MAILBAG: Conquer Urinary Incontinence

“My wife struggles with urinary incontinence. She’s too embarrassed to wear an adult diaper, but it’s started to keep her from going places. What can we do?”

-Luke from Madison, Wisconsin

Hi Luke,

An overactive bladder is often the culprit behind urinary incontinence. It can cause urine to leak whenever the bladder fills, even a little bit.

The question is: what makes a bladder “overactive”?

Various health issues can contribute to urinary incontinence, including diabetes, kidney disease, nerve damage, weak pelvic floor muscles (especially in women with children), multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Some medications can make the problem worse. These include diuretics (water pills), muscle relaxants, narcotics, antihistamines, and some blood pressure medications (alpha-adrenergic antagonists).

Anyone experiencing urinary leaking or incontinence should see their doctor to rule out hidden health issues or medication side effects. As a doctor, I can ASSURE you there’s NO reason to be embarrassed.

Incontinence is a common problem. It affects up to 50 percent of women. And it becomes more common as you age. Up to 75 percent of women over 65 experience leakage.

Your doctor may be able to help. But in the meantime, there are some simple things you can try to remain dry:

Kegel Exercises: This exercise can help strengthen your pelvic floor. The key is to do them regularly. Kegels only takes a few minutes and it, in some cases, can dramatically reduce urinary incontinence.

You can locate your pelvic floor muscles by trying to stop urinating midstream. Once you’ve identified them, you’re ready to start Kegel training.

Imagine you’re sitting on a small straw. Then tighten your pelvic floor muscles as if using them to suck air through that straw.

Avoid tensing muscles in your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. You want to engage the pelvic floor muscles alone.

Try it for three seconds, then relax for three more. Do three sets of 10, maintaining your focus the whole time.

Avoid Triggers: Many foods can irritate your bladder wall. Some of the most common include those high in caffeine (like coffee, chocolate, and soda), alcohol, citrus foods or juices, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and sugar.

Try eliminating them from your diet (or use them sparingly) to see if it helps reduce leaks.

DoubleVoiding: This is just what it sounds like. To double-void, you urinate, wait just a few minutes, and then go again. This technique is great to try before getting into the car or going to bed.

Acupuncture: For some folks, acupuncture relieves incontinence symptoms. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s certainly worth trying.

Don’t let urinary incontinence turn you into a hermit. Take back control and live your life on your OWN terms again.

P.S. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to urinary tract infections. But recent research has called into question the most common mainstream treatment. It turns out your doctor’s solution could make your situation MUCH worse. Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW.

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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