PHOTO by Alan Tennyson.

Loss of bladder control is officially known as urinary incontinence. The severity of the condition can range from being an occasional leaking of urine to a complete inability to hold any urine at all.

Bladder continence is most common among the elderly. Women are more likely than men to have urinary incontinence due to a due to pregnancy or intercourse, whereas men may suffer the condition due to prostate issues

It is common for some people to have a slight loss of control over their urination when they are laughing too hard or if you have a big sneeze. Bladder control has also become a necessity during this pandemic, thanks to the lack of availability of open washrooms in so many stores, malls, and public spaces.

The 2 Main Types of Urinary Incontinence

The two main types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress incontinence is that big surprise that occurs during certain activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. 

Urge incontinence involves a strong, sudden need to urinate followed by unpredictable bladder contractions and involuntary loss of urine. Most people do not have enough time to get to the washroom with this kind of incontinence and often end up soiling themselves. Of course, this type of bladder control issue has caused many people to remain at home during the Covid-19 pandemic because you never know if a place’s washroom will be open or closed.

The Causes of Bladder Incontinence

Incontinence may be sudden and temporary, or ongoing and long-term. 

The main causes of sudden or temporary incontinence are:

  • infection of the urinary tract or prostrate,
  • severe constipation
  • weight gain
  • pregnancy 
  • mental confusion (such as the type of disorientation that occurs as the result of being woken up suddenly.
  • medication side effects from diuretics, tranquilizers, some cough and cold remedies, certain antihistamines for allergies, and antidepressants.
  • Untreated or uncontrolled diabetes

Long-term conditions that can cause urinary incontinence include –

  • Spinal injuries
  • Urinary tract abnormalities
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pelvic prolapse
  • An overly large prostate
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Nerve damage from gynecological or prostate surgery

There also conditions that can cause long term cases of incontinence. These include spinal injuries, urinary tract abnormalities, weakness of the sphincter and 

Care and Treatment of Incontinence

Naturopathic treatment options vary for both long term and acute loss of bladder control, depending on what might have caused it in the first place,

Bladder retraining can work for both types of urinary incontinence, This strategy demands that you urinate on a strict schedule and going whether you have to or not. You may be instructed to eliminate once an hour and then add an hour to that and then again after that until you have trained yourself to hold your bladder for at least three to four hours at a time.

Women who have incontinence can benefit from performing Kegel exercises. These require that you contract the pelvic floor muscles for ten seconds and then relax them for ten seconds. Repeat these exercises ten times and do them three times a day for the best results. Vaginal cones are exercise aids that can help enhance the performance of Kegel exercises for women. 

Avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages that stimulate the bladder can also prevent incontinence. Avoid foods and drinks that may irritate your bladder like spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and citrus fruits and juices. 

Medications that may be prescribed include drugs that relax the bladder, increase bladder muscle tone, or strengthen the sphincter.

Surgery may be required to relieve an obstruction or deformity of the bladder neck and urethra. Uterine or pelvic suspension operations are sometimes needed in women. Men may require prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland). 

Avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages that stimulate the bladder can also prevent incontinence. Avoid foods and drinks that may irritate your bladder like spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and citrus fruits and juices.

If you are coping with a chronic problem that is affecting your overall well being, then we can help you find your ways to regain control of your health. Services provided here at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare center include naturopathic testing, dietary counseling, homeopathy, herbal remedies, and intravenous infusion therapy. You can find out more about us on our website, call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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