Incontinence affects millions of people and although attitudes are changing, it is still considered to be an embarrassing ailment.
The good news is that for many people, incontinence is a temporary hiccup and can, be ‘reversed’, giving you full control of your bladder once again.
However, it is important to seek help for urinary or bowel incontinence, especially if its impact on your life means it prevents you from enjoying life to the full. There are various treatments options available, including medication in some cases, but natural methods are so much safer without the health risks of dangerous side effects.
Urinary incontinence is a fixable problem in many cases but it takes patience, advice, exercise and some lifestyle changes. However, they all combine to help you regain control of your bladder.
With a range of incontinence products to help you manage it in the interim, these six natural remedies can be successful in helping your control accidental leaking of urine, giving you peace of mind and confidence once again.
#1 Pelvic floor exercises
The flow of urine from the bladder – more importantly, when urine is released – is controlled by a set of muscles that run from the front of your body by your pubic bone to the base of the spine.
Unlike other muscles in the body, they are sling like and can become weakened. Childbirth, for example, can stretch or damage the muscle leading to temporary incontinence after birth. The muscles are the same in both men and women thus; these exercises can be used by anyone suffering from urinary incontinence.
These ‘clench and release’ exercises can be performed several times a day and can be helpful in bladder control– better still, no one knows that you are doing them and there are no expensive gym fees to pay or specialist equipment needed.
#2 Train your bladder
It might sound simple but training your bladder takes patience. Incontinence products can also be helpful when re-training your bladder too and always seek advice for a health professional before you start on a bladder re-training regime.
The key is to learn how to put off the urgency or need to visit the bathroom. At the start, try and delay a bathroom visit for 10 minutes and gradually increase this time to 20 minutes. Experts suggest aiming to visit the bathroom every four hours.
Keeping a diary of how many times you visit the toilet can give you a lot of information, as well as your doctor or specialist incontinence nurse. There may be times when ‘holding’ urine is not advisable or, when suffering from various illnesses and conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, it simply may not be possible.
Magnesium is an important mineral for proper muscle and nerve function. A small research project in Israel showed that women who took magnesium hydroxide pills twice a day had improvement with their urinary incontinence.
However, before you start taking magnesium supplements, check with your doctor if they are suitable but also bear in mind that the best way to increase magnesium levels in the body is to do so naturally.
Magnesium rich foods include bananas, spinach and oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. The daily recommended amount is 400mg.
#4 Quit smoking
There are many reasons why smoking is bad for your health and it is a known fact that nicotine can irritate the bladder.
A Greek study showed that smokers were more likely to suffer incontinence than those people who didn’t smoke. Long term, smokers tend to cough more than non-smokers, placing the bladder and pelvic floor muscles under stress.
As a result, urinary stress incontinence was common with many people needing incontinence products to help them manage the issue.
For people suffering an overactive bladder, acupuncturists believe that their therapy can be of great help in providing balance in the body.
Reassuringly, although not a quick fix, people who have used acupuncture note a vast improvement in their incontinence after a course of treatment.
#6 Cut out caffeine
It may sound drastic and unappealing to cut out your morning coffee but caffeine is known to excite the brain. Specifically, it excites the front of the brain and since this is the part that controls the bladder, some experts think that caffeine has the ability to excite the bladder too.
To top it off, caffeine is a known diuretic, thus restricting your intake of caffeine, or cutting it out completely, can have a significant impact on urge incontinence.
HARTMANN Direct supply a range of incontinence products for men and women. From light absorbency to heavy use, their quality products offer the wearer confidence when dealing with incontinence, without bulkiness under clothing.