Urinary incontinence is an embarrassing and inconvenient condition characterized by leakage of urine from the bladder or the inability to control urine. It is very common, especially among older adults. In fact, estimates are that approximately 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence.
Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to treat urinary incontinence. Before we talk about them, let’s take a closer look at the different types of incontinence, and what causes them.
Types and Causes of Urinary Incontinence
There are three main types of urinary incontinence:
- Urge incontinence occurs when an overactive or hyperactive bladder causes an intense, sudden need to urinate resulting in involuntary loss of urine.
- Stress incontinence occurs when certain activities, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or vigorous exercise put pressure on the bladder, causing urine to be released.
- Overflow incontinence occurs when you are unable to fully empty your bladder, leading to a frequent dribbling or leakage of urine.
As a rule, incontinence is not a diagnosis in and of itself. Rather, it is an indication of an underlying condition. That being the case, it is very important to be evaluated by a doctor in case your incontinence indicates a serious condition, such as cancer. Here are some of the most common causes of incontinence:
- As we age our pelvic muscles weaken, which can make bladder control more difficult
- The experience of giving birth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles
- Enlarged prostate
- Urinary stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Nerve damage.
In addition, certain foods and drinks may contribute to incontinence, as can some prescription medications.
Treatments for incontinence include:
- Drugs known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics work to control bladder spasms, and are also sometimes prescribed for the treatment of overactive bladder.
- In certain cases, Botox may be injected into the bladder to increase its capacity.
- Protective pads and panty liners are not exactly a treatment, but they are frequently used to help prevent embarrassing situations where urine leaks through clothing.
- In extreme cases where normal remedies do not work, surgery may be required to cure incontinence. Some procedures work to support the bladder or urethra, while other involve inserting small nerve stimulators to help strengthen the muscles around the bladder.
Best Remedies for Urinary Incontinence
Now that you understand the causes of urinary incontinence, it’s time to talk about the best natural remedies.
In addition to the remedies listed above, it is also important to do whatever you can to minimize stress and anxiety, both of which can exacerbate incontinence. Make sure to get enough sleep, and consider adding meditation to your daily routine. Even 10 or 15 minutes of quiet meditation a day can make a big difference in terms of managing stress. Even though this may seem counterintuitive, it is also important to stay well-hydrated. Make sure to get enough water. Finally, do what you can to avoid foods that cause inflammation, such as sugar and trans fats. If you follow this advice, you can get rid of urinary incontinence for good.