence. Keep a food journal to stay on track. You can also use this journal to keep track of the times you are having accidents so you can understand why it is happening.
Do Kegal Exercises
According to a study published in the November 2004 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kegal Exercises work well for mild cases of incontinence. You can perform Kegals anywhere because no one will know that you are doing them except you. The way you can know if you are doing them right is to practice when you are urinating to stop the urine flow. Sitting comfortably in a chair, relax and contract the muscles 20 or more times two or more times a day.
Susun Weed, herbalist and highly-acclaimed author of books on women's health recommends a “red clover infusion”. “Red clover…helps maintain strong pelvic tissues --thus preventing incontinence, lowered libido, atrophic vaginitis, and uterine prolapse.”
To make a red clover infusion you can grow your own red clover sprouts and drink the “tea” or soaking water each morning.
As with all health issues, a natural approach should be taken first and drugs or surgical procedures should be saved as a last resort.