In This Section
Bladder control can be weakened by many events and leaking of urine is extremely common, affecting men, women and children. Thankfully this is no longer a shameful and hidden secret and there are remedies that can support and tone the bladder.
Many women experience leaking of urine and this can occur daily or occasionally. Pregnancy and childbirth offer unique risks for women, especially after several pregnancies or a traumatic vaginal delivery with forceps. A dropped or prolapsed uterus will press upon the bladder and cause involuntary leaking.
The menopause is another life event that can lead to bladder weakness because hormonal control is diminished when oestrogen levels drop. Repeated bladder infections such as cystitis may cause scar tissue to form and diminish bladder vitality.
Emotional factors may also contribute to bladder problems. For example severe anxiety, fear or emotional distress may be expressed with urinary incontinence.
Weak pelvic floor muscles, obesity, excess alcohol, nerve damage, diabetes, infection, caffeine and some medications all contribute to the problem.
Men can also suffer with incontinence and an overactive bladder where the cause may be difficult to assess. The unique bladder risk for men is an enlarged prostate.
Children are generally dry during the day by 5 years of age and at night they are dry by 6 years old. Night-time wetting is more common than daytime wetting in children, affecting 30 percent of 4-year-olds. The exact cause of most cases is not known; they may result from more than one factor, including slower physical development, an overproduction of urine at night, and the inability to recognize bladder filling when asleep. There is also an association with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obstructive sleep apnoea from enlarged tonsils, chronic constipation and anxiety. Dealing with these underlying issues solves many cases and others fade naturally as a child grows and develops. When treatment is needed, options include bladder training and related strategies, moisture alarms, and medications.
Foods & herbs for the home
- If infection or bladder inflammation is suspected, deal with these by following the recommendations for cystitis or sexual cystitis.
- Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea and cola drinks. Omit caffeine for 3 weeks and evaluate whether this has made a positive difference. Caffeine is a bladder stimulant.
- Deal with underlying constipation. Linseeds (flax seeds) can be added to cereals and Psyllium Husks will add gentle bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass.
- Apples cooked with their skin and mashed make an easy-to-digest stool softener.
- For more stubborn constipation, ask for a sample of Barberry Capsules.
- Post-menopause laxity is quite common but easily corrected with phyto hormone plants that re-introduce or balance oestrogen and progesterone. Work with a holistic herbalist to achieve a better balance. You may find one in your area by searching on The Association of Master Herbalists website.
- If fear, worry and anxiety could be a cause then assist the nervous system by focusing on calcium and magnesium-rich foods. Kelp and seaweeds, almonds, barley water, sesame seeds and tahini paste and Superfood Plus are all good sources.
- Anxiety can be both a cause and a result of incontinence. Body work such as massage can enhance the body-mind connection to promote full person healing. Relaxing Massage Oil is one blended product you can choose, or you can select your favourite essential oil such as Lavender to add to a base oil. Add a few drops of essential oil to an atomiser as a bedroom spray or place a drop on your pillow at night.
- Work with your GP, practice nurse or therapist to develop strong pelvic floor muscles; like all big muscle groups these are easily built back to good tone.
Additional help is available by phoning the free product advice line at Herbs Hands Healing between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm. Tel: 01379 608201.
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