Incontinence • Natural Home Remedies

Incontinence is the iInvoluntary release of urine or a frequent and sudden uncontrollable need to urinate.

Incontinence - Image of a baby on a potty chair

PREVALENCE

The NCBI estimates that in the U.S. population, 3% of men and 11% of women have urinary incontinence (and 100% of infants).

RISK FACTORS

  • Age
  • Childbirth
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Hysterectomy
  • Menopause
  • Neurological disorders
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prostate cancer

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Medical treatment might be the same as some of the natural treatments, or include medications, surgery, medical devices or absorbent products.

SELF TREATMENT

You will need to address the underlying cause if it can be found.  Some of the suggestions below have benefitted others in their quest for relief.

DIET

To support health, eat fruits, vegetables, lean quality protein, and healthy fats. Go for variety in whole, fresh, living foods. There is no specific diet cure for incontinence but there are plenty of foods and beverages that might irritate your bladder.

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID OR REDUCE

  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Honey
  • Smoking; nicotine irritates the bladder
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomatoes

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • “Bladder Control Tea for Women”’
  • Apple Cider Vinegar in water
  • Black cohosh extract in water
  • Buchu
  • Cleavers tea
  • Cornsilk
  • Dandelion
  • Horsetail tea
  • Lemon balm
  • Marshmallow root
  • Uva ursi

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Bladderwrack (don’t use if you have hyperthyroidism or are pregnant)
  • Gosha-jinki-gan
  • Morinda root (noni)
  • Saw Palmetto

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically on your skin in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.) or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Copaiba
  • Cypress
  • Endoflex (a Young Living Oils blend)
  • Fennel
  • Geranium
  • Grapeseed
  • Juniper berry
  • Myrtle
  • Nutmeg
  • Sage
  • Spearmint
  • Tea tree

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? We are told constantly to drink more water, but it may help if you keep your water intake to the 6-8 glasses a day recommended for most people.  You don’t want to become dehydrated because your urine will be more acidic and irritating, but you don’t want to drink more than you need for good health.

EXERCISE

Try some exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Allow your skin to air dry if possible.
  • Double void (urinate, wait a couple minutes and try again).
  • Eat enough fiber and drink enough water that your stools are a normal consistency (no constipation).
  • Electrical stimulation to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
  • Empty your bladder when you first feel the urge, before and after meals, and at bedtime.
  • Lose excess weight.
  • Use a handheld bidet sprayer (attached to toilet plumbing) to wash off after urination or leaking.
  • Use a washcloth to clean yourself to avoid rashes and infections.
  • Use cocoa butter to protect your skin.
  • Yoga to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
  • You can try to “train” your bladder by waiting for ten minutes after feeling the urge, and then lengthen the time between trips to the bathroom.  Aim for 3-6 hours between trips.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration but don’t overdo
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise pelvic floor muscles.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
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