Ladies, ever had this experience?
You’re walking down the street, dressed in a nice pair of slacks or shorts and you suddenly have to sneeze. And, well it’s allergy season, so maybe you sneeze two or three times. Next thing you know, you’re wet down there–and there’s a big spot on your pants. Frustrating? Embarrassing?
Or how about you go meet your friends for coffee, stop at the store on the way home and you are running inside and barely make it to the bathroom before you ‘spill’ over. Then there is that great group fitness class that everyone has been raving about. You sign up and show up for class full of energy and enthusiasm—until you all have to start doing ‘jumping jacks’. You turn and head for the door. Because you’ve sprung a leak!
Yep, those ‘oops’ leaks are what we call “urinary incontinence”. And you are definitely NOT alone.
While this problem can happen to men or women, women experience this about twice as often. Up to 45-50% of women—especially over the age of 40—experience this problem to some degree. And unfortunately, it can worsen with age.
Why do women get this more often? A big reason is pregnancy and childbirth. Especially if you happen to have had childbirth that necessitated forceps or an episiotomy. Often the stress and strain, along with possibly injury to nerves in the pelvic area due to childbirth can contribute to urinary incontinence.
Other health issues can also contribute to this problem. Diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause weakness or damage the nerves that control your bladder. Some urinary tract infections can make this especially difficult, along with kidney problems, tumors, medications, and cancer treatments.
Other factors that can have an effect on UI’s are:
• Gender–Women definitely get this more often than men. Pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal changes with menopause, and our unique female anatomy account for this. But men are not immune from this–prostate gland problems also bring an increased risk.
• Age–As we age, the muscles in the bladder and urethra tend to lose some of their strength. These muscles are sphincters which can squeeze and control the urine.
• Weight–Extra weight increases pressure on your bladder and surrounding muscles, which weakens them and allows urine to leak out when you cough, sneeze or jump.
• Smoking–Tobacco use increases your risk of urinary incontinence.
• Other diseases–Neurological diseases or even diabetes may increase your risk of incontinence.
Certain foods and drinks can also overstimulate the bladder, or work as diuretics, and cause transient UI. Caffeine and alcohol are often the biggest culprits. Other foods and drinks that can cause problems include:
• Carbonated drinks and sparkling water
• Artificial sweeteners
• Chili peppers
• Foods that are high in spice, sugar or acid, especially citrus fruits
• Heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives, and muscle relaxants
• Large doses of vitamin C
What can you do about stopping or slowing Urinary Incontinence?
There are several things you can do to help control UI and hopefully not have to resort to wearing a pad or a diaper. Making some lifestyle changes, including dietary changes can help.
Avoid eating or drinking the ‘trigger’ foods and drinks and lose weight if necessary. Tracking your bathroom trips and retraining your bladder to hold increasingly more fluid can sometimes help. And there’s Kegal exercises. The problem is most people don’t stick to a plan long enough to see much in the way of positive results.
For serious UI issues, there are medical treatments, but some of them can be downright risky and painful! Not to mention have some pretty unpleasant side effects. Some of the medical treatments include:
• Anticholinergic drugs which have unpleasant side effects like dry mouth, bad breath, constipation, blurred vision, increased blood pressure and even dementia.
• Botox is sometimes used on the bladder. The doctor goes up through the urethra and into the bladder. Botox is then injected straight into the wall of the bladder, slowing down the contractions. This uncomfortable procedure will have to be repeated every 6-9 months when the Botox wears off.
• Vaginal inserts
• Injections of certain substances can actually thicken your urethra wall so it seals more tightly to stop urine from leaking.
• Nerve stimulation therapy is where a small device – about the size of a stopwatch – is implanted under the skin of your hip. It sends mild electric impulses to the nerve that controls your bladder muscles.
• A female sling is one of the more common surgical treatments. A strip of mesh is placed under the urethra to support the area. Slings have had mixed success and often have to be redone.
• Physical therapy can actually help to retrain, strengthen or even relax certain pelvic muscles that have to do with bladder control.
While all these solutions seem not only complicated, risky, or downright painful, there is a better solution.
Speaking of urinary incontinence…
Stretch THIS muscle to stop embarrassing “pee leaks” (women only)
It may be uncomfortable for some, but this issue affects over 15 million women in the U.S. alone…
And one of our good friends and health contributors has experienced this in a deeply personal way.
Health and Fitness Expert, Alex Miller, was devastated the day her mother nearly died.
But she never could have guessed that battling this traumatic experience would cause her mom to suffer from humiliating “pee leaks” for years.
Her mom felt like she wasn’t in control of her body anymore.
She was ashamed.
And embarrassed to be a woman.
Alex’s strong confident mother was now struggling to even want to leave the house.
And Alex was heartbroken.
That’s when she decided something had to change…
And she dedicated her life to finding a solution.
But she never would have guessed that this search to help her mom would lead her to discover the shocking secret that is causing most women to suffer from involuntary leakage…
And a strange upper body stretch that would not only help her mom, but thousands of women around the world to stop peeing their pants.