Bladder Health is often overlooked until we personally have a problem. But why wait until you suffer from things like bladder incontinence when you can start caring for your bladder today?
The urinary system works to produce urine to get rid of waste and extra water. Sometimes though with age, diet, and lifestyle factors, the body can develop urinary problems like incontinence.
Incontinence is the lack of voluntary control over urination, in other words, the loss of bladder control. You may experience a little urine leaking at times when the bladder is full, or even all day long if you suffer from incontinence. Incontinence can occur at any age and is usually a symptom of an underlying problem.
Some possible reasons you may be seeing incontinence could be hormone related such as menopause or pregnancy, post-childbirth because the pelvic floor muscles are weaker, an enlarged prostate, inflammation or infection of the bladder, and even just as we age.
Often, incontinence gets worse with aging due to changes in the body like menopause and weakened bladder muscles. It does not have to be a sign of aging itself though. Not everyone who ages becomes incontinent, which is why it is good to start today in taking preventative measures against it.
There are some natural products, foods, and exercises you can start with today to help prevent and reverse incontinence.
An easy exercise you can do is the Kegel. To perform a kegel we want to flex and release your bladder muscles. Have you ever started to pee and then stopped midstream? Well, those muscles you use to stop midstream, those are the muscles we want to strengthen. Kegels basically come down to tensing and releasing these muscles throughout the day as an exercise to strengthen them.
We can also look at your diet to help with incontinence. Eating foods higher in Magnesium, fiber, and vitamin D can help reduce bladder muscle spasms and other causes of incontinence.
Some foods that would be higher in these vitamins and minerals are:
- Whole grains, broccoli, carrot, and cabbage for more natural fiber.
- Potatoes and corn for more magnesium
- Eggs and fish for more vitamin D
Drinking plenty of water, about half your body weight in ounces per day is ideal to stay hydrated and to keep urine clear. While you may not want to drink water because it leads to having a full bladder, it is essential to bladder health by flushing out bacteria.
You can also cut back on certain drinks. Caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee are diuretics and can lead to increased urine production, which can lead to incontinence. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop drinking them altogether but simply cutting back on how often you have them.
Lastly, you can take supplements to support bladder health and function. You can take supplements such as Magnesium and vitamin D in addition to eating foods that contain these.
Two other supplements to look into are Bromelain and D-Mannose.
Bromelain is an enzyme that helps with inflammation. Since incontinence can be caused by bladder inflammation, some studies show that Bromelain is an effective supplement in treating it.
D-Mannose is known to prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall which would lessen the likelihood of getting a Urinary Tract Infection. Infections like UTI’s are another possible cause for incontinence so taking a supplement to lower your chances of them helps lower the chances of incontinence as well.
Whether you want to prevent or treat incontinence, these recommendations are easy to implement into our daily routine. If you already suffer from incontinence, keeping a bladder diary can help track when you have symptoms and what may have triggered them so you can prevent them in the future.
Meaghan is an outdoor enthusiast who found her passion while traveling Europe. A Certified Holistic Health Coach and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, she specializes in guiding men and women to transition from autopilot to intuitive eating and exercise by focusing on the mind-body connection and self-love.