Urinary incontinence and how nutrition can help

Oops! Overactive Bladders in Women

Urinary incontinence (UI) is somewhat of a hushed taboo subject. I recently mentioned the topic to a friend which provoked images and thoughts of Tena lady adverts, infections and elderly women rushing for the bathroom (and not quite making it)! With an estimated 34% of women suffering from involuntary leakages of urine and various supportive nutritional approaches for those experiencing it, this needn’t be an ignored or forbidden topic.

There are a few types of UI including:

Stress incontinence: This can occur when one coughs, sneezes, laughs etc. and could be caused by weak pelvic floor muscles. Childbirth, obesity and chronic constipation can contribute to a weakened pelvic floor.

Urge incontinence: The sudden urge to urinate occurs followed by involuntary loss of urine for no obvious reason or stimuli. This is possibly due to issues such as reduced nerve cell communication, bladder muscle spasms, vaginitis or bladder infections.

Overflow incontinence: Frequent leaking caused by being unable to fully empty the bladder.
* If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you see a doctor so that they can investigate and provide you with the appropriate treatment, if necessary. *

Natural Nutritional Support

Bladder training, incontinence pads and Kegel/pelvic floor exercises are great ways to help manage UI. But did you know that you can also optimise your nutritional status for support too?

There is a significant association between UI and obesity, smoking, fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol. Be intentional about reducing these risk factors.

Magnesium decreases muscles spasms. Good food sources of magnesium include dark green leafy vegetables such as steamed swiss chard and spinach. Other sources include halibut, acorn squash, kelp, steamed broccoli, pumpkin seeds, other green vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Adequate water intake is an important defence against urinary tract infections, which can also cause UI. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses/1.5–2 litres of water per day. This can include natural, unsweetened herbal and fruit teas.

Foods rich in vitamin C and β-Cryptoxanthin (a source of vitamin A) are associated with reduced UI symptoms. These nutrients are prevalent in bell peppers, pumpkin, butternut squash, citrus fruits, carrots and collards.

For further information on how Elle Rock Nutritional Therapy can support you please head to services or contact us.

ELLE ROCK NUTRITION
©Rochelle Logan-Rodgers BSc(Hons), PgDip – BANT & CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapist

© Rochelle Logan-Rodgers and ELLE ROCK NUTRITION, 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rochelle Logan-Rodgers and ELLE ROCK NUTRITION with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

BIBLIOGRAPHYBailey, C., Nicolle, L. and Institute for Functional Medicine. (2013). The Functional Nutrition
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Maserejian, N.N., Giovannucci, E.L., McVary, K.T. and McKinlay, J.B., 2011. Intakes of
vitamins and minerals in relation to urinary incontinence, voiding, and storage symptoms in
women: a cross-sectional analysis from the Boston Area Community Health
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Nutritiondata.self.com. (2018). Foods highest in Beta Cryptoxanthin in Vegetables and
Vegetable Products. [online] Available at: http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-
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Robinson, D., Giarenis, I. and Cardozo, L., 2014. You are what you eat: the impact of diet on
overactive bladder and lower urinary tract symptoms. Maturitas, 79(1), pp.8-13.

Urinary Incontinence in women: draft scope for consultation. (2011). [ebook] National
Institute For Health And Clinical Excellence. Available at:
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg171/documents/urinary-incontinence- update-draft-
scope2 [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].

Disclaimer: The articles, posts and other content on this website or any other social media platform does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis or treatment. Suggestions provided will be for general information and educational purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice or the professional care of your own doctor or any other qualified healthcare professional. Consult a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and before starting a new diet or health program.

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