Nobody likes situations where you can’t control your urination and suffer from leaks. If you’ve faced such a nightmare, chances are you’re a victim of urinary incontinence. It’s the condition where your bladder loses its ability to hold your urine. While it might be embarrassing, a faulty bladder gives rise to severe tolls on your health.
The loss of bladder control ranges from leakage of urine after sneezing, coughing, laughing to feeling a strong and abrupt pressure to urinate, not giving you enough time to reach the toilet.
But you can find a home remedy for urinary incontinence and relieve yourself of this misery. Hopefully, our article will help you find one.
A lot of people suffer from this condition, but there is no specific statistic for how many exactly. This is because most of them do not open up about their problem. They are embarrassed or scared, thinking there is no cure. So they feel helpless and endure in silence.
It is wrong to say that urinary incontinence affects you only physically. No. It strikes at your emotional, psychological and social life as well. Most people coop themselves up in their houses because they are afraid of going out and leaking without a toilet in sight. Urinary incontinence bars you from savoring life.
Before we get into it, let’s break a myth here. Urinary incontinence doesn’t stem from aging. There are a lot of reasons in play and can affect people of any age or medical history. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, you can relieve discomfort or curb it.
How do you know if you are suffering from urinary incontinence?
Suffering from urinary incontinence means your bladder has lost its ability to store urine normally. So, how do you know if you have urinary incontinence? Here are some common conditions:
1. If you have to rush to the bathroom more often
2. If you can’t hold back your urine
3. Your urine leaks when you get an urge to urinate
4. You can’t sleep at night because you have to urinate frequently
Hiding your urinary incontinence and not seeking any help can affect your daily life. This can make traveling more difficult, cause unwanted interruptions, and affect the quality of your sleep.
There are many possible causes of urinary incontinence, including age-related changes, conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, bladder obstruction, and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Sometimes the cause is unknown. Urinary incontinence is very common and can be treated.
Many remedies, such as herbs, exercise, and behavioral therapy, are known to help relieve urinary symptoms.
Keep reading to figure out a way to regain your bladder control and cut down trips to the toilet!
Types of urinary incontinence
There are four types of urinary incontinence. These include:
1. Stress incontinence
Amongst all other forms, stress incontinence affects people more commonly. Activities that pressurize the bladder like jumping, bending, lifting, exercising, and even coughing and sneezing cause this kind of incontinence. Also, obesity is another major reason for this condition. Weak pelvic floor muscles can also pressurize the bladder and cause the urine to leak.
Women are more susceptible to stress incontinence.
2. Overflow incontinence
Increased urination occurs in the case of overflow incontinence. Here the body produces more urine than the bladder’s normal capacity. It can also occur if the bladder is full and cannot be stretched and emptied, causing a leakage. The bladder tissues may not stretch as much as they should, or it may prevent the flow. Overflow incontinence leads to frequent urination with a small amount of urine and constantly falling in drops.
Men with prostate surgery or prostate problems are more likely to suffer from overflow incontinence.
3. Overactive bladder
Also referred to as “urge” or “urgency incontinence,” this causes the bladder muscles to contract and indicates the need to urinate even when the bladder is empty. If you do not go to the bathroom on time, you may urinate excessively and cause an accident.
Urgency incontinence might be the result of a physical problem, such as damage to the spine, brain, or nerve damage between the spine and the bladder. It can also be caused by cystitis.
4. Functional incontinence
Functional incontinence occurs when a disease such as osteoarthritis or dementia prevents you from going to the bathroom, which can lead to an accident.
Functional incontinence occurs when the patient:
● Cannot understand their urges to urinate
● Cannot find a toilet nearby
● Has lost dexterity and cannot undress in time before urinating.
Symptoms of urinary incontinence
The most important symptom is accidental urine leakage. The process and the number of times it happens depends on the type of incontinence:
1. Stress incontinence
This is the most common form of urinary incontinence, especially in postpartum or postmenopausal women. In this case, the term “stress” refers to physical stress, not psychological stress. A person may urinate accidentally when the bladder and muscles involved in controlling urine are suddenly exposed to additional pressure.
Some behaviors like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects can cause stress incontinence.
2. Urge incontinence
Problems with urination also include an “overactive bladder,” which is a form of urinary incontinence. People with urge incontinence suffer from sudden, involuntary contractions of the vascular wall of the bladder, which causes uncontrollable urination.
When a person gets the feeling to urinate, he/she has very little time to control the urine before it gets leaked; no matter what, they try to hold it back.
Due to urge incontinence, a person may feel the urge to urinate caused by:
● Intercourse, especially while orgasming
● Hearing the sound of water flowing
● Damage to nerves in the bladder can cause involuntary activation of the muscles, the nervous system, or even the muscles.
3. Overflow incontinence
This is common in men with prostate problems, bladder damage, or urethral obstruction. An enlarged prostate can lead to bladder obstruction, which can lead to incontinence because the bladder does not get enough urine or the bladder does not empty.
With overflow incontinence, people need to urinate more often, and the urine may constantly drip from the urethra.
4. Mixed incontinence
Mixed incontinence is a combination of Stress incontinence and Urge incontinence, so it is usually accompanied by both symptoms. This kind of incontinence occurs if you have the following symptoms:
● Your urine leaks while sneezing, coughing, laughing, doing strenuous exercise, or weight lifting
● Your urine leaks when you get a strong urge to release your bladder or while sleeping
● You can’t control your urine after drinking a small amount of water, hearing the sound of running water or even touching the water.
5. Functional incontinence
With functional incontinence, you know you need to urinate, but you can’t make it to the toilet in time because you have problems concerning your movements.
Common causes of functional incontinence include:
● Visual or movement impairments
● Loss of sight and motility
● Loss of dexterity causing difficulty opening pants
● Depression, fear, or anger
Functional incontinence is more common for the elderly and is a serious condition in old-age homes.
6. Total incontinence
Total incontinence is a continuous rupture and complete loss of urinary control. It is mainly caused by a neurogenic bladder. This is a debilitating problem that prevents the bladder from emptying properly. Spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders affecting nerve function can also lead to complete damage. In women, it can be caused by a vesicovaginal fistula, which is a poor connection between the urinary tract and the vagina.
A patient may suffer from total incontinence due to a genetic problem (born with a disability), an injury to the spine or urinary system, or a defect in his or her intestines.
Urethral stones – hard substances such as stones that grow in the bladder- cause total incontinence. Nervous disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cerebral palsy, or ulcerative colitis can block the nerve endings associated with urinary control, causing total incontinence.
What causes urinary incontinence?
The causes of urinary incontinence are manifold. They include:
1. Stress incontinence
● pregnancy and childbirth
● Low estrogen levels due to menopause causing muscle weakness
● Uterine surgery and other surgeries.
● Old age
● Unhealthy weight
2. Urge incontinence
Urge incontinence is identified by the following causes:
● Inflammation of the lining of the prostate
● Neurodegenerative diseases of the bladder, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, Parkinson’s disease
● Benign prostatic hyperplasia can irritate the bladder and urethra.
3. Overflow incontinence
Overflow incontinence occurs due to an obstruction or blockage in the urinary bladder. It is identified by the following signs:
● Prostate gland enlargement
● Bladder stones
● Tumors in the bladder
● Unsuccessful urinary incontinence surgeries
Causes of overflow incontinence in men and women include:
● Conditions that affect the neurological system (such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis) Disorders that alter the bladder’s ability to feel full or reduce the bladder’s ability to contract.
● Urethral obstruction, such as bladder stones and urethral tumors that narrows down the urethral passage.
● When men suffer from overflow incontinence, it is usually due to prostatic hyperplasia (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), prostate cancer, or urethral obstruction.
● The muscles (controllers) that drain urine from the bladder are weak, and the bladder cannot empty itself naturally.
● Specific medicines for other diseases.
4. Total incontinence
This can result from:
● An anatomical fault present due to the lesion of the spinal cord from birth
● Injuries in the spinal cord that alters the nerve signals between the brain and the bladder
● When a fistula, a tube, or a canal develops between the bladder and a neighboring area, usually the vagina.
Other causes include:
● Consuming certain medications, especially some diuretics, antihypertensives, hypnotics, sedatives, and muscle relaxants.
● Excessive alcohol consume
● Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Risk factors of Urinary Incontinence
Here are some risk factors for urinary incontinence:
1. Obesity: This puts additional pressure on the bladder and neighboring muscles. It weakens your muscles and increases your risk of leaking when you sneeze or cough.
2. Smoking: May cause chronic cough resulting in severe urinary incontinence
3. Gender: Women are more likely to suffer from stress incontinence than men, especially after childbirth.
4. Aging: The muscles of the bladder and urethra shrink with age.
5. Certain diseases and conditions: Diabetes, kidney disease, spinal cord injury, and neurological conditions like stroke increase the risk of urinary incontinence.
6. Prostate problems: It can occur after prostate surgery or radiotherapeutics.
Home remedy for urinary incontinence
1. Kegel exercises
The first home remedy for urinary incontinence is to strengthen your bladder and hence your body. So it’s time to make Kegel exercises a habit. Make sure your bladder gets some everyday movement.
Kegel exercises are more helpful in treating stress incontinence than long-term urge incontinence. Bladder exercises are more passive than being fully potential. Chalk out a “stimulation plan,” stick to it, and force yourself to wait for the bladder to get the urge.
You might find it hard and uncomfortable at first, but it will surprise you how soon you’ll be able to hold it for a minute, then a few more minutes, and finally an hour. They are a very effective home remedy for urinary incontinence.
2. Train your bladder
Bladder training is important to reduce bladder damage and leakage. It is a very important home remedy for urinary incontinence. You can train your bladder in a lot of ways:
● Scheduled urination
Some people with OAB may have a record of their urination habits, such as going to the toilet, urine leaks, and immediate symptoms. Depending on your record, you can plan your activity by adding 15 minutes to your normal urination time.
For example, if you have to urinate every 60 minutes, you should make a rest routine every 75 minutes.
Whatever your urge to urinate, it is very important to urinate at a set time. Using this home remedy for urinary incontinence, you can increase the amount of time between consecutive visits to the toilet.
● Delayed urination
Whenever you need to urinate, if possible, delay urination for 5 minutes. Try relaxing with deep breathing and meditation.
You should gradually increase the waiting time between bathroom trips to 3-4 hours.
● Double-void technique
This method is useful for people who feel that their bladder is not empty. It’s also a good idea to try double-voiding before going to bed.
You should follow these steps to try double-voiding:
* Sit on the toilet, lean slightly forward
*Place your palms on your knees or thighs
*Urinate like you always do
*Stay on the toilet for 30 seconds
*Then lean a little more forward and urinate
● Kegel contractions
Kegel contractions help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which are used to regulate the flow of urine.
If you want to sense where your pelvic floor muscles are located, try stopping your urine flow midway and hold it back. If it works, you have found your muscles, and they are fine.
You should practice this muscle contraction for 10 seconds and then relax for 3 seconds. It has proven to be the most useful home remedy for urinary incontinence. Repeat this pattern ten times. Do three sets of 10 repetitions per day. Deep breathing can facilitate this process.
3. Foods to avoid
If you’re going for a home remedy for urinary incontinence, then you must take into consideration your diet plan and the kind of food you consume. You should avoid:
● artificial sweeteners
● citrus fruits and extracts
● corn syrup
● cranberry juice
● sodas and soft drinks
● spicy foods
● sugar and honey
Because people have different food cravings, and most of them like to opt for a home remedy for urinary incontinence, it is helpful to keep a food diary recording every intake and its effect on the bladder. Journals help people identify which foods cause the most problems.
Magnesium is important for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves and if you’re looking for a home remedy for urinary incontinence, make sure to consume more of it. Most doctors believe magnesium levels are more effective at reducing bladder spasms, a leading cause of incontinence. You can check your magnesium levels with a blood test on your doctor’s prescription.
5. Vitamin D
A recent study found out that women over the age of 20 with normal vitamin D levels were less likely to develop urinary incontinence. If you have pelvic floor muscle disorders, it’s time to check your vitamin D levels.
If you have low vitamin D content in your body, you are more prone to this condition. If you want to go for a home remedy for urinary incontinence, definitely keep your vitamin D levels in regular check and increase your intake.
6. Quit smoking
Studies show that smokers have an increased risk of incontinence. Many smokers develop a chronic cough over time. This can overload and weaken the pelvic floor muscles and increase the risk of stress incontinence. Smoking can make symptoms of an overactive bladder worse. The cough experienced by some smokers can persist for a long time and make the incontinence more severe.
You need to bring about a lifestyle change if you want a home remedy for urinary incontinence, and quitting cigarettes is the most important.
7. Give up on caffeine
Caffeine in coffee and tea consumed regularly is responsible for urinary incontinence. It can increase bladder activity and worsen symptoms such as increased urination, polyuria, and increased urinary incontinence. Symptoms may be relieved by reducing or eliminating caffeine or by drinking decaffeinated coffee. Quitting both smoking and caffeine has proven to be an effective home remedy for urinary incontinence.
Also, you shouldn’t forget that even decaffeinated coffee contains some caffeine. So, if you want a completely effective home remedy for urinary incontinence, you have to give up on caffeine entirely.
8. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can cause bladder inflammation and high urine output – When your body doesn’t get enough fluid, urine can accumulate and irritate the bladder and cause frequent or urgent urination or incontinence.
Staying hydrated is the easiest and free home remedy for urinary incontinence, so drink up as much water as you can!
9. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can put pressure on your bladder and pelvic muscles. Maintaining a healthy weight range can help control your bladder and is another important home remedy for urinary incontinence.
10. Track your medical conditions
Another home remedy for urinary incontinence is to check the symptoms of chronic illness that can affect the bladder. These include Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, sclerosis, and kidney disease.
11. Herbs and supplements
If you are interested in a home remedy for urinary incontinence, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 75% of people with the disease prefer being on alternative therapy for a long time.
Do you know why people turn to a home remedy for urinary incontinence, especially herbs and supplements? It’s because they’ve been trying useless medical treatments or suffering from negative consequences.
Here’s a list of 10 herbal supplements that have proven to be an effective home remedy for urinary incontinence:
● Gosha-jinki-gan: This mixture of 10 herbs has often been reviewed. Japanese researchers have found out that those who consumed it regularly for eight weeks had fewer urges to urinate. Many other researchers have suggested that it reduces the need to urinate and is a great home remedy for urinary incontinence. Many researchers have confirmed that it works by relaxing the nerve endings in the bladder.
● Hachi-mi-jio-gan: This Chinese herb is a combination of 8 natural substances and a great home remedy for urinary incontinence. A Japanese animal tissue study has proven that it relieves bladder muscle spasms.
● Buchu (Barosma betulina): This flowering plant was found in the mountains of South Africa and has been used medicinally since the 1550s. It is an effective home remedy for urinary incontinence, coughs and kidney infections, and abdominal pain.
● Cleavers: This herb is usually brewed as a tea to treat urinary tract infections because of the tiny thorns attached to the leaves. Although there are no studies about it on OAB, many researchers have suggested it as a great home remedy for urinary incontinence as it can calm the bladder.
● Horsetail: This member of the Pteridophyta family gets its name from its long tail shape and grows in swamps and rivers. It is rich in antioxidants and is known to protect against the natural stresses of aging. With time, the tissues of the bladder can become ruptured. But this herb can treat or worsen this condition. However, few studies support this idea or that it is a good home remedy for urinary incontinence.
● Ganoderma lucidum: This mushroom has been an essential component of herbal medicine for over 2000 years. A Japanese study found that the urge to urinate decreased after eight weeks. Doctors believe that low hormone levels cause the prostate to enlarge. This is one of the causes of overactive bladder in men.
● Resiniferatoxin: Made in Morocco with a plant resembling aloe vera, this home remedy for urinary incontinence is known to burn like black pepper. Experts believe this works by blocking nerves in the bladder connected to the brainstem. It can also help regain your bladder capacity, which reduces the number of trips to the bathroom.
● Capsaicin: Hot peppers are spicy because of the heat of this herb. Experts say it may work as a resiniferatoxin. Experiments in Thailand have deduced that it helps reduce urges and restrain leakages. While it’s a great home remedy for urinary incontinence, this herb can cause side effects such as pain and irritability.
● Saw palmetto: Europeans use this saw palmetto extract to treat problems caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia. Studies have shown that compounds in saw palmetto may work with nerves in the urinary tract to help relieve overactive bladder.
Before you try herbs –
Herbal remedies may seem safe as they are made with natural ingredients, but this may not be the case.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no control over these products as a prescription or non-prescription drugs. Sometimes, they might not even contain the herbs mentioned on the label. It is best to go to a naturopath, a holistic practitioner, or a complementary medicine specialist. It can help you make smart decisions.
Always take suggestions from your doctor or urologist about any dietary supplements you plan to use. They make sure it mixes well with the medications you take. If you can take a supplement, you should know if there are any side effects.
1. Urinary incontinence is a common problem among 10% of Australian men and 38% of Australian women.
2. Women make up 1.80% of people suffering from stress incontinence.
3. More than half of the women with incontinence are under the age of 50, and 2.65% of women and 30% of men report some form of incontinence.
4. 31% of people are 70 years old and don’t seek any advice or treatment for the problem.
5. Urinary incontinence is common among people with prostate disease. It is less common in young men, hitting 30% in men aged 70-84 years old and 50% in men 85 years and older.
Inability to hold back urine can cause restlessness, embarrassment, and sometimes other physical, emotional, and psychological problems.
1. Skin problems: People with urinary incontinence are prone to developing ulcers, rashes, and infections because their skin is usually moist or wet. It is detrimental to healing wounds because it causes fungal infection.
2. Urinary tract infections: Long-term use of a urethral catheter greatly increases the chances of damage and infections in the body
3. Prolapse: Some portions of the bladder and urethra may be at the entrance to the vagina. This is usually due to the weakness in the levator ani and coccygeus muscles (pelvic floor muscles).
When should you see a doctor?
Anyone who notices some peculiarity in their urination should see a doctor. You never know if your urinary urgency and frequency can cause other diseases like urinary tract infections. Therefore, knowing the correct diagnosis is important for better and peaceful health.
Also, before using any alternative treatment for urinary incontinence, you should always consult your doctor.
If your symptoms don’t subside with your first treatment or home remedies, your doctor will switch to other treatments.
If that doesn’t work, tertiary neuromodulation therapy or surgery may be considered as a means to correct nerve activity.
We all know how embarrassing it feels to suffer from bladder and bowel problems but fret not! Fortunately, many cases of urinary incontinence can be managed well with healthy lifestyle changes and home remedies. But you have to remember that everyone has different conditions, and not all these remedies will prove to be useful.
Always consult with your doctor about the listed home remedies before you begin. Never forget that your condition is treatable and curable if you use the correct methods. So, if you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, don’t hide it. The more you delay in getting help, the more difficult it gets. So, visit your doctor right away and open up about that little “oops” down there!